Senate approves VanderWall bill to help alleviate health care staffing shortages during public health emergencies

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed Sen. Curt VanderWall’s legislation that would allow health professionals authorized to practice in another state to practice in Michigan without a Michigan license under certain circumstances during epidemic-related staffing shortages.

“As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan’s health facilities and their staffs have experienced waves of patient influxes that have pushed them to their limits, and even exceeded their capacities at times,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “This bill responsibly assists our health care professionals and health care systems that have been strained to capacity in ways we never before imagined.”

Senate Bill 759 would amend the Public Health Code to authorize certain health professionals to practice in Michigan without a Michigan license in certain circumstances.

Under the bill, the following conditions must be met in order for an individual to practice a health profession in this state without a Michigan license:

  • The individual must be authorized to practice a health profession in another state;
  • The individual must otherwise have met the requirements for Michigan licensure with providing care;
  • There must be an epidemic-related staffing shortage; and
  • The director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services must determine that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect public health.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.