Zorn bill part of effort to reduce health care costs, increase access to care

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn and Dr. Elias Kassab, M.D. on Wednesday told the Senate Committee on Health Policy and Human Services about the need for Zorn’s reform to cut unnecessary red tape, reduce health care costs, improve access to care, and ensure patient safety.

“New technologies enable outpatient health care providers to offer lifesaving medical care at a much lower cost,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “My bill would eliminate burdensome regulations for cardiac catheterization procedures that can be safely performed in an outpatient setting.

“Access to safe and affordable medical care cannot be delayed by obsolete state government requirements.”

Senate Bill 675 would eliminate the certificate of need for outpatient cardiac catheterization services for which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has already approved a Current Procedural Terminology reimbursement code as an outpatient service.

A certificate of need (CON) is a legal document that enables the establishment or expansion of health care facilities or services in Michigan. A commission appointed by the governor governs the CON standards; regulates proposed increases in the number of hospital, nursing home and psychiatric beds; and oversees a variety of specialized medical services.

Zorn’s bill is part of a seven-bill package designed to reduce medical costs and provide more access to medical care by eliminating some unnecessary medical care CON requirements.

SB 669 would eliminate covered capital expenditures from the CON process. SB 670 would exempt critical access hospitals over 35 miles away from another hospital from having to be regulated by CON, and SB 674 would repeal the CON requirement for air ambulance services.

SBs 672 and 673 would repeal the CON requirement for psychiatric beds and would require, as a condition of licensure, a psychiatric hospital or psychiatric unit to accept public patients and maintain 50% of beds available to public patients. SB 671 would add two new public members to the CON commission and make it easier to appoint members to standard advisory committees.


Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/photowire.