MHA Members Testify Before Senate Committee on CRNA Legislation

capitol building

The Senate’s Health and Human Services Policy Committee addressed a pair of bills relevant to hospitals during the week of May 17. The committee took testimony on House Bill (HB) 4359, which would modernize the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). The committee also took up Senate Bill (SB) 440, which would remove certain positron emission tomography (PET) scanner services from Certificate of Need (CON) oversight.

Steve Barnett, president and CEO, McKenzie Health, and David Jahn, president and CEO, War Memorial Hospital, provided testimony May 20 to the committee in support of HB 4359. “This legislation will increase access to healthcare for Michigan residents. It will reduce costs for Michigan residents. It will permit CRNAs to practice to the full extent of what their license already provides for – and it will do all of this while maintaining every bit of patient safety,” said Jahn.

The MHA supports HB 4359 that, by modernizing the scope of practice for CRNAs, would allow flexibility for each hospital to choose the anesthesia care model that best fits its location, staffing and resources to offer safe and effective patient care. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Township), would also bring Michigan in line with 42 other states and the U.S. military on this issue. This change would eliminate a costly regulation while maintaining patient safety and would put into law a policy that has been allowed and proven effective during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current Michigan law requires a licensed physician of any specialty to supervise a CRNA to deliver anesthesia care.

The committee also voted to report SB 440, introduced by Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), to the Senate floor. The MHA supports Michigan’s existing CON process and is opposed to the bill that would, by removing certain full body PET scanner services from CON oversight, undermine the program that ensures high-quality, accessible, cost-effective care for patients in the state. The specific technology this bill seeks to address is expected to be before the CON Commission at its June meeting. The MHA will continue to monitor any action that is taken.

For more information on state legislation affecting healthcare, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.