ArcMI Government Affairs Update for April 2, 2021

From the Arc Michigan: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Co-Pay Accumulators and Non-Medical Switching
Legislation to address nefarious health insurance company practices such as the use of co-pay accumulators (House Bill 4353) and non-medical switching (House Bill 4358) passed out of the House of Representatives on Wednesday March 24 as part of a larger 15-bill bipartisan health care package.

The bill package was referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee where it awaits further consideration following the spring district work period.

Advanced Practice Professionals Mental Health Legislation
Senate Bill 191 would expand the definition of mental health professions under the Mental Health Code to include physician’s assistants, certified nurse practitioners and certified clinical nurse specialists. The bill would allow an advanced practice professional to conduct a physical examination as part of the certification process for involuntary treatment as well as submitting a clinical certification for voluntary treatment in a hospital. The legislation also permits an advanced practice professional to order or authorize restraints and seclusion. In general, the bill confers broader authority to these health care professionals in the mental health space, which has raised concerns from groups, like the Arc.

A hearing was held in the Senate Health and Human Services Comimttee on the legislation on Thursday, March 25. The Arc opposes.

Implementation of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (HR 1319)
On March 11, President Biden signed into law the sixth piece of federal stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $1.9 trillion measure dedicates large sums of money to state and local fiscal recovery funds and elementary and secondary school emergency relief fund (ESSER) appropriations. Currently, Michigan is estimated to receive $5.6 billion of State Fiscal Relief Fund money, $4.4 billion Local Fiscal Relief Fund money, and $250 million in Capital Projects funds, along with $3.7 billion of ESSER funds.

On Wednesday, March 24, the Senate Fiscal Agency testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee and provided an overview of the impact of the American Rescue Plan on Michigan. Although questions remain regarding how the U.S. Treasury will distribute the funds to states, most of the funding will be subject to appropriation by the state legislature. It is important to note that some funding has an extended timeline for expenditure — as far out as 2025. A summary issued by the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency can be found here.

The Arc will follow developments around implementation of this recent round of stimulus, specifically as it relates to the 10 percent increase in the federal match rate for home and community-based services.

Michigan Legislative Schedule
The Michigan Legislature adjourned for the spring district work period on Thursday, March 25 through Tuesday, April 13.

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