Earlier this year, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issued proposed administrative rules relating to the licensing of health care facilities. Currently, there are separate sets of rules that apply to each type of health facility, such as hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes.

The purpose of the proposed new rules is to develop a single rule set which reflects today’s practice standards, current federal law and regulations, and the current organization of state licensing functions. The proposed rules are condensed into one rule set with nine subparts that apply to all providers, and one subpart with provider-specific requirements.

The substance of the proposed rules remains similar to the current rules. Some rules were left intentionally broad or vague so that they may be applied in a manner appropriate for the specific type of provider. The scope of the proposed rules is limited to the licensing of freestanding surgical outpatient facilities, hospice agencies, hospice residences, hospitals, and nursing homes. The proposed rules do not restate or affect any requirements of Article 17 of the Public Health Code.

LARA held an informational meeting during which it highlighted changes to the administrative rules. For example, the proposed rules would:

(1) extend the time that a facility can operate after its license expiration date has passed to thirty days in order to provide a facility time to correct any issues with renewing its license by the expiration date;

(2) implement a survey process that would allow a licensure survey or complaint investigation to be conducted unannounced and lack of access or cooperation will be considered evidence of noncompliance;

(3) require all facilities to have a security system; and

(4) implement physical plant and construction requirements based on guidelines from the Facility Guidelines Institute.

There are other additions and updates to the proposed rules aimed to reflect today’s practices. LARA will be holding another informational meeting this fall on the proposed rules. LARA estimates that the proposed rules will go into effect in the spring of 2019.