Registration Due May 27 for MHA Annual Membership Meeting

Annual Meeting icon

Annual Meeting iconThe registration deadline for the MHA Annual Membership Meeting is May 27. The in-person event will take place June 29, 30 and July 1 on Mackinac Island.

The mobile meeting app for the MHA Annual Membership Meeting features an updated list of attendees and sponsors and offers other essential information about the event. Members can take advantage of this timesaving and convenient tool by downloading it on a mobile device. The app can be downloaded by accessing a dedicated link with the desired device. The app is sponsored by the Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Registration is open for the Links Fore Health golf outing, which supports health improvement initiatives led by hospitals and health systems. The outing is a nine-hole scramble, and golfers may register individually or in pairs. Prizes are given in a variety of categories. The Links Fore Health outing sponsor partner is Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook.

COVID-19 vaccination is required for attendees 12 years of age and older; details surrounding the vaccination verification process are outlined in the Code of Conduct section of the annual meeting webpage. Members with questions should email the MHA or call (888) 413-2118.

Governor Signs Healthcare Bills, New Licensing Bill Introduced

capitol building

capitol buildingThe Legislature acted on several healthcare-related bills during the week of May 16. The governor signed several bills into law to plan for new funding from the national opioid settlement and to allow for certain out-of-state prescriptions. In the House, testimony was taken on legislation to create a new alternate licensure process for paramedics in Michigan.

The governor signed three bills that will help guide Michigan’s use of new funding from the $26 billion national opioid settlement. Senate Bills (SBs) 993, 994 and 995 create a new restricted fund for the state to house the settlement dollars, establish a new advisory commission appointed by the Legislature and governor to oversee spending, and prohibit future civil lawsuits related to claims covered by this fund. The MHA is currently identifying treatment and prevention priorities for feedback to the advisory commission.

The governor also signed an MHA-supported bill related to the filling of out-of-state prescriptions. SB 166, introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), allows pharmacies to fill noncontrolled substance prescriptions written by licensed, out-of-state physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses. The Legislature gave the bill immediate effect, allowing pharmacies to begin filling these prescriptions May 19.

In the House Workforce, Trade, and Talent Committee, initial testimony was taken on a bill to establish an alternate licensure process for paramedics in Michigan. House Bill (HB) 6086, introduced by Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R-Richmond), would require the state to develop a new Michigan-specific certification course, separate from the currently required course from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. The MHA is opposed to HB 6086, which could have implications for a paramedic’s ability to work in multiple states. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certification is currently used in 48 states and is required for all newly licensed paramedics in Michigan. No votes were held on the bill and the MHA will keep members apprised if further action is taken.

Questions on these issues or other state legislation related to healthcare can be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.

Webinar Reviews Ligature Risks and Regulatory Requirements

Suicide safety continues to be a priority for accrediting organizations such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission (TJC), requiring many providers to evaluate various policies and processes. They include how to keep suicidal patients safe when care is needed outside of the psychiatric unit, how to ensure suicidal safety in the emergency room, controlled entrances and exits, and more.

The MHA Health Foundation webinar Ligature Risks and Preventing Inpatient Suicide: Compliance with the CMS and TJC Standards will review ligature risks in behavioral health, emergency department, and the inpatient setting, compliance with regulatory and accreditation requirements, and more.

The webinar is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon ET June 14, and MHA members can register for a connection fee of $200. Members with questions should contact Erica Leyko at the MHA.

Applications Close May 23 for In-Person Security Risk Assessment Opportunity

HSS

HSSThe MHA Keystone Center is partnering with MHA Endorsed Business Partner HSS to offer in-person security risk assessments for its members. This assessment aims to provide an objective evaluation of threats to patients and staff and develop a corrective action plan.

To be selected for an in-person security risk assessment, hospitals are required to consistently submit Occupational Safety and Health Administration data into KeyMetrics and fill out an online application. In-person security risk assessment spots are limited. Hospitals incurring the greatest costs, highest incident rates and severest outcomes associated with staff harm will be prioritized for selection. Applications are due May 23at 5 p.m. MHA members may contact the MHA Keystone Center with questions about the assessment or application.

Peters Speaks to Lansing Rotary on Past, Present and Future of Healthcare

Peters speaks to Lansing Rotarians at weekly meeting.

MHA CEO Brian Peters presented as the keynote speaker at the Rotary Club of Lansing’s weekly meeting May 13, discussing the MHA’s work supporting hospitals and healthcare systems across the full care continuum.

During his presentation, Peters kept his focus on the current workforce shortages Michigan’s hospitals have been facing. “The healthcare workforce staffing shortages existed before COVID-19 but have worsened and are expected to continue beyond this pandemic. Our hospitals must remain ready for and responsive to patients affected by COVID-19 as well as other patients who need urgent and life-saving care outside of COVID-19,” said Peters.

Peters also discussed the election forecast for the year ahead and what implications the midterm election will have on the healthcare community. To learn more about these issues facing healthcare, visit the MHA’s Workforce Sustainability and Elections pages.

Headline Roundup: Price Transparency, Workforce Challenges and Contrast Media Shortages

Brian Peters

Brian PetersThe MHA responded to several media requests the week of May 16 on topics including the RAND 4.0 Hospital Price Transparency Study, hospital workforce challenges and the shortage of contrast media from GE Healthcare.

MiBiz and Crain’s Detroit Business published stories on the latest RAND report that includes multiple quotes from MHA CEO Brian Peters discussing the flaws associated with the study, including the use of Medicare as a reimbursement benchmark and the limited data set. The MiBiz story also cites recent findings from the American Hospital Association and Kaufman Hall on significantly increasing hospital expenses.

“So it’s not a comprehensive set. It’s looking very specifically at Medicare reimbursement rates, which we know in Michigan and other states as well does not cover the true cost of care,” said Peters to MiBiz. “Hospitals do everything they possibly can just to break even, at best, and still lose money on Medicare.”

Michigan Radio aired a feature on May 16 following an interview with Peters on workforce challenges impacting hospitals.

“We are losing employees to McDonald’s for a job that pays better and is less stressful,” said Peters. “And we are incredibly limited in our ability to compete with rising wages in other industries.”

Crain’s Detroit Business published an additional article May 18 on the topic that cited the Michigan Radio story and quotes Peters. Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, also spoke with WZZM-TV Channel 13 for a story on workforce challenges that aired May 19.

The Detroit Free Press and Fox 2 Detroit also reached out earlier in the week on the reported shortage of contrast media from GE Healthcare. A general statement was provided to reflect the varying impacts from the shortage on hospitals throughout the state.

MHA Welcomes New Tenants to Headquarters: Canada Geese

The MHA recently became home to a new group of tenants at its Okemos headquarters: a family of Canada geese, including several freshly hatched goslings. The geese originally occupied a section of the headquarters parking lot, where the mother goose nested for many weeks under the guard of father goose. Anyone visiting during this time likely noticed the use of orange cones to prevent people from approaching the nesting area.

The proximity of employees and their vehicles to the nest led to some hostility and several harrowing instances of father goose chasing employees from the area, both on foot and in their vehicles. Unfortunately, the MHA security cameras didn’t capture any of these literal wild goose chases on video, so you’ll have to take our word for it. The MHA can confirm that no permanent physical or psychological harm was done to the employees involved.

In recent weeks, the geese have relocated to the wooded area behind headquarters, where they continue to fiercely protect the goslings from onlookers. Visitors to the MHA are encouraged to view the geese from inside the building or approach understanding the risk of hissing and chasing that will likely ensue (see photo evidence). While the geese were not part of our operational planning, we extend a warm welcome to these new outside tenants and wish their family all the best. Members with questions — because we all have had some throughout this ordeal — may contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

MHA Showcases Healthcare Workers for National Hospital Week

Hospital Week Graphic

Every year, National Hospital Week serves as an opportunity to highlight hospitals, health systems, healthcare workers and the innovative ways they are supporting and connected to the community. For 2022, the MHA celebrated by showcasing member hospital and health system staff across social media channels. Each day of the week, short videos featured staff from across the state — nurses, volunteers, technicians, etc. — sharing what they love about working in healthcare.

The videos aligned with the American Hospital Association’s #WeAreHealthcare efforts, offering a more local perspective from caregivers who have taken on unimaginable challenges and risen to the occasion repeatedly over the course of the pandemic. Submissions came from healthcare workers across the state, including staff from Beaumont Health, Henry Ford Health, Hurley Medical Center, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services and Sparrow Health System.

The videos totaled more than 40,000 impressions (the number of times content was seen) and more than 1,500 engagements across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Questions about the MHA’s 2022 National Hospital Week campaign should be directed to Lucy Ciaramitaro at the MHA.

Michigan Legislators Act on Healthcare Bills

capitol building

capitol buildingSeveral bills impacting hospitals were acted upon during the week of May 9. Bills to plan for new funding from the national opioid settlement and to allow for certain out-of-state prescriptions were sent to the governor. In the Senate, testimony was taken on a bill to create a new license for dieticians and nutritionists and a bill to register certain medical labs in Michigan, and legislation to allow for certain visitors in healthcare facilities was reported to the House for further consideration.

On the House floor, the final votes were held on legislation to help guide Michigan’s use of new funding from the $26 billion national opioid settlement. Senate Bills (SBs) 993, 994 and 995 would create a new restricted fund for the state to house the settlement dollars, establish a new advisory commission appointed by the Legislature and governor to oversee spending, and prohibit future civil lawsuits related to claims covered by this fund. The bills now head to the governor’s desk for signature into law.

The Senate passed an MHA-supported bill related to out-of-state prescriptions. SB 166, introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), would allow pharmacies to fill noncontrolled substance prescriptions written by licensed, out-of-state physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses. SB 166 was also sent to the governor for signature.

The full Senate approved and reported to the House SB 450, which would ensure that visitors of cognitively impaired patients are permitted in healthcare facilities. Introduced by Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), the bill would prohibit the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) or a local health officer from issuing an order that prohibits a patient representative from visiting a cognitively impaired individual in a healthcare facility. As written, the legislation does not prevent a healthcare facility from implementing reasonable safety measures for visitors and will still allow for facilities to limit the number of representatives per patient. The MHA is neutral on the bill and will continue to monitor any action taken in the House.

Further testimony was held in the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee on SB 614, which would create a new license for both dieticians and nutritionists in Michigan. Under the current language, a single license would be used for both professions. There was no vote held on SB 614, as the bill sponsor Sen. Michael MacDonald (R-Macomb Township) is working to address concerns from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on the implementation of the dual licensure. The MHA supports SB 614 and looks forward to working with the stakeholders on potential improvements.

Questions on these issues or other state legislation related to healthcare can be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of May 9

MHA Covid-19 update

MHA Covid-19 updateCOVID-19 hospitalizations in Michigan have been rising in recent weeks, with 875 adults hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases on May 11; 77 of that number were in intensive care units. In addition, 36 children were in the hospital with confirmed or suspected cases on that date. A daily average of over 2,700 cases were confirmed from May 5 through 11.

The MHA continues to keep members apprised of pandemic-related developments affecting hospitals through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. Important updates are outlined below.

MDHHS Shares Updated FDA Guidelines for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has reminded providers of updated guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. The new guidelines essentially limit use to individuals 18 and older who cannot or will not take one of the other approved vaccines. The risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) warrants limiting the authorized use of the vaccine. TTS is a syndrome of rare and potentially life-threatening blood clots in combination with low levels of blood platelets. Members are encouraged to review the provider guidelines. For more information regarding vaccines, contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

Additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic is available to members on the MHA Community Site and the MHA COVID-19 webpage. Questions on COVID-19 and infectious disease response strategies may be directed to the MDHHS Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC).