Michigan Senate Subcommittee Approves FY2015 DCH Budget
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The Michigan Senate Appropriations Subcommittee met April 22, 2014, and voted out of committee its recommendation for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Department of Community Health (DCH) budget. (The House Appropriations Subcommittee and Full Appropriations Committee already voted on their FY 2015 budget for DCH). Included are significant changes from the Governor’s budget and the House version:
- The Senate budget DOES NOT include $10 million of ongoing funding and the $5 million one-time funding for implementation of the Mental Health commission report. Instead, two $100 “placeholder” appropriations are included to keep discussion going and allow for resolution in conference committee. (Placeholders usually indicate support but leave the AMOUNT open for negotiation.)
- The Senate budget includes an INCREASE of $500,000 for the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program over last year.
- The Senate budget restores to current levels the funding for Graduate Medical Education (Governor Snyder eliminated this funding and the House partially restored it), and adds $500,000 for development of a “Michigan Based Medical School consortium to develop new freestanding residency training programs and recommend changes to current funding in order to address future concerns about physician shortages." It also appropriates another $500,000 to develop new physician residencies in underserved areas and to develop family practice and primary care residencies in hospitals which have fewer than 100 beds.
- The Senate budget restores the funding to current levels of the Rural/Sole Community Hospital Pool. The Governor has recommended elimination of this pool. Many small rural hospitals depend on these funds to stay open and provide essential services like obstetrics where they lose money.
- The Senate budget increases the rates paid by Medicaid for obstetric services to Medicare rates ($6.5 million of General Fund and $18 million Gross).
- The Senate budget restores more funding than the Governor’s budget or House version to maintain the increases to the Medicaid primary care rates that were increased under Affordable Care Act with total federal funds for FY 2013 and 2014.
- Finally, the Senate, House, and Governor’s budget all include funds to expand the Healthy Kids Dental program to Kalamazoo and Macomb counties.