Essential Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program Bills Advanced to Governor

capitol buildingThe Michigan Legislature addressed several bills impacting hospitals during the week of March 7. A pair of bills to expand the Essential Care Provider Loan Repayment Program and expand the Physician Licensing Agreement (PLC) have been sent to the governor’s office for signing. In the Senate, action was taken on a bill to create a new high school opioid curriculum and a bill to change non-opioid guidelines.

Bills to expand the loan repayment program to essential healthcare providers were approved by the Senate on March 8. Senate Bills (SB) 246 and 435 were introduced by the senses. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) and Michael MacDonald (R-Macomb Township) and supported by the MHA. SB 246 would expand the total authorized loan repayment from $200,000 to $300,000 for 10 years of service in a health resource shortage area. SB 435 would make mental health professionals eligible for the program and extend the sunset on PLC for another 3 years. The bills are now heading to Governor Gretchen Whitmer for signing into law.

The full Senate sent another MHA-backed bill to the governor’s office on March 10. House Bill 5261 would create specific exemptions for providers to administer opioids to a patient who has an active nonopioid directive form if the drugs are provided during surgery or if the provider deems the opioids medically necessary. The bill was introduced by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) and now awaits the governor’s signature.

To the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services Policy, testimony was collected on a bill requiring the state to pass a 9and opioid education program. Introduced as SB 107 by Sen. Michael MacDonald (R-Macomb Township), the program would include a video developed or adopted by the Michigan Department of Education. The MHA supports the bill and will update members on further action taken.

Members with questions about state health care law can contact Adam Carlson at MHA.

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