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.

Webinar Reviews CMS CoPs on Telemedicine Standards

Significant changes were recently made to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (CoPs) regarding regulatory standards of telemedicine because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These standards, along with 1135 telemedicine waivers and new tag numbers assigned for critical access hospitals in 2020 and 2021, have impacted how medical staff must document services provided to patients.

The MHA Health Foundation webinar CMS CoPs and The Joint Commission Standards, Credentialing and Privileging will review regulations and CMS interpretive guidelines that are part of hospital CoPs on telemedicine credentialing, what hospitals must include in telemedicine contracts to maintain compliance, and more.

The webinar is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon March 22. MHA members can register for a connection fee of $200. Members with questions should contact Erica Leyko at the MHA.

Register Now for CMS Conditions of Participation Webinar

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (CoPs) recently made significant changes to regulatory standards of telemedicine because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These standards, along with 1135 telemedicine waivers and new tag numbers for critical access hospitals will be reviewed in The MHA Health Foundation webinar CMS Hospital CoPs and TJC Telemedicine Standards, Credentialing and Privileging as well as CMS interpretive guidelines that are part of hospital CoPs telemedicine credentialing.

Members can register for a $200 connection fee. Members with questions should contact Erica Leyko at the MHA.

Webinar to Discuss Changes to CMS Requirements

In November 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation made significant changes to the transparency bill, discharge planning and hospital improvement rule related to medical staff. More than 2,180 deficiencies were identified by the CMS related to the medical staff section, demonstrating the level of misunderstanding of the rules.

CMS has also recently made several changes to regulatory standards of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. These standards, along with 1135 telemedicine waivers, and new tag numbers for critical access hospitals in 2020 and 2021, have impacted how medical staff must document services provided to patients.

The MHA Health Foundation webinar Medical Staff, Telemedicine and Other Changes to CMS Requirements will review many CMS requirements directly related to medical staff and telemedicine requirements.

The webinar is scheduled from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Aug. 31 and MHA members can register for a connection fee of $195. Members with questions should contact Erica Leyko at the MHA.

June 3 Webinar in Leadership Series Explores Diversity

The MHA webinar series on leadership approaches to assist with post-pandemic strategic planning continues June 3 from noon to 1 p.m. with the webinar titled Diversity and Inclusion featuring Kim Blue, the global head of People Experience Partners at Zoom. Blue will describe how to create and execute organizational diversity and inclusion strategies based on her experience with Zoom, ESPN and Microsoft. Whether she is consulting one-on-one or leading training for hundreds of people, Blue coaches people to step beyond the shore of diversity and really explore the ocean that is inclusion.

On April 29, the series kicks-off with the webinar Technology Post-COVID-19: Technology, Telemedicine, Hospital at Home and Expansion of Technology, and the series continues through August with future topics on supply chain, resilience and emotional well-being, and rural healthcare delivery. Each session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. By attending the webinar series offered by the MHA, participants may earn up to one ACHE Qualified Education Hour per session toward initial certification or recertification of the Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) designation.

Members can register for a single webinar for $50 or all five webinars at a discounted rate of $200. A health system can register for an unlimited number of logins for a single webinar for a flat-rate fee of $200 or register for an unlimited number of logins for all five webinars at a flat-rate fee of $750. Questions about the webinar series should be directed to Erin Steward at the MHA.