As the legislature is getting back to work in Lansing, we thought it would be worthwhile to provide a short update on a few important health care related state budget items. Below you will find information on new funding for maternal and infant health programming, good news on Medicaid uplifts in the primary care and professional services space, and a brief update on GME and MIDOCs funding.
Maternal and Infant Health Funding/Medicaid Uplifts: At the urging of MSMS and many like-minded organizations, the 2024 budget made key investments into several maternal and infant health programs and provided uplifts for Medicaid’s Professional Services and Primary Care reimbursement codes.
The budget included $10 million to support an evidence-based set of guidelines in Michigan birthing hospitals that are implementing patient safety requirements. The new guidelines offer clinical and non-clinical staff resources to address obstetric hemorrhage, severe hypertension, and sepsis.
An additional $20 million was incorporated to support the development of a Perinatal Quality Collaborative which seeks to expand access to care throughout the pregnancy and postpartum period of childbirth. The funding will also be used to grow infrastructure for “Centering Pregnancy sites,” finding opportunities to lower risk of preterm birth, reduce the rate of low-birth-weight babies, and increase breastfeeding rates.
The Legislature recently passed legislation to remove the five-year Medicaid waiting period for eligibility for children and pregnant persons and the budget funded this change with $7.4 million in state funds and over $30 million in federal support.
Another significant win for MSMS was the continuation of the $65 million primary care uplift that we requested during the last budget cycle. In addition to the uplift for primary care, the budget includes a $73.8 million uplift for professional services Medicaid codes. It has been exciting to see the Legislature and Administration begin to prioritize Medicaid reimbursement, but we still have much work to do in this area.
Physician Office Staffing Grant: Throughout the state budget process, MSMS advocated for the inclusion of $30 million to recruit and retain physician office staff.
Independent physician practices across Michigan are struggling to keep their doors open because of a lack of adequate staffing. MSMS worked with key legislators in both the House and Senate to see funding to address this growing problem included during budget negotiations, unfortunately we were not successful.
We will continue to look for opportunities to address staffing shortages during future budget debates. Medical staffing concerns are certainly not going away, and we firmly believe that the state can be part of the solution as we seek new ways to ensure our patients receive proper care.
GME/MIDOCs: The recently passed 2024 state budget continued to prioritize physician training through drawing down the maximum number of federal GME funds and investing in the MIDOCs program. Michigan is leading the way nationally by not only ensuring we are drawing down every available GME dollar, but the Legislature has also chosen to invest state funds into training physicians who stay in Michigan.
MIDOCs now provides for 24 residency slots and is completely funded through state investments. The program saw an increase of $5 million (total funding is now at $6.4 million) in the 2023 budget. We were pleased to see the 2024 budget maintain the $5 million increase, and we are hoping to see the state grow the program as we look toward 2025 budget negotiations.