Governor Approves Laws for Telehealth Parity & Behavioral Health Licensing Clarification

In the week of June 3, Governor Whitmer signed several bills related to telehealth services and behavioral health licensing. These bills, now referred to as Public Acts 51-53 of 2024, establish payment parity for telehealth services and protections for telemedicine access through Medicaid and state regulated insurance products. The goal is to support providers in serving patients and ensure that in-person visits remain a vital part of healthcare outcomes.

One of the bills signed, Public Act 50 of 2024 (originally Senate Bill 227), sponsored by Sen. Dan Lauwers, updates the state’s child caring institution licensing laws. This update aligns these laws with emergency intervention language found in the Mental Health Code. The legislation is particularly important for facilities seeking to become licensed as Pediatric Residential Treatment Facilities, creating alignment between the Mental Health Code and the licensing structure for child caring institutions.

The other bill signed is Public Act 51 of 2024 (originally House Bill 68), which expands access to mental health services by allowing therapists to practice across state lines through telehealth platforms. This bill aims to address shortages in mental health professionals in certain areas by providing more flexibility in where therapists can practice.

For any members with questions about these bills and their implications, they can contact Lauren LaPine or Elizabeth Kutter at the MHA for more information.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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