Zorn reintroduces health care bills

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Wednesday reintroduced legislation to cut burdensome regulations, reduce health care costs, improve access to physical therapy and allow retired EMTs to volunteer in underserved areas.

Senate Bill 12 would end the certificate of need (CON) for outpatient cardiac catheterization services for which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has already approved a reimbursement code as an outpatient service. A CON is a legal document that enables the establishment or expansion of health care facilities or services in Michigan.

“Access to safe and affordable medical care should never be blocked by obsolete state government requirements — especially as new technologies enable outpatient providers to offer lifesaving medical care at a much lower cost to patients,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This reform would cut unnecessary red tape for cardiac catheterization procedures that can be safely performed in an outpatient setting.”

SB 18 would enter Michigan into the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact, which gives the option for eligible physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to obtain a “compact privilege” in other participating states.

“This measure is about increasing access for Michigan families to necessary physical therapy care — while still protecting patients,” Zorn said. “Ideally, Ohio would follow our lead if my reform is enacted, which would enable Michigan physical therapists to help patients across the border in Ohio and allow physical therapists in Ohio to help patients in Monroe and Lenawee counties.”

SB 19 would allow retired medical first responders, emergency medical technicians and paramedics to obtain a special retiree license enabling them to donate their expertise and service for the care of poor patients or in medically underserved areas.

“In 2013, we provided this special volunteer license for certain retired medical professionals, but somehow retired EMTs were not included in the law,” Zorn said. “Given the shortage of front-line health care workers we have seen during this pandemic, it only makes sense to allow retired first responders to help save lives.”

The bills have been referred to the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee for consideration.