Rep. Mary Whiteford Addresses Legislative Policy Panel

Posted on March 21, 2019

Rep. Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Twp.), chair of the House Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee (center), is pictured with Clarence Sevillian, chair of the MHA Legislative Policy Panel and CEO, McLaren Bay Region, Bay City (left); and Barbara W. Rossman, RN, president and CEO, Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals, Clinton Twp. (right).

The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened its third meeting of the program year March 14 and developed recommendations for the MHA Board of Trustees on legislative initiatives impacting Michigan hospitals. The meeting was highlighted by a presentation from House Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Rep. Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Twp.), who discussed several topics, including the status of the state budget, the Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact and mental health system changes.

Attendees also received updates on auto no-fault insurance reform and the 2019 Health PAC fundraising campaign.

Following discussion of House Bill (HB) 4051, the panel recommended that the MHA take no position on the bill, which would establish a hotline for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Michigan hospitals support increasing access to behavioral health services and will provide the bill sponsor with informal guidance from member behavioral health experts as the legislative discussion continues.

The panel also discussed public policies related to out-of-network provider notification. This type of policy would require a healthcare provider to notify patients of the health benefit plans they participate in before providing a service. Members asked the MHA to work with stakeholders to develop a proposal that would set standards and enforce network adequacy, particularly with respect to certain common specialties. They also asked the association to continue to work with payers on finding shared solutions to challenges that arise when healthcare encounters involve out-of-network providers.

The panel recommended that the MHA support a legislative proposal known as the Kristina Garafalo Safe Driving Act. The proposal would update Michigan Public Act 355 of 2012, which currently allows physicians to voluntarily notify the secretary of state of patients with medical conditions that may hinder their ability to drive safely. The Kristina Garafalo Safe Driving Act would require physicians to submit a confidential report to the secretary of state when an individual is diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease or dementia severe enough to impair a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

For more information on the issues discussed at the meeting, contact Chris Mitchell at the MHA. 


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  • Rep. Mary Whiteford Addresses Legislative Policy Panel

Tags: MHA Legislative Policy, behavioral health, Kristina Garafalo Safe Driving Act

Posted in: Issues in Healthcare

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