e-Cigarette, Universal Credentialing, and Hospice Controlled Substance Prescribing Legislation Introduced in Michigan Legislature

The Michigan House and Senate Health Policy Committees, which are comprised of many newly elected legislators, have recently heard testimony and voted on some of the first legislation to be introduced in the 2019-2020 Michigan Legislature. Prior to this, early committee meetings consisted of informational hearings where different groups gave presentations and answered questions to educate committee members about their varied interests. 

Thus far into the new legislative session, many of the bills being considered in committee are reintroductions of legislation that failed to make it through the entire lawmaking process during the 2017-2018 legislative cycle. Among those bills are:

Senate Bill 106: While MAFP supports the intent of this legislation to prohibit minors' use of e-cigarettes and other vapor devices, we have concerns with the bill's definition and classification of these products as non-tobacco products. Failing to align Michigan statute with the FDA's definition and classification of e-cigarettes and other vapor devices as tobacco products would exempt them from the state's smokefree air laws and school-use prohibition. 

House Bill 4330: Under this legislation, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) would work with contracted health plans to create a universal credentialing process for Medicaid managed care providers. MAFP supports this measure, as it would streamline the credentialing process across payers, thus reducing the credentialing burden for physicians.

House Bills 4224-4225 and Senate Bills 127-128: These identical bill packages, which moved through their respective chamber's health policy committee on March 14, call for amending the bona fide patient-prescriber relationship to exempt hospice patients prescribed a controlled substance if and only if the prescriber evaluates the patient and queries MAPS at the time of the patient's intake into hospice.

Since the release of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal on March 5, House and Senate Department of Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittees have held meetings where department officials have presented on a variety of topics including Medicaid, foster care, long-term care, and aging services. Following each presentation, members of the public or advocacy groups are welcome to give testimony.

Throughout the budget process, MAFP Legislative Liaison Matt Black and Lobbyist Tabitha Zimny continue to advocate for priorities that invest in and increase access to primary care, such as the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program, Graduate Medical Education, and Healthy Michigan Plan. They are also educating lawmakers on the importance of increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care services to attract more primary care physicians to practice in Michigan. 

Each legislative chamber will release its own budget bill before the final state budget is passed by the end of June.