It takes patience and deep expertise to find thoughtful approaches to health care access, quality, and affordability that put patients first and provide practitioners with autonomy to use their expertise. That’s why last year we launched our Council of Health Care Providers, an assembly of medical professionals committed to common principles in health policy.
What qualifies as “health policy” is a vast and heavily regulated topic touched by both the state and federal government. It includes commercial and government-subsidized health insurance, various health professional licenses and their scope of practice, telehealth, pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory care, long-term care and behavioral health.
And that list certainly isn’t all-encompassing.
The Council of Health Care Providers thus far has added six medical professionals from across the state, including licensed physicians (both M.D. and D.O.) and a nurse practitioner. Some work for large health systems and others own independent practices.
Even in the beginning stages of creating this council, we have seen success and a positive impact.
Council members have confirmed that health professional licensing across the country is quite uniform, and Michigan should recognize the licenses of health professionals in other states. Doing this will increase patient access to telehealth, and it will attract current providers to move to Michigan or help in person during public health emergencies. We’ve used this information from council members to educate policymakers on the value of these ideas, and bills to implement them have been advancing through the Legislature.
Being able to tap the expertise of council members to review proposed legislative changes is also a benefit of our policy initiative.
The ultimate vision for the council is broad. We want to include medical professionals from across the spectrum, including pharmacists, registered nurses, behavioral health specialists, physician assistants, optometrists and ophthalmologists. When they are committed to the principles of free markets, individual liberty and sound public policy, patients and professionals win.
We’re just getting started, but the opportunity is great.