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Michigan Lawmaker to Offer CON Reforms

December 27, 2019

After successfully blocking the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) Commission from restricting access to a cutting-edge cancer treatment, Michigan lawmakers will soon consider further CON reforms.

Sen. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington) says he plans to introduce a set of bills that would create exemptions to CON review and a bill that would expand the CON Commission to include two additional members from the public.

VanderWall says he will offer CON reform bills in the new legislative session that begins in January.

“Since becoming chair of the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee, I’ve spent a great deal of time working to understand CON requirements in Michigan,” VanderWall told Health Care News. “I believe these are commonsense reforms that will eliminate unnecessary red tape, reduce costs, and provide more access to Michigan residents.”

The package of bills will repeal CON for air ambulance service, certain capital expenditures such as adding an administrative building or remodeling an existing facility, outpatient cardiac catherization, and licensed psychiatric beds. If CON repeal for licensed psychiatric bills passes, an additional bill would require psychiatric hospitals or units to set aside one-half of their beds for patients approved for care by community mental health programs.

Another bill in the package of legislation would eliminate CON review for critical access hospitals located more than 35 miles from an existing similar facility. The bill retains CON for initiation, replacement, or expansion of clinical services currently covered by CON.

The bills don’t repeal CON altogether but are a good first step, says VanderWall.

“One of my passions in health care is to make sure we have access to care, especially in rural areas,” said VanderWall. “I felt it would be best to start with these reforms, some of which I believe will help with access. Throughout the process, I want to have open discussions to make sure we don’t have unintended consequences.”

 

—Staff reports

 

Official Connections:

Michigan state Senator Curt VanderWall, (R–Ludington):  https://www.senatorcurtvanderwall.com