Legislature Passes State Budget That Protects Healthcare Funding

capitol building

Michigan CapitolThe Michigan Legislature approved Sept. 22 the fiscal year (FY) 2022 state budget. The governor has indicated support for the budget that goes into effect Oct. 1, and the agreement protects vital funding sources for patient care in Michigan hospitals and expands access to healthcare services. The MHA published a statement on the passage of the budget Sept. 22.

Specifically, the budget reflects the protection or enhancement of many MHA priorities:

  • Continues enhanced outpatient Medicaid rates. For FY 2022, the increase in rates is projected to result in the continuation of funding that translates to $270 million in net revenue for hospitals.
  • Protects funding for the rural access pool and obstetrical stabilization fund.
  • Continues to maintain funding for disproportionate share hospitals (DSH) and graduate medical education (GME), pursuant to the MHA board-supported multiyear budget agreement.
  • Fully funds the Healthy Michigan Plan.
  • Continues the additional $2.35 hourly wage increase for direct care workers at skilled nursing facilities and enhanced reimbursement for ground ambulance services to reimburse at 100% of the Medicare rate.
  • Continues expanded Medicaid coverage for women up to 12 months postpartum.
  • Adds $3 million in new funding to set up a statewide system of care for stroke and ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) emergencies within the existing statewide trauma system.

In addition, nearly $10 billion in state and federal funding is still available that will be allocated through a supplemental budget process. The MHA will advocate the state use portions of the funding to address the association’s behavioral health priorities and workforce issues.

Members with questions on the state budget may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

MHA Provides Testimony in Senate on Newly Introduced Legislation

dr chebl

Alex Chebl, MD, director of the Henry Ford Stroke Center and head of the Division of Vascular Neurology at Henry Ford Health SystemThe Michigan Legislature addressed several bills impacting hospitals during the week of June 7, including legislation that would create new statewide systems of care for two time-sensitive emergency medical conditions, modernize scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), and remove certain positron emission tomography (PET) scanner services from the Certificate of Need (CON) program.

The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee took initial testimony on Senate Bill (SB) 521, introduced by Sen. John Bizon, MD (R-Battle Creek). SB 521 would direct the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to create accreditation levels for hospitals that would indicate their ability to treat patients experiencing a stroke or ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI). Alex Chebl, MD, director of the Henry Ford Stroke Center and head of the Division of Vascular Neurology at Henry Ford Health System, joined the MHA to provide testimony to the committee supporting this potentially lifesaving legislation. “It is critical all patients throughout the state have access to the best stroke care possible. SB 521 is an essential step to improving the quality of stroke care in the state of Michigan.” said Chebl.

The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee also addressed House Bill (HB) 4359, introduced by Rep. Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Twp.). The bill would modernize the scope of practice for CRNAs, who are currently required by the state of Michigan to be supervised by a licensed physician of any specialty when delivering anesthesia care. The MHA supports HB 4359, which would bring Michigan in line with 42 other states and the U.S. military to provide flexibility regarding the physician supervision requirement. The committee reported HB 4359 to the Senate floor, where it awaits a vote.

The full Senate voted on SB 416, which was introduced by Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) and would ensure that Canadian health professionals who have previously taken relevant medical exams could apply for Michigan licensure. SB 416 is a clarification of MHA-supported legislation passed last session that provided licensure reciprocity to Canadian health professionals who want to work in Michigan. SB 416 will now be sent to the House Health Policy Committee for further action.

The House voted on SB 440, which would remove certain PET scanner services from CON oversight. SB 440 was introduced by Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) and would remove a specific technology from CON regulation that is expected to be before the CON commission June 17. The MHA opposed SB 440, which undermines the CON process that ensures high-quality, accessible, cost-effective care for Michigan patients. The House approved the legislation, which will now go to the governor’s desk for final signature.

Members with questions on any of this legislation should contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.