Bill to Codify Licensure Exemptions, Assist in Workforce Shortage Reported to Senate

Stephanie Duggan, MD, regional president, Ascension Northern Ministries.

The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee reported Senate Bill (SB) 759 to the Senate floor Dec. 2. Introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) and supported by the MHA, SB 759 would codify a provision that has given hospitals flexibility to appropriately respond to the pandemic; however, the provision is set to expire Jan. 11.

In March 2020, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Professional Licensing responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by activating its statutory authority to grant licensure exemptions “in a time of disaster,” given in the Public Health Code. This permits out-of-state providers who are in good standing and trained, educated and experienced to render medical care in Michigan without a Michigan license.

The MHA was joined by Stephanie Duggan, MD, regional president, Ascension Northern Ministries, and Doug Dascenzo, regional chief nursing officer, Trinity Michigan, to testify in committee on how imperative this flexibility has been in fighting the workforce shortage and providing the best patient outcomes during the fourth surge of COVID-19. SB 759 is expected to be taken up on the Senate floor the week of Dec. 6.

The MHA appreciates the collaborative work with the administration to codify this flexibility into law, which would allow hospitals and health systems to quickly and efficiently recruit out-of-state workers. Members with questions should contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.