Guardianship, Medical Laboratory Registry Bills Advance

capitol buildingSeveral bills impacting hospitals were acted upon during the week of June 20 while the governor and legislative leadership continued negotiations on the fiscal year 2023 state budget. In the Senate, legislation to create a new registry for certain specialized laboratories was advanced from committee. In the House, the Judiciary Committee reported the package of bills to regulate and license professional guardians to the House floor for further consideration.

The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee held further testimony on a bill to register certain medical laboratories in Michigan. Senate Bill (SB) 812, introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), would create a registry for interventional pain management, kidney access, and vascular laboratories. As currently written, SB 812 would not provide any form of oversight or clinical requirements for the registered labs, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services would not have authority to deny or remove registered labs from the list. The MHA has not taken a position on the bill but is closely monitoring the issue.

The House Judiciary Committee held its third and final hearing on the guardianship package, House Bills 4847, 4848, 4849 and 4850. The MHA has not taken an official position on the bills, but provided written testimony to the committee to voice concern on the potential impact to hospitals. The proposed legislation would significantly increase requirements on professional guardians and limit the number of individuals an uncertified guardian could represent. The MHA supports a strong guardianship program in which qualified individuals are available for incapacitated patients in need of a decision-maker, but remains concerned that hospitals will struggle to find guardians for some patients without increased funding. House Judiciary Committee members supported the package, which now moves to the House floor for further consideration. The MHA will continue to discuss potential solutions with the Legislature, including ways to increase opportunities for family members to assume decision-making authority in times of emergency.

Any questions or comments on this legislation may be directed to Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.