Advocacy Efforts for Small, Rural Hospitals Continue During State Budget Process
Posted on March 14, 2018
On March 13, Andrea Leslie, president, Spectrum Health United Hospital, Greenville, and Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital, Lakeview, addressed members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services about the state’s healthcare budget and the important role small and rural hospitals serve in communities and regions throughout Michigan.
Leslie, speaking on behalf of Michigan’s small and rural hospital community, discussed how a federal Medicaid managed care rule change impacted two state funding sources that are vital to small and rural hospitals: the small and rural access pool and the obstetrics stabilization fund. Due to the change, the payments from these pools cannot continue as they have in the past and must be redesigned. While the necessary changes are numerous, simply stated, the state will now be limited to using general funds for direct payments to small and rural hospitals, including the payments for labor and delivery services.
In her remarks, Leslie shared her perspective as the president of two hospitals in Montcalm County, one of which provides labor and delivery services. She told members that if her hospital had to discontinue its obstetrics service line, it would be a crisis for her community; not only with regard to labor and delivery services, but also for efforts to help high-risk expectant mothers have healthy birth outcomes and reduce infant mortality. She said this type of service is desperately needed in communities and it’s at risk if sustainable funding is not maintained. She asked subcommittee members to add $3 million to the state healthcare budgets for fiscal years (FYs) 2018 and 2019. The funding would partially offset the adjustment to the pool payments that occurred as a result of the federal rule change. However, when combined with the growth in provider tax payments, the additional funding would come close to keeping small and rural hospitals at FY 2017 payment levels.
Overall, the MHA has supported the executive budget recommendation that Gov. Rick Snyder and state officials presented to the Legislature Feb. 7. The MHA will continue to keep members updated throughout this year’s state budget cycle. Members with questions should contact Chris Mitchell at the MHA.
Photo Caption: Chris Mitchell, MHA senior vice president, Advocacy, joins Andrea Leslie, president, Spectrum Health United Hospital and Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital, during testimony on small and rural hospitals provided to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.
Posted in: Top Issues - Healthcare