MHA Featured in Detroit Free Press Article on Challenges in Rural Michigan

Posted on October 21, 2019

An article published by the Detroit Free Press on Oct. 21 analyzes rural Michigan’s shrinking and aging population in the context of higher education deserts that do not have easy access to any four-year or community college. Included is a section on the challenges that small & rural hospitals face with low patient volume, high fixed costs and inadequate Medicaid reimbursement rates, and the impact it has on rural residents.

MHA Chief Innovation Officer & Senior Vice President Laura Appel provides details on the costs associated with operating a labor and delivery department and other technology or staffing needs.

"They don't have volume to support fixed costs," Appel said. "A volume-based funding method doesn’t respond to fixed costs. Hospitals only get paid when people need services, but still have fixed costs. (Medicare/Medicaid) generally doesn’t pay full cost of services."

The MHA continues to work with the Whitmer administration and the state Legislature to restore hospital funding in the state budget that assists small, rural and critical access hospitals. Members with questions regarding budget updates should contact Adam Carlson. The MHA also continues to highlight the stories of rural Michiganders and their community hospitals as part of its #MiRuralCareMatters public education campaign.

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  • MHA Featured in Detroit Free Press Article on Challenges in Rural Michigan

Tags: rural health, Laura Appel, Detroit Free Press, #MiRuralCareMatters

Posted in: MHA In The News

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