MHA Legislative Policy Panel Meets During Active Lame-duck Session
Posted on December 07, 2018
The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened its last meeting of the year Dec. 6 to discuss legislative activity during the lame-duck session in progress and preview how the 2018 election outcome will impact healthcare policy in 2019.
The meeting kicked off with a special presentation from Kevin McFatridge, senior director, marketing and public relations, and Christin Nohner, director, state and federal government relations, of the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS). MSMS is pursuing a new effort in 2019 called the Health Can’t Wait initiative, which will look at ways stakeholders in Michigan’s healthcare and public policy communities can update the prior authorization process for both patients and physicians. Prior authorization can delay care unnecessarily, and patients who are blocked by prior authorization requirements often abandon treatment or prescriptions as a result.
The panel received an update on lame-duck activities as legislators wrap up work for 2018. MHA staff provided members with updates on the following measures:
- House Bills (HBs) 5217, 5218 and 5219, collectively referred to as the air ambulance bills, attempt to address balance billing practices and would establish medical service transportation protocols for situations where an air ambulance might be used. The MHA opposed the legislation as introduced, but was successful in advocating for amendments that will reduce the regulatory burden on hospitals, streamline patient care and mitigate liability in transporting nonemergency patients via air ambulance. The modified bills were approved by the Legislature and are now on their way to the governor’s desk for signature.
- Senate Bills 1245, 1246 and 1247 would allow law enforcement to access data in the Michigan Automated Prescription System for drug-related criminal investigations and evidentiary purposes. The MHA was successful in having several hospital-friendly amendments adopted to the bills prior to Senate passage Dec. 6. The House is expected to take up these bills during the lame-duck session.
- A fiscal year (FY) 2018 supplemental appropriation bill is expected to be approved in the final days of the lame-duck session. The MHA has pursued a $3 million appropriation to help bring funding for the state’s obstetrical stabilization fund and the small and rural access pool to the same level outlined in the FY 2019 state budget.
- While changes to auto no-fault insurance are always a possibility during lame duck, there has been no formal action taken up by either chamber at this point.
Legislative topics shaping up for consideration in 2019 were also discussed during the meeting. The panel opted to not take a position on HB 5450, which would shorten the time period for individuals who are convicted of specific felonies or misdemeanors and are ineligible for employment in certain healthcare facilities. Panel members wanted more time to hold discussions internally about the potential impact the measure could have on their workforces. For more information, contact Chris Mitchell at the MHA.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Top Issues - Healthcare