Key Issues for Business Owners

About the MHA

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) is the statewide leader representing all community hospitals in Michigan. Established in 1919, the MHA represents the interests of its member hospitals and health systems in both the legislative and regulatory arenas on key issues and supports their efforts to provide quality, cost-effective and accessible care.

Connect with Michigan’s Healthcare Community

Learn more about other ways your business can support Michigan hospitals as they lead the way to healthy communities.

Key Healthcare Issues for Business Owners

As business owners, employers and providers of healthcare benefits to employees, there’s a need to identify and stay informed on key issues impacting healthcare including quality, affordability and access to care.

Affordable Healthcare Coverage

By offering health insurance benefits to many American families, businesses have an essential role in ensuring the availability of high-quality healthcare services.

  • The MHA believes in expanding access to safe, affordable healthcare services for all individuals in every Michigan community.
  • The Healthy Michigan Plan launched April 2014 and provides over one million working Michiganders with comprehensive, affordable health insurance. The MHA and its members have worked to support the adoption and continuation of this program, as well as look for ways to improve access to high-quality care for its beneficiaries.

Access to Local Healthcare Services

Hospital financial challenges, staffing shortages and harmful legislation are all threats to the number of patients able to receive care in hospitals at any one time.

  • A survey completed March 2023 by 95% of the MHA membership continues to show the significant staffing vacancies in hospitals throughout Michigan. Overall, hospitals have more than 27,000 current job openings, including nearly 8,500 open nursing positions. The nursing vacancy rates in Northern Michigan and mid-Michigan rival those in the more urban areas of the state. The number of job openings creates a cascade of problems, from longer wait times in the emergency department, reduced services and more difficulty transferring patients to the appropriate care setting.
  • Michigan healthcare facilities must remain prepared for and responsive to patients who need urgent and life-saving care. Healthcare workforce staffing shortages are expected to persist and 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.
  • Michigan hospitals are focused on addressing staffing challenges and implementing safe nurse staffing models that provide the best quality care for their patients and communities. Senate Bills 334 – 336 and House Bills 4550 – 4552 propose harmful registered nurse (RN) staffing requirements that would damage healthcare and communities by restricting important access to healthcare services for Michigan patients.

Strong Local Economies

Hospitals are economic drivers in their local communities, partnering with many other industries and businesses to improve the health and wellness of the local area.

  • Workforce shortages are impacting industries inside and outside of healthcare, making higher education partnerships critical to increasing the talent pipeline.
    • The MHA and Michigan hospital and health systems are committed to working with colleges and universities to expand access to healthcare education programs throughout the state, including both credential and degree programs.
    • Gov. Whitmer established the Michigan Achievement Scholarship by signing Public Act 212 of 2022. Applications are currently being accepted for increased state financial aid.
      • The MHA supported this investment to increase access to affordable post-secondary programs that will allow students to pursue high demand healthcare careers with far fewer barriers. As the state continues to navigate the workforce and talent pipeline needs across numerous industries, the Michigan Achievement Scholarship is a positive step toward developing the state’s future workforce.
  • Healthcare-related practices and organizations provided nearly 568,000 direct jobs in Michigan in 2021; roughly 219,000 of those jobs were in hospitals.
    • The Economic Impact Report illustrates the significant role healthcare plays in the well-being of the state’s economy. Compiled by the Partnership for Michigan’s Health, which consists of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, the Michigan State Medical Society and the Michigan Osteopathic Association, the report uses data from fiscal year 2021, the most recent data available.
  • MI Hospital Careers Campaign LogoThe new Mi Hospital Careers campaign aims to ensure students in high school and college know about healthcare career opportunities, as well as working professionals looking for a rewarding new career. Without addressing the existing healthcare workforce shortage, Michigan residents risk losing access to quality, accessible healthcare services within their local community.