Jase Bolger Addresses Legislative Policy Panel

Former State House Speaker Jase Bolger addresses members of the MHA Legislative Policy Panel.

The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened May 25 to develop recommendations for the MHA Board of Trustees on legislative initiatives impacting Michigan hospitals.

The meeting was highlighted by a presentation from former State House Speaker Jase Bolger on the Michigan Legislative Term Limits and Financial Disclosure Amendment, which is on the November ballot as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. The initiative is a bipartisan effort that would change Michigan’s term limits and require financial disclosure from lawmakers. The proposed constitutional amendment would change term limits for state legislators from three two-year terms in the state House and two four-year terms in the state Senate to 12 combined years in the Legislature. It would also require state legislative and executive officials to file annual financial disclosure reports on their income, assets, liabilities, gifts from lobbyists, positions held in certain organizations and agreements on future employment.

Moving to action items, the panel recommended supporting Senate Bill (SB) 680, which would create a new section of the public health code to license and regulate supplemental nursing services agencies. The panel also recommended the MHA remain neutral on SB 812 that would create a registry of certain types of specialized laboratories in Michigan. Lastly, the panel recommended the MHA support House Bill 5477, which would establish kratom as a Schedule II substance and regulate the sale and distribution of the product.

In addition, the panel received updates on other issues at the state level, including the state fiscal year 2023 budget and potential legislation on the 340B drug pricing program.

For more information on the MHA Legislative Policy Panel, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

MDHHS Director Hertel Addresses MHA Legislative Policy Panel

elizabeth hertel

MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel provides a state update on the COVID-19 pandemic.The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened March 24 to develop recommendations for the MHA Board of Trustees on legislative initiatives impacting Michigan hospitals.

The meeting was highlighted by a presentation from Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel, who provided a statewide update related to the pandemic, including increasing COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations, as well as vaccine distribution. Hertel also discussed future MDHHS funding objectives and targets, which includes an increased focus on behavioral health.

Moving to action items, due to significant concerns regarding patient safety and regulatory structure, the panel recommended that the MHA oppose planned legislation that would create a Recovery Care Center license for a healthcare facility. With the new license, ambulatory surgery centers would be able to provide more invasive procedures by adding overnight rooms.

The panel also recommended that the MHA oppose House Bill 4355 as introduced, which would expand telehealth services by allowing out-of-state providers to deliver telehealth treatments to Michigan residents.

The panel received updates on issues at both the state and federal level. State level updates were provided on COVID-19 vaccination efforts, the Department of Insurance and Financial Services auto no-fault insurance fee schedule rules open comment period, state budget negotiations and House Bill 4359 that would modernize the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists. Federal updates focused on suspending the Medicare sequester and the recently enacted COVID-19 relief legislation known as the American Rescue Plan.

For more information on the MHA Legislative Policy Panel, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

Sen. Jim Stamas Addresses MHA Legislative Policy Panel

Sen. Jim Stamas

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland) discusses legislative efforts during the MHA Legislative Policy Panel.The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened Jan. 20 to develop recommendations for the MHA Board of Trustees on legislative initiatives impacting Michigan hospitals.

The meeting was highlighted by a presentation from Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), who discussed legislative efforts to put into statute that a “patient advocate” may be allowed to visit hospitals and nursing homes, with certain limitations.

The MHA is awaiting a draft of the legislation, which will be shared with members of the panel once it is available. The association will focus on ensuring bill language incorporates a virtual component and the ability of hospitals to maintain local control on who enters a hospital and the way they do so.

Moving to action items, the panel recommended that the MHA support the grant opt-out program for Emergency Department-based Medication-assisted Treatment as a first step. The proposed program will be operated by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the MHA Keystone Center and the Michigan Opioid Partnership. The program would feature a tiered funding model offering grants of $100,000 and $200,000 for enrolled hospitals, depending on the number of overdoses treated per year.

The panel also recommended that the MHA support creating statewide systems of care for stroke and heart attack patients if it maintains voluntary designation. This will incorporate stroke and heart attack systems into the existing statewide trauma system.

The panel also received updates about COVID-19 vaccination efforts, health equity, a recap of lame-duck legislative activities at the state level and a federal update focusing on the No Surprises Act, which addresses balance billing.

For more information on the MHA Legislative Policy Panel, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

State Department of Health and Human Services Addresses MHA Legislative Policy Panel

Steve Barnett

The MHA Legislative Policy Panel’s virtual meeting was led by Chair Steve Barnett, president and CEO, McKenzie Health System.The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened its first meeting of the program year virtually Sept. 23 to develop recommendations for the MHA Board of Trustees on legislative initiatives impacting Michigan hospitals.

The meeting was highlighted by a presentation from Andrea Taverna, senior adviser on opioid strategy, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Taverna discussed the Michigan Opioid Task Force’s opioid package, including proposed legislation to implement emergency department (ED)-based medication assisted treatment (MAT) statewide. The panel recommended the MHA oppose the proposed legislation as written because of its mandatory nature and the belief that the decision to offer ED-based MAT should be made on the local level. The MHA will collect feedback from members and continue to work with the MDHHS to convey concerns regarding the mandate and offer a voluntary community-based approach where individual hospitals would make the determination on the local level.

Following that discussion, the MHA provided updates on COVID-19 efforts, the state fiscal year 2021 budget, expected activities during the Legislature’s lame-duck session and the upcoming 2020 election.

For more information on the MHA Legislative Policy Panel, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.