Posted on June 08, 2017
The Legislature moved a step closer to completing work on the fiscal year (FY) 2018 state budget, as the Joint House and Senate Department for Health & Human Services (DHHS) Conference Committee approved the conference report. During the next two weeks, the conference report will be rolled into the larger omnibus bill with a series of other department budgets and approved by both the House and Senate before being sent to the governor’s desk for signature.
The FY 2018 budget fully protects the funding necessary to continue the Healthy Michigan Plan, $163 million in graduate medical education (GME) funding, the $11 million obstetrics stabilization fund, and the $36 million small or rural access pool.
In addition, the MHA successfully advocated for the removal of a 10 percent reduction to the traditional $45 million Medicaid disproportionate share hospital pool that was inserted into the House version of the budget bill during negotiations earlier this spring. This reduction would have saved only $1.6 million in state general funds, but would have reduced hospital funding by $4.5 million due to the loss of federal matching funds.
Boilerplate language tying state GME funding to hospital quality and safety reporting remains in the final version of the bill. However, thanks to the work of the MHA Advocacy team, the reporting requirement should be satisfied by data Michigan hospitals are already submitting to the MHA. The MHA takes the transparency issue very seriously and is working under the direction of the MHA Board of Trustees to make significant improvements to its voluntary transparency website, which will be rolled out later this year.
Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the MHA and member hospitals, this budget protects key healthcare priorities despite declining state revenue predictions and continued uncertainty related to federal efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The MHA encourages members to thank those lawmakers who showed themselves to be healthcare champions this budget year and to continue to engage them on other legislative matters that impact Michigan hospitals and the patients they serve. Contact information for all state elected officials is available online at the MHA’s Legislative Action Center.
Members with questions about the state budget or other advocacy issues should contact Chris Mitchell at the MHA.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare