CON Bills, Other Healthcare Issues Taken Up by Michigan Legislature
Posted on February 21, 2020
The Michigan Legislature recently dealt with legislation that would impact hospitals and healthcare in the state, including proposals to reform and repeal Michigan’s Certificate of Need (CON) program.
The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee, chaired by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), reported out five bills Feb. 20 that would change CON regulations on covered capital expenditures, behavioral health services, and air ambulance services and would increase the number of CON Commission members. The MHA and member hospitals testified on the CON bills in December and January.
The MHA is supportive in concept of Senate Bill (SB) 669, which would increase the threshold for capital expenditures that are covered under the program, and SB 671, which would increase the number of members on the CON Commission. The MHA has not taken a position on SBs 672 and 673, which would impact behavioral health services, and is opposed to SB 674 as written, which would remove air ambulance services from CON.
The committee did not vote on SBs 670 and 675, legislation opposed by the MHA related to CON regulations on critical access hospitals and cardiac catherization procedures.
Separately, bills to repeal CON requirements were introduced in the House Feb. 20 by Rep. John Reilly (R-Oakland Twp.). House Bills (HBs) 5510, 5533 and 5534 are part of a 28-bill package related to healthcare that was referred to the House Health Policy Committee. The MHA opposes the repeal of the CON program.
The MHA will continue to work with legislators to protect CON as a means of maintaining access to cost-effective, high-quality care for all Michigan residents while restraining the proliferation of unnecessary facilities and services. The legislation will next move to the Senate for a vote of the full chamber.
In other legislative action, the Michigan Senate unanimously passed HB 4862 Feb. 19. The bill would expand confidentiality protections for the participants and providers performing Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) services at healthcare facilities. CISM services were developed to help employees cope with the physical and emotional reactions that can arise after a traumatic event in the workplace. HB 4862 was introduced by Rep. Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Twp.) and was also unanimously supported in the House. The MHA has advocated for the passage of HB 4862 as part of its efforts to improve workplace safety throughout Michigan and will continue to keep members updated as the legislation moves to the governor’s desk for signature.
Finally, Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland) introduced HB 5542 Feb. 20, a bill the MHA supports that would protect the application of the title of “nurse” to only individuals who have fulfilled the requirements for licensure. This ensures the public receives care from highly qualified practitioners who have the proper nursing education, practice standards and code of conduct.
Members with questions may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.
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