Workforce Sustainability

Workforce Sustainability

A shortage of healthcare workers has impacted hospitals for several years and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the shortage, making an expected shortage of healthcare workers happen sooner and to a much worse degree.

For many healthcare facilities, vacancy rates have approached 20% or more of their workforce. Numerous long-term care locations have temporarily reduced the number of available beds due to a lack of staff. Others are recruiting employees from outside the United States.

Michigan healthcare facilities must remain prepared for and responsive to patients suffering from COVID-19, as well as the number of patients who need urgent and life-saving care from non-COVID conditions. Occupancy rates remain high for Michigan hospitals due to staffing shortages, which continue to impact staff scheduling, patient care standards, surgical procedures and patient transfers. In fact, Michigan has lost approximately 1,700 daily staffed hospital beds statewide from Oct. 2020 to 2022 due to staffing shortages.

Healthcare workforce staffing shortages are expected to persist beyond the pandemic. Michigan must address both the short- and the long-term workforce crisis that is driving this problem before it forces even more difficult healthcare decisions.

Healthcare Workforce Sustainability Alliance

The Healthcare Workforce Sustainability Alliance is comprised of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA), Health Care Association of Michigan (HCAM), Michigan Association of Ambulance Services (MAAS), Michigan Community College Association (MCCA), Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council (MCMCFC), Michigan Osteopathic Association (MOA),  American Nurses Association of Michigan (ANA-MI) and the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS). The Alliance is advocating for a $650 million investment to support staffing needs in hospitals, nursing facilities, and emergency medical services and workforce training programs to grow the healthcare talent pipeline.

Gov. Whitmer signed House Bill 5523 Feb. 16, a COVID-19 supplemental funding bill that allocates $1.2 billion in federal funds for COVID-19 relief, including $300 million to healthcare providers for recruitment, retention and training purposes, $225 million of which will be specifically for acute-care and behavioral health hospitals.

The MHA will act as fiduciary for the hospital funds. Critical access hospitals and small and rural facilities will receive a portion of the funds, and a minimum amount has been set that all hospitals will receive.

Graduate Medical Education

Graduate medical education (GME) is a formal, hospital-sponsored or hospital-based training program for individuals who have completed medical school and earned an M.D. or D.O. degree. It includes residency, internship, fellowship, specialty and subspecialty programs. Completion leads to physician state licensure and board certification, allowing physicians to further their medical education while delivering much-needed care to patients throughout Michigan. With the shortage expected to persist beyond the pandemic, graduate medical education plays a vital role in filling the talent pipeline for healthcare clinicians. Without the investment in GME and physician residency training, Michigan’s shortage of physicians would be even more dire

Read the latest news coverage from the MHA on workforce sustainability efforts.

MHA Creates Workforce Sustainability Communications Toolkit

As hospitals and health systems across Michigan continue to face workforce challenges, the MHA has developed a downloadable communications toolkit focused on workforce sustainability.

MHA Distributes Workforce Grant Report to Legislature

Based on requirements in legislative boilerplate, the MHA created and distributed to the Michigan Legislature Sept. 28 a report on the results of the state healthcare workforce grant, which brought $225 million to Michigan hospitals for workforce recruitment, retention and training.

Groundbreaking Nursing Education Expansion Plan Will Strengthen Michigan’s Nursing Workforce

Michigan education and healthcare leaders thank Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders for funding an innovative plan to expand nursing education opportunities.

MHA CEO Report — GME’s Role in the Healthcare Talent Pipeline

MHA CEO Brian Peters reviews the vital role of graduate medical education in the healthcare talent pipeline.

Vital Healthcare Workforce Funding Passed by Michigan Legislature

The Michigan Legislature passed Feb. 9 House Bill 5523, a supplemental spending bill that includes $300 million for healthcare facilities for recruitment and retention of healthcare workers.

Healthcare Priorities Protected, Workforce Sustainability Addressed in Executive Budget

MHA CEO Brian Peters issued a statement on the Michigan Fiscal Year 2023 Executive Budget Recommendation.

Michigan House Passes Healthcare Workforce Funding Bill

The Michigan House of Representatives passed Dec. 14 House Bill 5523, a $1 billion COVID-19 supplemental funding bill that includes $300 million for recruiting and retaining healthcare workers.

MHA Statement on Passage of Senate Bill 759

MHA CEO Brian Peters discusses the ongoing COVID-19 surge in Michigan and solutions to address workforce sustainability.

MHA Statement on Significant Funding Appropriated for Healthcare Workforce

MHA CEO Brian Peters issued a statement on House Bill 5523 that appropriates vital funding for healthcare staffing support.