January 31, 2020
In this issue
In her second State of the State address this week, Governor Whitmer outlined a plan of attack to battle maternal and infant mortality in Michigan, purposefully working to address disparities by extending postpartum Medicaid coverage and expanding access to home visiting.
The governor's "Healthy Moms Healthy Babies" plan also includes moving up a woman's first postpartum visit to within three weeks, with a comprehensive visit within twelve weeks. 
"This will help new moms work through postpartum depression and anxiety, substance use disorder treatment, challenges with breastfeeding, and other health care needs," Governor Whitmer said.
You can download a fact sheet on Healthy Moms Healthy Babies here.

The governor also spoke to a new "intensive effort to eliminate the disparities in care - for new moms of color especially."

"Because right now black women are three times more likely than white women to die of pregnancy-related causes. This is a staggering disparity," she said.

As part of her plan to address these disparities a partnership between practitioners and medical students requiring physicians to be trained in implicit bias will be lead by Dean Randolph Rasch from Michigan State University and Dr. Audrey Gregory, CEO of the Detroit Medical Center.

These proposals present an exciting opportunity to advance maternal and child health policy issues in our state, and we're encouraged to work toward some significant improvements for mothers, babies and families.  You can read MCMCH's press release on the speech here.
Prior Authorization Bill Has First Hearing in Senate Committee
A strong showing of supporters from the Health Can't Wait coalition packed the Senate Health Policy Committee on Thursday to hear the first testimony and questions from legislators about SB 612,  legislation to reform prior authorizations and step therapy.

Sponsored by committee chair Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), the bill  would set up an appeals process for denials of prior authorization with adverse determinations and appeals handled by a physician or provider in the specialty of the service in question. It also would require urgent requests to be acted upon within 24 hours and all others within 48 hours. 

According to the most recent data compiled by the coalition, 94 percent of Michigan physicians report that prior authorization red tape causes delays in care for their patients, and 78 percent of physicians trace prescription and treatment non-adherence to prior authorization delays.

Sen. VanderWall shared stories from his district of patients paying out of pocket for treatment rather than wait weeks for prior authorization and tests recommended by physicians being delayed. 

"I know there are issues in this bill we need to work out, but this isn't just about my constituents, it's happening to patients around the state," VanderWall said.

S. Bobby Mukkamala, MD, president-elect of the Michigan State Medical Society, said the proposed reforms in SB 612 would have "a dramatic positive impact on patients." Several individuals who experience chronic health issues, including breast cancer and type 1 diabetes, spoke at the hearing to the extended delays they experience in receiving treatments, tests or the medications needed to manage their disease.

Mark Cook, vice president of government and regulatory affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, said the bill will make using the prior authorization and step therapy processes more difficult and that the current process ensures correct treatments are being approved, costs are contained as much as possible and that waste and fraud are minimized.

Testimony is expected to continue next week.
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Bills Requiring Marijuana Warning Labels for Pregnant, Breastfeeding Moms and Poison Control Info Pass in Senate
Bills that would  require warning labels for pregnant and breastfeeding women on all marijuana products sold in the state and require retailers to have pamphlets with the poison control hotline available are on their way to the governor after winning Senate approval Thursday.

HBs 4126 and 4127, which passed on votes of 34-2 and 35-2, would  require  all marihuana sold through marihuana retailers, microbusinesses, and provisioning centers to include on the packaging a warning for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding; and require retailers  to make available to every patron at the time of sale a pamphlet that included safety information related to marihuana use by minors and the poison control hotline number.

Under the bills the proposed label would read: "Warning: Use by pregnant or breastfeeding women, or by women planning to become pregnant, may result in fetal injury, preterm birth, low birth weight, or developmental problems for the child."

MCMCH first worked with HB 4126 sponsor Rep. Thomas Albert in 2018 on this important issue and we look forward to the bills being signed into law
MDHHS Seeking Representatives from Organizations to Join BioTrust Community Values Advisory Board
The Michigan BioTrust for Health is currently seeking representatives from organizations to join the BioTrust Community Values Advisory Board (CVAB).

In Michigan, six blood spots are collected from nearly all infants for the purpose of Newborn Screening (NBS). NBS is required by Michigan law and screens babies for more than 50 rare but serious disorders that require early treatment. After testing, blood spots that are left over are stored by MDHHS for up to 100 years.

The Michigan BioTrust for Health, also known as the "BioTrust", is the MDHHS program that oversees the storage and research use of the states' residual newborn screening dried blood spots. This formal biobanking initiative was launched by the department in 2009.

Since NBS began in 1965, more than 7.2 million infants have been screened, therefore the number of residents impacted by the BioTrust is immense. The BioTrust CVAB is a standing committee that advises MDHHS, providing a public voice when BioTrust policies for acceptable uses of blood spots are made or community engagement activities are planned.  The board has representation from disease and health advocacy organizations, health professionals, cultural, religious or historical groups, as well as members of the general public. Current membership can be found at www.michigan.gov/biotrust.

The BioTrust is currently seeking representatives from organizations to join this important advisory board. The board meets 2-3 times per year in the Lansing area but offers teleconferencing options. If your organization would like to be a part of the CVAB, visit www.michigan.gov/Biotrust or email Shelby Atkinson for more information about the Biotrust for Health, the role of the CVAB or to inquire about participation.
Contributors to this Issue
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House Passes Concurrent Resolution on ACEs
Sen. Curt VanderWall's SCR 8--a concurrent resolution to declare Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) a critical health issue, commit the Legislature to action, and encourage the Governor to direct agencies to assess and report progress on reducing ACEs--passed the House this week. The resolution was passed in the Senate in May 2019. 
Save the Date: Partners in Pediatric Care 2020 CME Course May 15
Registration is now open for An Introduction to Infant Mental Health Theory and Practice for Home Visitors IMH 3-Day Training in St. Johns. This training provides Infant Mental Health Home Visiting professionals the opportunity to share and learn about their work through video, group discussion, and clinical observations. participants will consider new ways of working with infants, toddlers, and families.
Dates, Times & Speakers:
-Friday, April 24, 2020: 9:30am - 4:30pm. Presented by Carol Oleksiak, LMSW, IMH-E®

-Monday, May 4, 2020: 9:30am - 4:30pm. Presented by Karol Wilson, LMSW, IMH-E®
-Friday, May 29, 2020: 9:30am - 4:30pm. Presented by Carol Oleksiak, LMSW, IMH-E®  & Rebecca Wheeler, MSW, IMH-E®
Registration begins at: 9:00 am each day. Learn more here.
Register Now for Maternal Infant Health Summit
Registration for the 3rd annual Maternal Infant Health Summit is now open. The Summit will be held March 30-31 at the Lansing Center. It has become the premier professional development and networking opportunity for maternal and infant health stakeholders in the state.  
With a dynamic agenda designed to bring together public health, medical providers, and other advocates for a thought-provoking exchange of ideas on how to improve maternal and infant vitality in Michigan, the Summit serves to reinforce our collective work toward health equity and improving maternal and infant outcomes.    

Download the full conference agenda here; register here:  https://mihealthsummit.com  
To sponsor or register as an exhibitor, download the forms  here.


The Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health is an organization of members committed to improve maternal and child health in Michigan.
Learn more at www.mcmch.org
Amy Zaagman, Executive Director
Jennifer Gorchow , Communications Manager