Governor Whitmer signs bill to establish relief fund for accident victims

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Photo courtesy of State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed SB 28 on Thursday. The bill aims to establish a relief fund for post-acute care providers of victims of accidents.

“I am committed to ensuring that catastrophically injured Michiganders can access the care they need to recover,” said Governor Whitmer in a press release. “We must continue to work together to ensure that our most vulnerable individuals have access to the care they are entitled to under their insurance policies.”  

The bill garnered a negative reaction from the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council.

“SB 28 is a mirage of a solution — look closely, and you see it’s a program that unnecessarily utilizes taxpayer dollars for a problem created by a draconian government-mandated price fix,” said Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council President Tom Judd. “The program established by this legislation dangles support that, in practice, won’t materialize for months, and once it does come, won’t close the funding gap businesses face today.” 

Judd noted the following grievances in a press release:

  • The brain injury community voiced its deep concerns, but the final version of Senate Bill 28 demonstrates a lack of investment in those concerns.
  • SB 28 delays the discussion of a long-term solution, at the expense of companies that will close or significantly downsize in the coming weeks.
  • Due to a $500,000 cap per provider and an overall budget of $25 million — far less than needed to close the funding gap — this program will not come close to providing the legislature a clear picture of the impact of the 55% cap, which is what legislative leaders said they wanted to better understand with this program.
  • The sample size that will be collected will be invalid and unreliable due to inconsistency on provider participation (due to timeframe for “assistance” disbursement, the burden of participation, and cap on reimbursement level) and the unaccounted patients that will lose access to care because the cost of their care could not be reimbursed for with this program.

Senate Bill 28 was sponsored by State Senator Jim Stamas, (R-Midland.) A copy of the bill can be found here.  

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