State House, Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Hospital Priorities

Hattam Schiffman

Marita Hattem-Schiffman, central region president for the MidMichigan Health SystemThe Michigan House Appropriations Committee reported out House Bill 4420 (H-3) April 29 and included two of the MHA’s top health funding priorities. If it becomes law, the legislation will appropriate $100 million to create a competitive grant program to increase the number of long-term pediatric psychiatric inpatient hospitals or centers. It would also appropriate $15 million to create a competitive grant program for infrastructure investments to improve behavioral healthcare provided through hospital emergency departments.

Marita Hattem-Schiffman, central region president for the MidMichigan Health System, testified at the committee hearing that the investment “in behavioral health with COVID-19 recovery funds — $100 million for pediatric behavioral health and $15 million to improve behavioral health treatment in Emergency Departments — is an excellent start toward creating the sustainable services these vulnerable patients need and deserve.” Hattem-Schiffman gave examples of the infrastructure costs of creating and maintaining behavioral health facility spaces and the enhanced need for behavioral healthcare due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full House of Representatives is expected to consider the legislation in the coming weeks as state budget negotiations continue. For more information about MHA behavioral health initiatives, contact Laura Appel at the MHA.

The Senate Appropriations Committee April 28 approved Senate Bill 36, which included a separate MHA priority of $160 million in COVID-19 relief funding for hospitals as they continue to respond to the pandemic. The MHA supports this funding, which will assist hospitals in maintaining the resources they need to improve the health of Michigan citizens. Members with questions may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.