Prior Authorization Legislation Gets Senate Hearing

capitol building

MI Capitol BuildingMichigan’s House and Senate policy committees took up several bills impacting hospitals during the week of April 12. They addressed a bill making changes to prior authorization for healthcare services, a bill to expand scope of practice for certain mental health providers and a bill to schedule etizolam as a schedule 1 narcotic.

The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee took testimony on Senate Bill (SB) 247, introduced by Committee Chairman Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington). The bill would make changes to the prior authorization process for commercial insurers. Most notably, SB 247 would shorten the timeline for insurer approvals to five business days and require online publication of prior authorization policies and notices of any changes to those policies. The MHA submitted a memo in support of the legislation and will continue to keep members apprised as it progresses.

The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee voted to report SB 191 to the Senate floor. Also introduced by VanderWall, SB 191 would expand the mental health code to allow for more services to be delivered by physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners and certified clinical nurse specialists. The MHA supports the bill, which passed the Senate committee unanimously.

The House Health Policy Committee took testimony on House Bill (HB) 4089, which was introduced by Rep. Sue Allor (R-Wolverine). HB 4089 would schedule etizolam as a schedule 1 narcotic. Etizolam is a derivative of thienodiazepine and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medical use in the United States. The MHA has not taken a position on the bill.

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