Licensing and Regulatory Updates

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) recently published updated rules related to hospitals. Those updates include the following:

  • Final EMS Life Support Agencies and Medical Control Rule: The final rule, effective May 19, 2023, discontinues the Certificate of Need of air ambulance services and updates the medical care requirements for air ambulance services.
  • Final Center Fill Pharmacies Rule: The final rule, effective May 19, 2023, updates record timelines for keeping prescriptions on file and defining central fill and shared pharmacy services.
  • Draft Board of Nursing – General Rules: The latest Board of Nursing draft rules address the NCLEX examination, clarify nursing education program requirements and continuing education, and modify the nurse professional fund scholarship program requirements.

Members with questions should contact Renée Smiddy at the MHA.

State Budget Advances to Governor’s Desk

capitol building

capitol buildingThe fiscal year (FY) 2023 state budget bills were approved by the Michigan Legislature July 1. House Bill (HB) 5783 and Senate Bill (SB) 845, which provide for the FY 2023 budget, now go to the governor’s desk for final review and signature into law.

In a statement released July 1, MHA CEO Brian Peters said, “The fiscal year 2023 state budget approved by the Michigan Legislature provides necessary resources to assist hospitals and health systems in advancing the health of individuals and communities throughout our state. We appreciate the work and consideration placed by lawmakers that continues to protect hospital priorities.”

These priorities include maintaining funding for the Healthy Michigan Plan, graduate medical education of physician residents, disproportionate share hospitals that treat the highest numbers of uninsured and underinsured patients, the rural access pool and obstetrical stabilization fund, and critical access hospital reimbursement rates, all of which support access to healthcare services in rural areas. Each of these areas are instrumental in keeping hospitals financially secure, particularly in areas serving vulnerable and underserved populations.

The budget also supports MHA and hospital priorities with new funding to improve and enhance state behavioral health facility capacity and address the healthcare workforce. Michigan lacks adequate capacity to treat patients with behavioral and mental illness, and this new funding is an important and necessary step to address the shortage. The investment of state funds to expand access to Bachelor of Science in nursing degree programs at the state’s community colleges is a significant movement toward replenishing Michigan’s healthcare talent pipeline.

In other action, the House of Representatives supported legislation to create an opt-out grant program for hospitals to establish medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders in their emergency departments. SB 579, introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), now returns to the Senate for a final concurrence vote before it is sent for the governor’s signature. Hospitals provided MAT programs prior to introduction of the bill, and the MHA has already partnered with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to implement the first round of grants provided under this legislation. No hospitals would be required to participate in the program.

The full Senate advanced to the House of Representatives a bill to register certain medical laboratories in Michigan. SB 812, also introduced by VanderWall, 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 MDHHS 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 any changes.

Finally, a bill related to telemedicine was introduced in the Senate. SB 1135, introduced by Sen. Mike MacDonald (R-Macomb Township), would amend the state’s Social Welfare Act to ensure that recent expansions in telehealth visit coverage also apply to the Medicaid Medical Assistance Program and Healthy Michigan Program. The bill would specify that recipients are covered equally for telehealth visits, expand the “distant site” definition, and ensure that providers are reimbursed at an equal rate to in-person services. The MHA is reviewing the legislation and has not yet taken a position on the bill. The association will keep members apprised of future action.

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

MHA Integral in Development of New BSN Proposal

The MHA, the Michigan Community College Association, Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities and the Michigan Association of State Universities released June 1 a collaborative proposal to invest state funds in expanding access to bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree programs to the state’s 28 community college campuses. The proposal, which aims to allocate $56 million to eligible community colleges that partner with a four-year institution, will increase access to BSN degree programs, especially in rural communities and areas of the state currently lacking a four-year degree granting institution.

The MHA supports the proposal since the investment should help address the talent pipeline for nurses and improve overall hospital nursing across Michigan. Increasing access to programs throughout the state and creating opportunities for those programs to be more affordable will have a direct, positive impact on the nursing workforce.

“Staffing shortages are impacting Michigan hospitals throughout the state, particularly in the areas of nursing,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters in the press release. “This plan will help us get more highly skilled professionals into the field quickly and increase access to nursing education in more communities across the state.”

Also supporting the proposal are the Michigan Works! Association, Michigan Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Michigan Council of Nursing Education Administrators. Media coverage of the announcement includes a story from WWMT-TV in Grand Rapids.

Questions on the proposal can be directed to Elizabeth Kutter at the MHA.

MHA Monday Report April 4, 2022

MHA Monday Report

capitol buildingGovernor Signs Broadband Funding Bill

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a $4.7 billion supplemental appropriations bill into law March 30. Senate Bill 565, introduced by Sen. Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo), will provide supplemental appropriations to implement a statewide broadband program. …

New Website to Help Providers Boost Childhood Vaccination

Healthcare providers have unique opportunities to increase the number of children who are up to date with childhood vaccinations to keep them safe from a multitude of diseases. Motivated by that fact, the I Vaccinate initiative has launched a new provider toolkit website to …

Cybersecurity Cannot Be Overlooked

During a time of major workforce shortages and operational challenges, staff who have the expertise to oversee cybersecurity are mostly reacting to threats instead of proactively managing risks from employees, technology, processes and third-party vendors. …

Strengthening Nursing Workforce Using Virtual Tools

Nursing leaders are continuously thinking about the nursing workforce. Once a nursing student lands on the unit floor, nurse educators must mentor them to handle such patient care challenges as why a patient might be frustrated or barriers he or she will encounter as they are caring for patients. …

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEOMHA CEO Report — Change to Our Behavioral Health System Can’t Wait

MHA CEO Brian Peters focuses on Michigan’s behavioral health system and shares MHA-recommended solutions.

Paul KeckleyThe Keckley Report

President Biden’s FY2022 Budget: The Numbers Don’t Add Up

“Amidst media attention to Russia’s month-long invasion of the Ukraine, the emergence of the new BA-2 Omicron variant and inflation which has sent consumer sentiment to an 11-year low, attention shifts to the 74-page White House Fiscal Year 2022 Budget …

“What’s also notable about this budget is the importance of healthcare in the federal budget: federal funding for Medicare and Medicaid are forecast to grow faster than overall Federal receipts.”

Paul Keckley, March 28, 2022

MHA in the News

The MHA received media coverage since March 25 on hospital and nursing workforce challenges and legislation that assists independent hospitals.