Lame Duck Off to a Busy Start

Michigan’s legislative Lame Duck session started with a flurry of activity, as House and Senate committees considered more than 200 pieces of legislation this week alone. Some of these bills were newly introduced this week, giving legislators minimal time for review or discussion.

Senate Health Policy Committee

The Senate Health Policy Committee passed two bills that impact the practice of medicine. Senate Bill 1198 aims to remove a sunset put in place by Governor Snyder and permanently ban prescribing medical abortions through telemedicine. MAFP submitted a card in opposition to this bill based on concerns raised by the Advocacy Committee. The full Senate passed SB 1198 on November 29 by a mostly-partisan vote, with Senator Tory Rocca (R-Sterling Heights) joining Democrats in opposition.

Senate Bills 828 and 829 would create the “Administration of Opioid Antagonists by Library Employees Act”. Under this Act, prescribers would be permitted to write an opioid antagonist prescription to a public library employee, who would be required to undergo training to administer the antagonist.

House Health Policy Committee

The House Health Policy Committee heard testimony on several bills of interest to Family Physicians. House Bill 6288 would exempt certain prescriptions for epilepsy or seizure disorder from MAPS reporting requirements.

House Bill 5223 aims to bring transparency to prescription drug pricing by requiring manufactures to submit a report on prescriptions that cost $10,000 or more, or that have increased in price by 25% or more over the previous five years.

The Committee passed Senate Bill 842, which would require hospice facilities, or in-home hospice care, to establish a policy for disposing of controlled substances. Currently, employees are prohibited from assisting in the disposal of unused controlled substances. This bill is expected to be voted on by the House.