March 30, 2021—Senate Bill 247, introduced by state Senator Curtis VanderWall, is the re-introduction of prior authorization reform legislation similar to SB 612—an effort the Health Can’t Wait coalition worked on with Sen. VanderWall last session.
As you may recall, the Senate passed a deeply flawed version of SB 612, sending it the House for consideration. Thankfully, Health Can’t Wait was successful in stopping the substituted bill from moving any further and the bill ultimately expired at the end of 2020.
SB 247 is significantly better than SB 612, but there is still advocacy work to be done to ensure this legislation will improve outcomes for patients while reducing the prior authorization red tape physicians are forced to navigate. The step therapy portion of the original bill will be introduced separately in the near future.
SB 247 has been referred to the Senate Health Policy and Human Services committee and will be up for a hearing in the coming weeks. We also expect the House to introduce its own version of prior authorization reform legislation sometime before the end of April. The details of that bill are still being negotiated, but the Health Can’t Wait coalition is working diligently to ensure the introduced version is as strong as possible.
Stay tuned as we learn more in the coming weeks and the Health Can’t Wait coalition calls on advocates to advocate for meaningful prior authorization and step therapy reform for Michigan’s patients and healthcare professionals.