Essential Health Provider Loan Repayment Program Bills Advanced to Governor

capitol building

capitol buildingThe Michigan Legislature addressed several bills impacting hospitals during the week of March 7. A pair of bills to expand the Essential Health Provider Loan Repayment Program and extend the Physician Licensure Compact (PLC) were sent to the governor’s desk for signature. In the Senate, action was taken on a bill to create new high school opioid education curriculum and a bill to make changes to non-opioid directives.

The bills to expand the Essential Health Provider Loan Repayment Program were approved by the Senate March 8. Senate Bills (SBs) 246 and 435 were introduced by Sens. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) and Michael MacDonald (R-Macomb Township) and supported by the MHA. SB 246 would expand the total allowable loan repayment from $200,000 to $300,000 for 10 years of service in a health resource shortage area. SB 435 would make mental health professionals eligible for the program and extend the sunset on the PLC for another 3 years. The bills now head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for signature into law.

The full Senate sent another MHA-supported bill to the governor’s desk March 10. House Bill 5261 would create specific exemptions for providers to administer opioids to a patient who has an active non-opioid directive form if the medications are provided during a surgical operation or the provider deems the opioids medically necessary. The bill was introduced by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) and now awaits the governor’s signature.

In the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee, testimony was taken on a bill to require the state to adopt a 9th grade opioid education curriculum. Introduced as SB 107 by Sen. Michael MacDonald (R-Macomb Township), the curriculum would include a video developed or adopted by the Michigan Department of Education. The MHA supports the bill and will update members on additional action taken.

Members with questions on state legislation related to healthcare may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.