Senate Bills (SBs) 530 and 531 were introduced Sept. 26 by Sen. Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Twp.) and Sen. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) that would adjust the hospital fee schedule, clarify the definition of Medicare and provide rate certainty for post-acute care providers. Specifically, the legislation would eliminate the various rate tiers for reimbursement and coalesce hospitals around the national median reimbursement rate of 250% of Medicare. Additionally, the legislation clarifies the definition of Medicare based upon actual reimbursement experience at hospitals. The MHA issued a media statement in support of the legislation, which also creates fee schedules for post-acute care providers and adjusts the provisions related to attendant care. The legislation is referred to the Senate Insurance Committee and the MHA will keep members updated on its progress.
The legislature continued its breakneck pace this week with numerous healthcare bills seeing both committee action.
The Senate Finance, Insurance and Consumer Protection Committee voted out SBs 483, 484 and 485 sponsored by Sen. Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton), Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe) and Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City). The legislation, creating the Prescription Drug Affordability Board, was reported along party lines with Senator Mark Huizenga (R-Walker) passing based on a potential conflict of interest. The MHA continues to work with the sponsors, stakeholder, and leadership on this legislation to ensure it accurately reflects the important role hospitals serve as purchasers and administrators of prescription drugs. The MHA is opposed to the package as it is currently written.
The Senate Health Policy Committee took up SB 133, sponsored by Sen. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo), which creates the Overdose Fatality Review Act. The act would allow for the establishment of overdose fatality review teams to identify potential causes of drug overdoses, as well as recommend solutions to address drug overdoses. The MHA successfully recommended changes to reflect more appropriate information sharing practices and timelines and supports this legislation. In addition, the committee reported out House Bills (HBs) 4619, 4620, 4621, 4622 and 4623, codifying aspects of the Affordable Care Act in state law. The MHA supports this work.
The House Insurance and Financial Services Committee took up several of the Affordable Care Act codification bills including SBs 356, 357 and 358 sponsored by Sen. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores), Sen. Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Twp.) and Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe). Both SBs 356 and 357 failed to garner enough votes in committee to be voted out of committee. SB 358 was reported to the House Floor. The MHA supports this legislation and looks forward to seeing the remaining bills reported favorably to the House floor next week.
Finally, the House Health Policy Committee took testimony on two pieces of MHA supported legislation. HB 4101, sponsored by Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), would allow for the issuance and extended renewal period of a temporary license for individuals completing their required supervised clinical hours as a speech language pathologist (SLP). Extending the timeline for supervised clinical hour completion will deter new graduates from leaving the state to complete their supervised hours and will assist in the retention of SLPs in Michigan.
SB 384, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores), prohibits a disability insurer, long term care insurer or life insurer from discriminating against an individual based on their status as a living organ donor. Individuals who choose to be a living organ donor must meet stringent requirements and many of those who do donate continue to live similarly healthy lives post donation. However, the possibility of discrimination could deter individuals from choosing to be a living donor and therefore limiting access to organs for those most in need. Prohibiting discrimination based on living donor status could increase organ availability, ultimately supporting opportunities for individuals in need of an organ transplant.
Members with questions about state legislative action may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.