MAHP Deputy Director Addresses MHA Legislative Policy Panel
Posted on October 10, 2018
The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened its first meeting of the program year Oct. 4 and developed recommendations for the MHA Board of Trustees on legislative initiatives impacting Michigan hospitals. The meeting was highlighted by a special presentation from Jeffrey Romback, deputy director, Policy & Planning, Michigan Association of Health Plans (MAHP). Among the discussion topics were the nationwide view of balance billing, also known as “surprise billing,” and possible ways to prevent it, which is a common goal of the associations. Updates were also provided on the upcoming 2018 election, the Health PAC fundraising campaign and auto no-fault insurance reform.
The panel recommended that the MHA oppose Senate Bill 802 as introduced. The bill would require prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepine to be electronically transmitted to pharmacies beginning Jan. 1, 2020. While Michigan hospitals remain committed to fighting the opioid epidemic, the MHA would like concerns to be addressed that have been outlined by the physician and pharmacy community. Among those concerns are the management of electronic health records that are incompatible with retail software and prescriptions from neighboring states.
Continuing with the subject of opioids, the panel recommended that the MHA remain neutral on House Bill (HB) 6288, which would exempt prescribers from reviewing a Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) report for epilepsy and seizure disorder treatment medication. In addition, it recommended that the MHA oppose HB 6329. This bill would remove an MHA-supported exemption from the Michigan Public Health Code that negates the need for reviewing a MAPS report if a controlled substance is dispensed while the patient is admitted to a hospital or freestanding surgical outpatient facility. The recommendation was based on the observation that the delivery of such a prescription drug is for immediate use by lawful order of a prescriber, and the hospital is monitoring both the use of the medication and the patient in an inpatient setting; therefore, the controlled substance is not at risk for diversion by the patient.
Lastly, the panel discussed a legislative proposal known as the Kristina Garafalo Safe Driving Act. The proposal would require physicians to submit a confidential report to the secretary of state when a patient is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or dementia that impairs their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The secretary of state would then be authorized to revoke the person’s driving privileges. Although current Michigan law allows such a report to be filed, it is not mandated. Since the physician community would be the most impacted by this change, the panel deferred the proposal to the MHA Physicians in Healthcare Leadership Council for additional feedback before making a final recommendation. For more information, contact Paige Fults at the MHA.
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