Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council Applauds #MICareCrisis Action Taken by County Board of Commissioners for Washtenaw County

Judd: Call for decisive action shows again that legislative leaders ‘only listening to the deep-pocketed and powerful lobbying arm of the auto insurance industry’

BRIGHTON, Mich.—(May 12, 2022)—The County Board of Commissioners for Washtenaw County, Michigan’s sixth most populous county, recently issued a resolution to support the complete repeal of the auto no-fault reform law of 2019. With this action, Washtenaw County has joined the state’s two largest counties, Wayne County and Oakland County, along with over a dozen other local governments across the state, to call for immediate action to end the Legislature-caused Michigan Care Crisis.

The resolution notes that the “Michigan No-Fault Auto Insurance Reform Act of 2019 enacted medical fee schedule changes effective July 1, 2021 that imposed severe restrictions on reimbursement rates for providers of crucial medical care for motor vehicle crash victims” and as a result “more than 18,000 Michigan residents with severe brain, spinal cord and other catastrophic injuries, including many in Washtenaw County, have found it impossible to obtain all necessary care that they need for basic survival.”

“This latest call for action by the County Board of Commissioners for Washtenaw County yet again begs the question — who is the Republican-led Legislature listening to with regard to the need to fix the devastating policies of the so-called auto no-fault reform?” said Tom Judd, president of the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council. “It is certainly not the crash survivors in their communities, nor their family members and advocates. It is not the greater disability rights community. It is clearly not the medical providers — made up of non-profits and small businesses around the state — who have opened their books and demonstrated how the math does not add up. And it is not the local elected government officials calling for action.”

“The conclusion is clear – they are only listening to the deep-pocketed and powerful lobbying arm of the auto insurance industry who are hell-bent to decimate the continuum of care for crash victims in this state,” Judd said.

The Washtenaw County resolution calls on the Michigan Legislature to take action: “The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners strongly urges the Michigan Legislature to repeal the Michigan No-Fault Auto Insurance Reform Act of 2019 to correct identified deficiencies in the reimbursement cap for services rendered to motor vehicle crash survivors and the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to preserve adequate surpluses in the MCCA Trust Fund for the protection of catastrophically injured victims.”

“Recent reports from consumer advocate expert Doug Heller made clear that the ‘savings’ being touted by the auto insurance industry is a more than just a mirage – it is outright lies and manipulation,” Judd said. “Rates are on the rise as discriminatory practices continue – all the while care is being ripped away from those that paid their premiums for quality life-time care.”

While MBIPC has maintained focus on a narrow fix to the law — the draconian government-mandated price fix and the arbitrary hourly limit for family providers — the calls for action are starting to broaden as more facts and data are coming to light.

“If those lawmakers seeking re-election this fall are at all concerned with the growing discontent for the auto no-fault reform in the communities they represent, a good place to start would be to demand their leadership take swift action on one of the handful of viable solutions before them,” Judd said. “Ending the crisis in care with a reasonable fee schedule for post-acute providers and restoring the right of families who have sacrificed so much to care for their loved ones is the only way to adequately answer the calls for action that will continue to get louder and more expansive.”

Members of the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council are committed to providing high quality, ethical rehabilitation services, with the mission of achieving the best outcomes for patients. As a trade association established in 1987 and based in Brighton, Michigan, MBIPC offers resource-sharing, information exchange, professional development and education, advocacy for brain injury standards of care and legislation protecting Michigan families, and the promotion of ethical conduct. For more information, go to mbipc.org, and connect with MBIPC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.