Livengood: Whitmer wants changes to auto insurance reform; Will the legislator act?
Price caps were launched on July 1, and several home health care agencies have abandoned patients with no-fault auto insurance.
Some 18,000 seriously injured motorists could be affected by reduced payments to their suppliers, many of whom choose to no longer accept no-fault auto insurance customers because payment rates are too low to pay competitive wages for direct caregivers, nurses and therapists.
Some of these suppliers have started to dismantle parts of their businesses, while others have issued pink slips and closed their doors. Medical providers who are still standing say they are holding on by a thread. The smaller the vendor, the less capitalized they are to weather any storm, let alone one that cuts their payments by 45%.
The Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council was able to identify some 743 seriously injured motorists who had their already guaranteed lifetime care disrupted.
The new law’s 45% rate cut triggered widespread disruption in the home health care industry, which was already limping before a global pandemic exacerbated long-standing labor shortages.
Families who depend on home caregivers for their disabled loved ones who aren’t even in car accidents – including mine – have lost caregivers as home care agencies dumped lower-paid Medicaid patients afterward. losing better paid auto insurance customers.
This is the downstream effect of the new law on the home health care industry as a whole – the proverbial unintended consequence.
The situation for a small home care agency with two dozen employees is very different from most hospitals in Michigan.
The new law capped hospital costs for auto insurers at 200% of what Medicare pays hospitals for overnight stays, surgeries, MRIs, and fractures.
But hospitals are also living in a new era of uncertainty, said Chris Mitchell, executive vice president of advocacy and public affairs for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.
“Even though this law was passed (28 months ago), there is a lot of uncertainty about what 200 percent (cap) means, what that includes in standard hospital payments,” Mitchell said in a podcast interview with Crain at the Mackinac conference. “What we are looking for in the short term is clarity and a better understanding of the impact this will have on hospitals and the reduction in funding (hospitals) that is going to occur. But it is still very early on. for the moment.”