Governor Signs Supplemental Hospital Funding into Law

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a supplemental budget bill July 26, appropriating $160 million in funding for Michigan hospitals that is intended to account for the cost of treating COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic. Senate Bill (SB) 27, introduced by Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), was passed by the Legislature earlier in July and supported by the MHA.

The press release announcing the bill’s signing quoted MHA CEO Brian Peters, who said, “Michigan hospitals have experienced significant financial hardships while caring for over 125,000 COVID-19 patients over the past 16 months of the pandemic. We want to thank our partners in the Legislature and Gov. Whitmer for passing this supplemental allocation that will help hospitals maintain access to care for Michigan residents throughout our state.”

The MHA will continue to work with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on the distribution of the funding. Any questions on SB 27 or other budget-related issues can be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.

Hospital Funding Approved, CRNA Legislation Signed into Law

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Michigan Capitol BuildingSenate Bill (SB) 27, a supplemental budget bill containing funding for $160 million of COVID-19 relief for Michigan hospitals which accounts for the cost of treating COVID-19 patients, was passed in the Senate and is being sent to the governor for signature. The MHA will work with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on the distribution of the funding. The association will keep members apprised of further action on this bill or other supplemental appropriations that impact hospitals.

In addition, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law July 13 MHA-supported legislation modernizing the scope of practice for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) as Public Act 53 of 2021. Introduced as House Bill 4359 by Rep. Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Township), the new law will allow flexibility for each hospital to choose the anesthesia care model that best fits its location, staffing and resources to offer safe and effective patient care by eliminating the state requirement that a CRNA must work under direct physician supervision.

This change has long been an MHA priority and will eliminate a costly regulation for hospitals while maintaining patient safety. The MHA worked diligently with other stakeholders representing provider groups as the bill was negotiated. The Michigan State Medical Society was neutral on the final version of the legislation signed by the governor, which includes a provision maintaining physician input on patient care and patient-centered care teams.

The MHA testified in support of the legislation in both the House and Senate and applauds the work of both chambers and the governor in passing the law.

The new law, which is set to take effect Oct. 11, brings Michigan in line with 42 other states and the U.S. military. To fully implement the law, the governor must submit a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to formally exercise the exemption from the federal supervision requirement for CRNAs once the federal declaration of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic ends. The MHA will urge the governor to perform this final action when appropriate.

Questions on the budget or the new rules for CRNAs in Michigan can be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.