The 2022 lame-duck session in the legislature got off to a slow start in the Senate during the week of Nov. 28. Several bills impacting hospitals saw unsuccessful votes on the floor, including legislation to make changes to the operation of the 340B drug pricing program and a package to integrate behavioral and physical health for state regulated insurance plans.
The 340B legislation, Senate Bill (SB) 1088, threatened to strike important protectionist language that was secured in Public Act 12 of 2022. That bill signed into law in February prohibits a pharmaceutical manufacturer from requiring the use of a modifier on non-Medicaid claims, protecting 340B entities from industry implemented administrative hurdles. Removing this language would negatively impact the communities served by Michigan 340B hospitals. The MHA and its member hospitals have been working hard to advocate to elected officials the importance of the program. SB 1088 was introduced as a vehicle bill by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) and was discharged and substituted on the floor before voting. The vote on SB 1088 on Nov. 29 ultimately failed twice on the floor and it is not clear if the legislation will be considered again. The MHA will continue to oppose SB 1088 and other threats to the 340B program.
SB 597 and 598, the Senate’s behavioral health integration package, also did not find the votes to pass on the floor. Introduced by Sen. Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Jackson) and Sen. John Bizon (R-Battle Creek), the package would create new specialty integrated plans (SIPs) that would replace the current prepaid inpatient health plans (PIHPs) and contract with each community mental health (CMH) services program to deliver physical and behavioral health services to Michigan’s Medicaid population. The bills would also eliminate language requiring CMH entities to coordinate substance use disorder (SUD) and school based behavioral health services and create a new statewide ombudsman.
The Senate’s Health Policy and Human Services Committee also met to advance several bills to the floor for a potential vote in the final days of session. Among those bills was House Bill (HB) 6086, introduced by Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R-Richmond). HB 6086 would establish an alternate licensure process for paramedics in Michigan. HB 6086 would require the state to develop a new Michigan-specific certification course, separate from the currently required course from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. The MHA is opposed to HB 6086, which could have implications for a paramedic’s ability to work in multiple states. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certification is currently used in 48 states and is required for all newly licensed paramedics in Michigan.
The MHA will continue to monitor all these bills for any further action in the coming weeks. Members with questions about these issues or other state legislation related to healthcare can be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.