The Mental Health Association in Michigan

is the only statewide, non-governmental agency concerned with the broad spectrum of mental illness across all age groups.

December 9, 2018

Analysis of Senate Bills 1245-1247

Greetings Friends and Advocates:

Senate Bills 1245-1247 have passed the Senate and have been referred to the House Health Policy Committee which is chaired by Rep. Hank Vaupel.  We presume that these bills will be addressed by the Health Policy Committee during the week of December 10, but, at this time, we do not know when.  

The Mental Health Association in Michigan has completed a brief analysis of these bills which is attached to this communication.                    

Mental Health Association in Michigan

Senate Bills 1245-1247, if passed into law, give the Michigan State Police and other law enforcement officials direct access to the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS).   MAPS was created in 2003 to track the prescribing of Schedule 2-5 controlled substances.   According to the Centers for Disease Control, prescription drug monitoring programs (PDPMs) are “tools for health care providers to see patients’ prescribing histories to inform their pescribing decisions.”

The Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM) appreciates the reasons that the bills have been introduced and MHAM agrees that Michigan is and has been experiencing an epidemic in opioid use and abuse.  It is recognized that the use of prescription drug monitoring programs can be useful tools in combatting the problem.

We appreciate that the Senate required de-identification of protected health information in accordance with HIPAA in the most recent revision of the package.   However, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191, is not the only applicable federal statute.  There is a confidentiality rule (42 CFR Part 2) that places restrictions on the release of information about substance abuse treatment.  SB 125-47 should recognize that anything Michigan does will also have to accommodate 42 CFR Part 2.  This would require some amendments.

Additionally, under HIPAA, an entity may, under certain circumstances (including “as required by law and administrative requests”), disclose protected health information (i.e., personal identifying information and circumstances) to law enforcement officials, without the written authorization of the individual.

To prevent confusion on the latter point, we respectfully suggest a clarifying amendment that protected health information (PHI) including the name of the individual consumer may only be provided for an existing controlled substance investigation, prosecution, or adjudication, or upon a statement of probable cause from law enforcement that the consumer has committed a possible violation of law regarding controlled substances. Since SB 1245-47 are tie-barred, placement of such an amendment in any one of the bills would be sufficient.

Confidentiality of records is an incredibly sensitive subject in behavioral health. Our constituents don’t want or need to live in fear that their non-abusive use of legally prescribed controlled substances to treat medical conditions can or will be used against them.

Readers may wish to contact their State Representative, Chairman Vaupel, or members of his committee about these bills.

The  members of the Health Policy Committee are:

Hank Vaupel (R) Committee Chair, 47th District
Jim Tedder (R) Majority Vice-Chair, 43rd District
Joseph Graves (R) 51st District
Daniela Garcia (R) 90th District
Jason Sheppard (R) 56th District
Julie Calley (R) 87th District
Diana Farrington (R) 30th District
Roger Hauck (R) 99th District
Pamela Hornberger (R) 32nd District
Bronna Kahle (R) 57th District
Jeff Noble (R) 20th District
Winnie Brinks (D) Minority Vice-Chair, 76th District
LaTanya Garrett (D) 7th District
Sheldon Neeley (D) 34th District
Jim Ellison (D) 26th District
Abdullah Hammoud (D) 15th District
Kevin Hertel (D) 18th District

Melissa Weipert, Committee Clerk