Michigan Legislature Continues Work on Budget, Opioid Settlement Funds

capitol building

capitol buildingThe Michigan House Appropriations Committee reported out April 26 their budget recommendation for the fiscal year 2023 budget beginning Oct. 1. House Bill (HB) 5784 protects hospital priorities, including maintaining funding for the Healthy Michigan Plan, graduate medical education, disproportionate share hospitals, the rural access pool and obstetrical stabilization fund, and critical access hospital rates.

The committee recommendation also includes $264 million to expand capacity of behavioral health providers in Michigan. Of that appropriation, $85 million would be dedicated to enhancing state bed capacity for pediatric patients, $84 million would be provided to hospitals to expand various behavioral health programming, and the remainder would go toward other behavioral health care settings such as crisis stabilization units. In addition, the committee proposes increasing rates for Medicaid neonatal care services by 5%. The full House is expected to consider the committee proposals the week of May 2, and the MHA will keep members apprised of hospital budget priorities.

The full House of Representatives voted April 28 to support HBs 5968, 5969 and 5970, which would help guide Michigan’s use of new funding from the $26 billion national opioid settlement. This comes after the Senate passed identical legislation that was introduced as Senate Bills 993, 994 and 995. Either version of the bills could ultimately be sent to the governor’s desk for signature.

Michigan is estimated to receive $776 million from the settlement, and these legislative packages are intended to plan and prepare for the state to spend those funds wisely. The packages would create a new restricted fund for the state to house the settlement dollars, establish a new advisory commission appointed by the Legislature and governor to oversee spending, and prohibit future civil lawsuits related to claims covered by this fund. The MHA is currently working to identify treatment and prevention priorities for feedback on the spending of the funds and will keep members informed on the legislation’s progress.

Questions on these issues or other state legislation related to healthcare can be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.