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Healthcare Roundup: Travel Nurse Pay Cap Legislation in MI, Scrutiny of Nonprofit Hospitals’ Charitable Giving in MT & More

October 03, 2022 (3 min read)

MI Among Several States Targeting Travel Nurse Pay Rates

Michigan is one of at least 15 states considering legislation to cap pay rates for travel nurses. Michigan’s bill (HB 6364), which would prohibit travel nurse agencies from charging hospitals over 25 percent more than what the agencies pay their nurses, has the support of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

“The MHA supports HB 6364 because it would help to address exorbitant contract labor expenses that threaten the financial sustainability of hospitals,” it said in a statement.

Facing a projected shortage of 450,000 registered nurses in the next three years, health systems don’t want to have to compete with travel nurse agencies.

Only two states, Minnesota and Massachusetts, currently have laws capping travel nurse rates. Other states considering similar legislation along with Michigan are Connecticut, Illinois and Pennsylvania. (CRAIN’S DETROIT BUSINESS)

MT to Take Harder Look at Nonprofit Hospitals’ Charitable Giving

Under legislation Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services plans to submit to lawmakers when they convene next year, the department would set standards for and oversee the charitable giving nonprofit hospitals engage in every year to justify the millions of dollars in tax exemptions they receive.

The proposal comes nine months after an investigation by Kaiser Health News revealed that some of the state’s wealthiest hospitals trailed behind state and national averages for community giving and two years after a state audit called for the department to assume more of a watchdog role. (MODERN HEALTHCARE)

Newsom Signs Transgender Protection Bill

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a measure (SB 107) that bars doctors and other health workers from releasing information to authorities in other states investigating families of transgender children for taking them to providers for gender-affirming treatment and blocks California law enforcement agencies from arresting people for violating other state laws regarding gender-affirming care. (SACRAMENTO BEE, CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR’S OFFICE)

CA Limits Conservatorship

Calling it “an important step to empower Californians with disabilities to get needed support in caring for themselves and their finances, while maintaining control over their lives to the greatest extent possible,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) also signed AB 1663, which will limit conservatorships that grant legal guardianship over individuals by requiring judges to fully document all alternatives to a conservatorship before granting one.(CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Promising Result in Alzheimer’s Drug Trial

An experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease from Biogen and Eisai slowed the rate of cognitive decline by 27 percent in a clinical trial, the companies announced last week. The trial strengthens the case for the drug’s approval as soon as January. (STAT)

Hospitals Sue OR Over Inadequate Mental Health Care

Three of Oregon’s largest hospital systems have filed a lawsuit against the state for allegedly failing to provide proper care for mentally ill patients. Providence Health & Services, Legacy Health and PeaceHealth contend that failure has forced them to provide mental health care they aren’t equipped to provide. (OREGONIAN)

Pharmacies Lobby Biden Administration to Keep Pandemic Emergency Provisions in Effect

National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and CEO Steven C. Anderson sent an open letter to President Biden and the White House COVID-19 Task Force urging them to keep the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act in place until October 2024. The act provides liability protection for pharmacists and other pharmacy workers. (FIERCE HEALTHCARE, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHAIN DRUG STORES)

States, Tribes to get $1.5B for Opioid Response, Recovery

The Biden administration plans to distribute $1.5 billion to states and territories, including tribal lands, to help support opioid overdose response and recovery. In addition to the funding, the administration also provided new guidance aimed at facilitating greater access to naloxone products, used to treat opioid overdoses. (HILL, KAISER HEALTH NEWS)

CDC Tweaks Pandemic Guidance for Healthcare Workers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has loosened several of its pandemic infection control recommendations for healthcare settings. The changes include no longer recommending the use of “source control” measures such as face masks and respirators in communities where transmission levels are not high. (FIERCE HEALTHCARE)

-- Compiled by KOREY CLARK


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