Daily Briefs

Chamber support touted as ‘breakthrough’ on energy bills

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An influential business group’s decision to support energy legislation is being called a “breakthrough” in an attempt to update Michigan’s energy laws.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday new versions of the bills would guarantee a competitive bidding process for electricity generation and preserve competition.

The Republican-led Senate is expected to approve the plan shortly after the Nov. 8 election. Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley says the breakthrough means there is “no good reason” that the GOP-controlled House should not send the legislation to Gov. Rick Snyder by year’s end.

He says the organization would oppose the bills it if believed they killed the “customer choice” program that gives competitors to DTE Electric and Consumers Energy up to 10 percent of power sales in their regions.


Doctor who was lawmaker gets probation for insurance fraud

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Lansing-area doctor who is a former state lawmaker has been placed on probation for making false statements to an insurer.

Judge Robert Jonker gave a significant break to Paul DeWeese, whose clinic, NBO Medical, performed nerve block injections. Federal prosecutors wanted a prison sentence Monday.

DeWeese was required to tell Blue Cross Blue Shield that he had signed off on procedures performed by nurse practitioners. But he sometimes gave his log-in information to others. DeWeese has repaid $173,000 to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Separately, he agreed to pay $289,000 to the federal government to settle other allegations.


University of Michigan Board  of Regents sued over firing

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former University of Michigan hospital executive has sued the Board of Regents, saying she was fired because of a study about the treatment of black people in the hospital system.

Dr. Carmen Green, the former leader of the Office of Health Equity and Inclusion, says she presented the study to hospital system officials in December 2014. MLive reports the study showed that staff disproportionately reached for the phone to call security when black visitors or patients became emotional in emergency rooms, intensive care waiting rooms or surgical waiting rooms.

University officials say Green’s dismissal in January 2015 had nothing to do with that study, but rather an assessment that claimed Green bullied co-workers and had leadership deficiencies.
Green is seeking in excess of $500,000 for the loss of her position, attorney fees and emotional distress.