2 patient protection bills introduced in Michigan Senate


Soraya Marashi


On Nov. 10th, 2 Michigan senators introduced a bill that would protect access to complex rehabilitation technology for complex needs patients. 


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Senate Bill 1209, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Daley (R – Lum) and Jeff Irwin (D – Ann Arbor), would require the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) to establish regulations for complex rehabilitation technology products and services. 

These policies and rules would include creating specific Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) billing codes for complex rehabilitation technology, establishing specific supplier standards for a company or entity that provides complex rehabilitation technology, and requiring a complex needs patient receiving a complex rehabilitation manual wheelchair to be evaluated by a qualified healthcare professional and a qualified complex rehabilitation technology professional. 

The bill would also require MDHHS to maintain payment policies and rates for complex rehabilitation technology to ensure payment amounts to ensure access for patients with complex needs. According to the bill text, “these policies and rates must take into account the significant resources, infrastructure, and staff needed to appropriately provide complex rehabilitation technology to meet the unique needs of a complex needs patient.” 

The bill would also exempt related complex rehabilitation technology HCPCS billing codes from inclusion in bidding or selective contracting, as well as require Medicaid managed care plans to adopt these regulations and policies into their own contracts with qualified complex rehabilitation technology suppliers.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Floor for a vote. 

Sen. Stephanie Chang (D – Detroit) recently introduced a bill on healthcare facility policies regarding decision-making during public health emergencies.

SB 1218, sponsored by Sen. Stephanie Chang (D – Detroit), would require, by Dec. 31st, 2023, a health facility that provides emergency care to develop and update an annual policy that guides decision-making within that facility for the allocation of medical care during a public health emergency where demand for critical medical resources exceeds availability. 

The policy is required to “enable clinical decision-making based on the best available objective medical evidence, including an individualized assessment of how each patient or resident will respond to treatment.”

The bill includes numerous protection measures for patients, including prohibiting  the making of medical decisions based on social factors like a patient’s race, religion, criminal history, or disability, requiring the policy to enable the coordinating and sharing of information with MDHHS regarding resource and transfer availability, and requiring the policy to ensure patients are treated with respect and compassion.

The bill also requires the policy that healthcare facilities create to ensure reasonable accommodations and modifications to existing policies or procedures that may hinder equitable access to treatment, and requires MDHHS to develop and offer implicit bias training to healthcare facilities.

The bill now awaits a hearing in the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee for a hearing.