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Here is your Government Affairs Update for September 23, 2022

Legislative Updates & Schedule

The Michigan Senate and House of Representatives plan to come into session on Wednesday, September 28. At this time, this is the last session day expected before the November general election.

Budget Update

Speculation remains as to whether the Michigan House, Senate and the Whitmer administration can come to agreement on a broader tax relief or spending package ahead of the November general election or if such a debate could play out during the post-election, lame duck session.

Most recently, discussions have begun to center around a more limited economic development and infrastructure package with some possible technical adjustments to the FY 23 budget that passed in July. Any action on a supplemental appropriations measure before the November election would most likely unfold on Wednesday, September 28 - the last anticipated joint legislative session day before lame duck.

Legislative Update

House Bill 6355, Preadmission Screening

Introduced by Representative Graham Filler (R-Greenbush Township), House Bill 6355 puts in place time limits that a preadmission screening unit has to assess an individual being considered for admission to an inpatient psychiatric hospital, and expands who may do the assessment.

Specifically, the bill would require that when an individual presents to a hospital emergency room, the community mental health service provider must assess an individual within three hours after being notified by the hospital to do an assessment. The bill also expands who can do an assessment to include a clinically qualified individual from the hospital in addition to the CMHSP, crisis stabilization unit or any other entity under contract to perform the assessment. Regardless of who conducts the assessment, that party is responsible for the costs of performing any assessment.

Under the bill the assessment could be performed via telehealth.

The House Health Policy Committee took testimony on the bill on Thursday, September 22; however, no vote was taken.

House Bill 5751, Emotional Support Animals

The legislation, introduced by Representative Sarah Cambensy (D-Marquette), would create the Emotional Support Animal Act, which would provide a process through which a person with a disability can be certified by a health care provider as needing an emotional support animal. Earlier versions of this bill raised concerns from both the physician groups and the disability community but changes have been made to appease concerns. The bill passed unanimously out of the House on Wednesday, September 21.

Senate Bill 1135, Medicaid Telehealth Coverage

Senate Bill 1135, introduced by Senator Michael Macdonald (R-Macomb Township), would expand what telehealth services could be covered under the Medicaid program – both traditional Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan Plan. Among other things, the bill requires that these programs must include a comprehensive set of the programs' services and benefits, including at a minimum, medical, dental, behavioral, and substance use disorder services.

The bill saw testimony in the Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday, September 20 but no vote was taken.

Other

Statewide Transition Plan for HCBS Waivers

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued L 22-44, which notifies stakeholders of the forthcoming Statewide Transition Plan for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). The plan, which will impact six waivers, was precipitated by a new federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Final Rule. It is our understanding that the plan will be available on the MDHHS website on September 27. Comments on the plan are due by October 27, 2022.

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