House Health Policy Committee Considers Technical Legislative Fixes

On March 15, the House Health Policy Committee considered and passed Senate Bill 213, introduced by Senator Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford), which provides a fix to Senate Bill 753 that was signed by Governor Snyder late last year.

Under the original bill, SB 753, which more specifically defines telehealth services in the Michigan Public Health Code, the prescribing of controlled substances via telehealth would be prohibited. Recognizing that this restriction would be of particular consequence to the behavioral health provider community, particularly in rural areas, a fix was proposed to permit the prescribing of controlled substances as a telehealth service. The bill also directs the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to promulgate rules in conjunction with the Board of Medicine implementing the provisions of the bill. SB 213 is likely to see swift passage in the House and the Governor's approval by the end of the month.

The House Health Policy Committee also considered a technical fix to House Bill 5400 (PA 499), signed into law earlier this year, providing for statutory definition around Advanced Practice Registered Nurse licensure and would, among other things, create a new specialty certification for Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS). The bill fix allows 12 months for CNS' to obtain their state specialty certification before the title protection afforded under the bill applies. The fix was intended to correct an inadvertent error which would have left CNS’ with license protection but no scope of practice until the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs promulgated rules to that effect.