Senate Moves Appropriations Subcommittee Budgets and Advances Opioid Settlement Legislation

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capitol buildingThe Michigan Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services reported out April 20 their budget recommendation for the fiscal year 2023 budget beginning Oct. 1. Senate Bill 828 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. In addition, the subcommittee proposes increasing rates for primary care services to 95% of Medicare reimbursement for those services for an additional $94 million per year. The Michigan Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Licensing and Regulatory Affairs also reported their budget recommendation and included a key MHA priority that would fund an office dedicated to expanding the number of foreign-born healthcare workers in Michigan. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the subcommittee proposals the week of April 25 and the MHA will keep members apprised of hospital budget priorities.

The full Michigan Senate voted April 21 to support Senate Bills 993, 994 and 995, which would help guide Michigan’s use of new funding from the $26 billion national opioid settlement. The bills now head to the House, where identical legislation was introduced as House Bills 5968, 5969 and 5970.

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 legislation and will continue to monitor any progress.

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