The release of the Michigan Senate and House Appropriations Health and Human Services Subcommittee budgets April 25 include broad investments in healthcare and specific investments advocated for by the MHA. The state budget is at a pivotal point in the process, as individual legislative chambers are releasing budget recommendations following the executive budget recommendation Feb. 8 by Gov. Whitmer. After the adoption of the legislative subcommittee budgets, the state House and Senate are expected to pass their individual chamber appropriations recommendations before preparing to negotiate a final conference budget. The MHA anticipates a negotiated budget passing in June.
The MHA advocated for the state to make a significant investment in maximizing Michigan’s federal Medicaid match. Each segment of the proposal presented a distinct opportunity to leverage federal funding in support of access to care and alleviating financial stresses on hospitals. Included in the proposal were increases in reimbursement for labor and delivery; inpatient psychiatric services; outpatient rates; and the creation of new funding to support Level I and II trauma centers. Overall, the MHA crafted a budget request that has the potential to produce significant funding investments in services that directly contribute to increased access to care for the state’s residents.
The Senate subcommittee responsible for the Department of Health and Human Services appropriations released their subcommittee budget with inclusion of approximately $40 million in funding to support Medicaid reimbursement increases in labor and delivery, inpatient psychiatric rates and outpatient services; and an additional $30 million in funding to support Level I and II trauma centers. Further, over $16 million in funding was allocated to MHA member hospitals to support opportunities for increasing access to behavioral health, rural access and capital improvements.
The House subcommittee included $60 million to support Level I and II trauma centers and $33 million to support an inpatient psychiatric reimbursement increase. In addition, the House included over $33 million to support MHA member hospital requests benefiting behavioral health, women’s health, pediatric access and capital improvements.
Both chambers also included significant funding to support the Gov. Whitmer’s Healthy Moms, Health Babies initiative. The legislature will now be tasked with combining their individual proposals into a cohesive final state budget. The MHA will continue advocating for increased Medicaid reimbursement as the budgets are consolidated, while supporting members in achieving success with individual priorities.
Questions on the budget can be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.
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During the week of March 13, the MHA provided testimony to both the Michigan House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and the House Health Policy Committee.
Laura Appel, executive vice president of Government Relations and Policy at the MHA, provided testimony Mar. 15 to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Appel provided an overview of the impact healthcare workforce challenges are having on state psychiatric care and the need for additional support.
“We share the frustration of families, caregivers and our colleagues at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services when state psychiatric beds go offline,” said Appel. “We appreciate the Governor’s proposed investments and understand there are many needs in our state – I hope the subcommittee will consider an investment in healthcare for our most vulnerable residents among the highest priorities.”
Adam Carlson, senior vice president of Advocacy at the MHA, provided testimony Mar. 16 to the House Health Policy Committee in support of House Bill (HB) 4224, introduced by Rep. Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo). HB 4224 would repeal the Medicaid work requirement law that was passed in 2018. That legislation would require Michigan’s Medicaid beneficiaries to report employment or evidence of their search for work in order to maintain coverage.
“Ensuring coverage and access for our lower-income community members improves the health and wellness of our state, while having a positive effect on securing and maintaining employment,” said Carlson.
Members with questions about workforce funding or other state legislative action may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.
The new session for the 102nd Michigan Legislature kicked off during the week of Jan. 9 with swearing in ceremonies in both the House and Senate. Michigan Democrats in the majority started the session by introducing legislation to repeal right to work, reinstate prevailing wage requirements and several other bills intended to provide tax relief for working families. Committee assignments were also released, giving the MHA and its member hospitals an opportunity to begin conversations with key lawmakers about 2023 legislative priorities.
Much like previous legislative sessions, both the House and Senate will feature standing committees for health policy and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget. However, the House also created a new committee focused on behavioral health to provide a greater focus on the growing issue. Additionally, the MHA will be tracking new standing committees on labor issues created in both the House and Senate.
The Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference convened Jan. 13 to revise revenue projections for the current fiscal year. Comprised of the House Fiscal Agency, the Senate Fiscal Agency and the Department of Treasury, their forecast calls for a year-over-year decrease of 1.1% in revenues from the 2021-22 fiscal year to 2022-23. For 2022-23, the General Fund is projected to decrease by $427.7 million year-over-year, with a forecasted total of $14.8 billion.
Included below is a comprehensive list of committee assignments that are particularly relevant for MHA members. If you have any questions about the new lawmakers in your district, committee assignments or other state legislation, please contact Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.
Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) (Chair).
Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo) (Vice Chair).
Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo) (Minority Vice Chair).
Thomas Albert (R-Lowell).
Rosemary Bayer (D-West Bloomfield).
Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton).
Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Township).
John Cherry (D-Flint).
John Damoose (R-Harbor Springs).
Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores).
Mark Huizenga (R-Walker).
Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor).
Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe).
Kristen McDonald-Rivet (D-Bay City).
Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak).
Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes).
Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit).
Sue Shink (D-Northfield).
Lana Theis (R-Brighton).
*Senate DHHS Appropriations Subcommittee will be chaired by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit).
Senate Health Policy
Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) (Chair).
Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) (Vice Chairs).
Michael Webber (R-Rochester Hills) (Minority Vice Chair).
John Cherry (D-Flint).
Erika Geiss (D-Taylor).
Roger Hauck (R-Mount Pleasant).
Mark Huizenga (R-Walker).
Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe).
Jim Runestad (R-White Lake).
Paul Wojno (D-Warren).
Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) (Chair).
Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw) (Vice Chair).
Sarah Lightner (R-Springport) (Minority Vice Chair).
Timothy Beson (R-Kawkawlin).
Ann Bollin (R-Brighton).
Ken Borton (R-Gaylord).
Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield).
Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township).
Cam Cavitt (R-Cheboygan).
Nancy DeBoer (R-Holland).
Alabas Farhat (D-Dearborn).
Andrew Fink (R-Hillsdale).
Phil Green (R-Millington).
Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids).
Thomas Kuhn (R-Troy).
Donovan McKinney (D-Detroit).
Jasper Martus (D-Flushing).
Denise Mentzer (D-Mount Clemens).
Jason Morgan (D-Ann Arbor).
Christine Morse (D-Texas Twp.).
Natalie Price (D-Berkeley).
Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton).
Bill G. Schuette (R-Midland).
Phil Skaggs (D-Grand Rapids).
Bradley Slagh (R-Zeeland).
Will Snyder (D-Muskegon).
Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills).
Donni Steele (R-Orion Township).
Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park).
Jimmie Wilson (D-Ypsilanti).
*House DHHS Subcommittee will be chaired by Rep. Christine Morse (D-Texas Twp.).
The Michigan House Appropriations Committee reported out April 26 their budget recommendation for the fiscal year 2023 budget beginning Oct. 1. House Bill (HB) 5784 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.
The committee recommendation also includes $264 million to expand capacity of behavioral health providers in Michigan. Of that appropriation, $85 million would be dedicated to enhancing state bed capacity for pediatric patients, $84 million would be provided to hospitals to expand various behavioral health programming, and the remainder would go toward other behavioral health care settings such as crisis stabilization units. In addition, the committee proposes increasing rates for Medicaid neonatal care services by 5%. The full House is expected to consider the committee proposals the week of May 2, and the MHA will keep members apprised of hospital budget priorities.
The full House of Representatives voted April 28 to support HBs 5968, 5969 and 5970, which would help guide Michigan’s use of new funding from the $26 billion national opioid settlement. This comes after the Senate passed identical legislation that was introduced as Senate Bills 993, 994 and 995. Either version of the bills could ultimately be sent to the governor’s desk for signature.
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 spending of the funds and will keep members informed on the legislation’s progress.
Questions on these issues or other state legislation related to healthcare can be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.
The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.
On behalf of Michigan hospitals and health systems, we commend the Michigan House Appropriations Committee for introducing House Bill 5523 that includes vital funding for healthcare workers who have spent the past 21 months responding to a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic. A healthcare workforce shortage existed prior to the pandemic and the pandemic has only made it worse. Today’s funding appropriation is a crucial step towards recognizing existing healthcare workers and providing hospitals with resources to improve recruitment and retention.
We also appreciate the additional funding priorities, including the creation of regional monoclonal antibody clinics, COVID-19 testing for schools and COVID-19 vaccine distribution. In particular, the infusion sites will improve accessibility for residents while reducing the burden placed on hospitals and their staff.
As this bill moves through the legislative process, we will continue to work with elected officials to express the importance of this funding to the healthcare workforce, who go to work every day to ensure our communities have access to care. Considering the current COVID-19 surge, this funding can’t come soon enough.