Starting July 1, motorists who are catastrophically hurt in Michigan car accidents could face a dramatic drop in reimbursement rates for brain injury rehabilitation facilities, attendant care, and home health services. That’s due to a law that slashes pay to those agencies by 45 percent. All these agencies, clinics and facilities will have to immediately close, forcing thousands of brain and spine injury patients onto the street with nowhere to go.
This is an unintended consequence of the auto no-fault overhaul that took place in 2019.
These dramatic cuts take effect on July 1, 2021. Rep. Ryan Berman has submitted legislation that will fix this problem Without swift action, Michigan auto accident victims with some of the worst injuries — such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, and traumatic brain injuries — may be left fending for themselves and lacking the services they need to survive and thrive.
Potential Effects of the New Legislation
When people sustain catastrophic injuries in a car accident, they often suffer permanent physical and cognitive disabilities that render them incapable of living independently. If catastrophic injury patients need help with eating, dressing, and meeting basic needs, they may require round-the-clock care.
Brian Woodward, who suffered paralysis of all four limbs after a Michigan car accident, told WXYZ Detroit the cut is like stealing something from him that was already rightfully his. By allowing insurance carriers to “break a contract,” Woodward says legislators might leave him without the care he needs.
Some facilities that provide this type of care say they will not be capable of continuing their services with a 45 percent decrease in their operating budgets. Home health care is expensive, and businesses that were already working with thin margins argue that the arbitrary reduction will immediately put them out of business.
If attendant care services end, some patients may have nowhere to go. This could lead to hospitals and nursing homes not accepting these patients.
Lawmakers Working Against the Change
Representative Ryan Berman has prepared very targeted legislation that will immediately fix this problem. State Sen. Curtis Hertel and Rep. Douglas Wozniak both previously introduced legislation to eliminate the 45 percent cut, but the bills did not gain traction. Wozniak stated that he was moved to do so after thinking of a neighbor’s daughter who suffered catastrophic injuries in a car accident.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who signed the new insurance law package in 2019, has signaled that she is open to a “targeted approach” that protects the rights of catastrophic injury victims. However, she points out that any solution must start with legislative action.
IMMEDIATELY! Contact your local representatives now to encourage them to support legislation eliminating the 45 percent cut.
Seriously Hurt and Worried About the Future? Contact a Michigan Car Accident Attorney
The Michigan car accident lawyers at Christensen Law know that life after a catastrophic injury is far from easy. You can count on us to push aggressively for maximum compensation after a crash so that you can afford the quality care that you need and deserve.
To learn more about how we can help, call or contact us to speak with a proven car accident lawyer. The first consultation is free.