MDHHS Director Hertel Addresses MHA Legislative Policy Panel

elizabeth hertel

MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel provides a state update on the COVID-19 pandemic.The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened March 24 to develop recommendations for the MHA Board of Trustees on legislative initiatives impacting Michigan hospitals.

The meeting was highlighted by a presentation from Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel, who provided a statewide update related to the pandemic, including increasing COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations, as well as vaccine distribution. Hertel also discussed future MDHHS funding objectives and targets, which includes an increased focus on behavioral health.

Moving to action items, due to significant concerns regarding patient safety and regulatory structure, the panel recommended that the MHA oppose planned legislation that would create a Recovery Care Center license for a healthcare facility. With the new license, ambulatory surgery centers would be able to provide more invasive procedures by adding overnight rooms.

The panel also recommended that the MHA oppose House Bill 4355 as introduced, which would expand telehealth services by allowing out-of-state providers to deliver telehealth treatments to Michigan residents.

The panel received updates on issues at both the state and federal level. State level updates were provided on COVID-19 vaccination efforts, the Department of Insurance and Financial Services auto no-fault insurance fee schedule rules open comment period, state budget negotiations and House Bill 4359 that would modernize the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists. Federal updates focused on suspending the Medicare sequester and the recently enacted COVID-19 relief legislation known as the American Rescue Plan.

For more information on the MHA Legislative Policy Panel, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.