Spring 2005 Forum

Medicaid Physicians Provider Tax: Is it the Right Policy for Michigan in 2005?

May 23, 2005


The Michigan Health Policy Forum recently hosted a forum on the proposed Medicaid physician provider tax—an issue that has sparked an enormous amount of interest and concern in the physician community in our state. 

The forum was pleased to present speakers of state and national renown who laid the groundwork for later discussions.  Ms. Mary Lannoye, Director of the Michigan Office of the State Budget, discussed Michigan’s fiscal status, state revenues, budget deficits, and how the Medicaid program fits into the larger picture.  Mr. Paul Reinhart, Director of the Medical Services Administration, discussed the current funding crisis related to the Medicaid program, and the physician provider tax as a way to fund enhanced Medicaid payments to physicians.

Mr. Vernon Smith, a principle at Health Management Associates and a nationally known speaker, moderated a panel discussion on the physician provider tax.  The panel of six included physicians and the directors from the two major physician associations in the state.  There were three speakers in support of the tax and three opposed.  After each speaker discussed his position, the floor was opened to questions from the audience.   A spirited and informative discussion resulted.   

The forum also screened a new video titled “Faces of Medicaid”—a video that aims to put a human face on the Medicaid program in Michigan while providing a factual overview. 

The Institute for Health Care Studies released an issue paper on the physician provider tax proposal, which included a discussion of the funding issues in Michigan, state options for controlling costs within the Medicaid program, a summary of existing provider taxes in the state, and discussion of the proposed physician tax including both pro’s and con’s.  This paper, along with the slides from the two forum speakers, was included in the bound materials given to all forum attendees.

The forum was well attended and sparked an interesting conversation between physicians, state officials and other interested parties.



Paul Reinhart
Medical Services Administration
Michigan Department of community Health Information Technology
Medicaid Provider Tax Briefing

Janet D. Olszewski
Michigan Department of Community Health Information Technology

Mary A. Lannoye
Michigan Office of the State Budget
Presentation to: Michigan Health Policy Forum


Panel Moderator: Vern K. Smith, PhD, Principal, Health Management Associates

Panel Members:

Glenn C. Davis, MD
MSU College of Human Medicine

James M. Fox, MD, FACEP
Vice-Chief, Department of Emergency Medicine
St. John Hospital and Medical Center

Daniel B. Michael, MD, PhD
University NeuroSurgical Associates, PC

Larry F. Rawsthorne, MD, FCCP
Vice President, Medical Affairs

Sparrow Health Systems

Lawrence Reynolds, MD, FAAP
Clinical Director, Mott Children’s Health Center
President, Genessee County Medical Society

Dennis M. Paradis, MPH
Executive Director
Michigan Osteopathic Association