Michigan Senate Health Policy Committee Debates Telehealth Bill Fix

On March 7, the Michigan Senate Health Policy Committee considered and unanimously passed Senate Bill 213, introduced by Senator Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford), which provides a fix to Senate Bill 753, 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—prescribing 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, among others, a fix was proposed to permit the prescribing of controlled substances as a telehealth service. The new bill also directs the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to promulgate rules in conjunction with the Board of Medicine implementing the provisions of the bill.

Due to the fact that SB 753 is scheduled to go into effect later this month, the fix was put on an expedited track so as to incorporate the change before SB 753's effective date. SB 213 is now awaiting further consideration on the Senate floor.