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Legislative fix in the works for 'care crisis' brought on by no-fault auto reform

Posted at 9:29 PM, Jan 18, 2022

MICHIGAN — “From basically day one, we knew that we had a ticking time bomb,” says State Rep. Phil Green.

Around eighteen thousand people currently receive medical benefits through Michigan's no-fault auto insurance system. When the law was changed, it introduced a new medical-fee schedule, which in turn dramatically cut off crash survivors’ access to vital medical care.

“This is a humanitarian crisis and something needs to be done,” says Shara Curry, one of Kelley Miller’s nurses.

On Monday, FOX 17 brought you the story of 54-year-old Kelley Miller.

“Did anybody know that it was gonna end up like this?" Miller asks.

Paralyzed from the neck down, and ventilator dependent, Miller lost her long-time, in-home caregivers on Sunday, and is now living in a hospital.

“We just cannot provide care for her any longer due to the decreased rates that they'll be paying us,” says Curry. “We cannot afford to pay our staff."

READ MORE: 'How did we get here?': Crash survivor forced into hospital after no fault auto law changes

The new law, which went into effect in July 2021, says insurance companies only have to reimburse certain services, such as in-home care, at drastically reduced rates, forcing dozens, if not hundreds, of local care providers out of business.

“And once these companies go out of business, they don't come back in business,” says Representative Green.

And survivors like Miller are left out in the cold, without access to care. But State Rep. Phil Green is confident that a bill he plans to introduce next week will be the legislative fix thousands of survivors and their families have been waiting for.

I asked Representative Green, “If we don't find a legislative fix, do you feel like these sorts of situations would continue to happen?"

“These types of things are going to continue to happen,” Green answered. “I am very confident that leadership in the House and the Senate, as well as the governor, are going to come together and find a fix for this. And that is going to be negotiated out, and that we will have a fix."

He already has 40 cosigners on the bill out of 110 total members of the Legislature, and he expects more to jump on board this week. The bill would establish more workable medical-fee schedules, based on already-established government programs.

“I’m expecting to drop the bill on Tuesday of next week with the additional cosigners on board,” adds Green, “and it's a very strong showing the Legislature wants to fix this."

READ MORE: Report says no-fault auto reform created crisis for thousands of crash survivors, medical-care workers

FOX 17's Coverage of No Fault Auto Reform Care Crisis

May 17, 2021 — New Law Could Have Devastating Consequences
May 24, 2019 — Gov Whitmer & GOP Reach Deal
May 25, 2021 — MI Democrats Urge Action on SB 314 & HB 4486
May 26, 2021 — Families Gather at Capitol to Urge Action
June 2, 2021 — "We're Paying the Price With Our Lives": FOX 17 Extended Coverage
June 9, 2021 — Hundreds of Survivors Protest at Capitol
June 10, 2021 — Rep. Berman Introduces Bill to Prevent Cuts
June 23, 2021 — Advocates Rally Again at Capitol
June 26, 2021 — House Approves $10M Fund
June 30, 2021 — Advocates Say $25M Isn't Enough
July 7, 2021 — Family Scared to Lose Caregivers
July 23, 2021 — Providers Begin Closing their Doors
Aug. 4, 2021 — Patients Continue to Lose Care
Sept. 24, 2021 — Changes Causing Chaos for Survivors
Sept. 27, 2021 — 'We Can't Wait' ArtPrize Entry Highlights Care Crisis
Oct. 4, 2021 — Protest Outside Business of SML Shirkey
Oct. 14, 2021 — Some Insurers Not Following Intent of Law
Oct. 27, 2021 — Legislators Introduce New Package of Bills
Jan. 11, 2022— Report Says No Fault Reform Created Crisis of Care
Jan 17, 2022 - ‘How did we get here?’: Crash survivor forced into hospital after no fault auto law changes
Jan 18, 2022 – Legislative fix in the works for ‘care crisis’ brought on by no-fault auto reform

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