House Health Policy Committee Chair Addresses Legislative Policy Panel
Posted on March 23, 2018
The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened its third meeting of the program year March 15 and developed recommendations for the MHA Board of Trustees on legislative initiatives impacting Michigan hospitals. The meeting was highlighted by a special presentation from Chair of the House Health Policy Committee Rep. Hank Vaupel (R-Handy Twp). He discussed his leadership role in the bipartisan House CARES (Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety) Task Force that gathered information to develop legislation to reform and improve mental health services, as well as his interest in two committee action items — drug pricing transparency and violence against healthcare workers. Panel members also received an update on the state budget, auto no-fault insurance reform, life-sustaining treatment consent and the 2018 Health PAC fundraising campaign kickoff.
The panel recommended that the MHA support House Bill (HB) 5223, which would require drug manufacturers to file detailed reports with a state agency on the costs associated with developing and marketing expensive prescription drugs. The panel supports the bill because consumer price transparency helps patients make more informed healthcare decisions.
The panel discussed expanding the concept of the MHA-supported Senate Bill (SB) 33. This bill would impose felony charges against any individual who assaults emergency room personnel while performing their duties. It would align these professionals with other first responders who are protected in current law, such as police officers, firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians. While the MHA will continue to support SB 33, the panel recommended the MHA pursue alternative legislation to ensure that all hospital employees, directly or indirectly involved in patient care, receive the same protections from assault as other front-line responders.
The panel also recommended that the MHA oppose SB 633 as introduced. This bill requires entities that collect and store personal identifying information in a computerized database to store that information in encrypted form. SB 633 would also require that these entites affected by an electronic data breach notify financial institutions within a three-day period; failure to do so could result in civil action. While it seems that the intent of the legislation was directed at the retail industry, the healthcare community would have to comply with the standards. Hospitals are subject to regulatory requirements like the Healthcare Insurance Protection and Accessibility Act relating to electronic healthcare data privacy and security on the federal level. It could be problematic to manage and comply with overlapping or conflicting state and federal requirements. For more information, contact Chris Mitchell at the MHA.
Photo Caption: Michigan House Health Policy Committee Chair Rep. Hank Vaupel (R-Handy Twp) addresses the MHA Legislative Policy Panel.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare