State Legislature Considers Healthcare-related Bills
Posted on July 24, 2020
The Michigan Legislature addressed several issues that are important to MHA members during the week of July 20, including a final budget adjustment for fiscal year (FY) 2020, a bill to prohibit the transfer of COVID-19-positive patients to nursing homes and a new package to improve prescription drug transparency.
The Legislature formally approved a FY 2020 budget deal that was reached in late June, putting an end to negotiations between the Legislature and the governor’s office over how to address the $2.2 billion budget hole created by the pandemic. All major funding pools for hospitals remain intact, and cuts to health spending overall is limited. The final FY 2020 budget adjustment includes $1.3 billion in CARES Act funding, $350 million from the state’s rainy day fund, and $483 million in department cuts.
The Michigan House of Representatives voted July 22 to approve Senate Bill (SB) 956, a bill that would prohibit the transfer of COVID-19-positive patients to nursing homes and establish new regional locations for those patients. The bill would require the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to establish a regional hub in each of the state’s eight healthcare regions to accept patients who no longer require hospitalization but are not healthy enough to return home. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has an active work group looking into this policy, and the governor is expected to veto the bill once it reaches her desk. The MHA has not taken a position on SB 956.
The House Health Policy Committee held the first hearings July 22 on a package of bills to improve prescription drug transparency. House Health Policy Committee Chairman Rep. Hank Vaupel (R-Handy Twp.) was the lead in introducing House Bills (HBs) 5937-5945. The MHA provided testimony in support of HB 5942, which would prohibit a pharmacy or pharmacist from entering into a contract with a pharmacy benefit manager that interferes with a patient’s ability to receive prescriptions that are eligible for the 340B prescription drug program. The July 22 hearing was held only to receive testimony; however, the bills are a top priority for Vaupel and are expected to move quickly.
Members with questions on healthcare issues that are before the state Legislature may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.
Posted in: Member News