News to Know – March 27, 2023

  • Registration is now open for the MHA Keystone Center Safe Patient Handling Conference. The all-day event will take place April 13 at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. The free event will provide participants hands-on learning about how safe, early and continuous mobility can help achieve better patient outcomes. Members with questions may contact the MHA Keystone Center.
  • The MHA is issuing a request for proposal (RFP) for a $50 million competitive grant program for Michigan healthcare entities to expand access to pediatric inpatient behavioral health services. The grant program will issue funds to entities across the state of Michigan for either the expansion of existing programs or development of new ones. Copies of the grant RFP materials and the online application are also available on the MHA Behavioral Health webpage. Members with questions may contact Kelsey Ostergren at the MHA.
  • The MHA Health Foundation will host a four-part webinar series MHA Board Governance Education that outlines the trends affecting current and future strategic plans, techniques for effectively communicating with stakeholders on key issues and ways to build trust, drive engagement and develop relationships. The webinars are scheduled for April 19, May 9 and May 23 from noon to 1 p.m. EST. Members with questions about registration should contact Erica Leyko at MHA.
  • The MHA will host an in-person Human Resources Member Forum at the MHA Headquarters in Okemos from 8:30 a.m. to noon April 26, with a virtual option available as well. The forum is structured as a round table with human resources and MHA leaders moderating a discussion among attendees around the Great Resignation of the healthcare workforce and ideas and solutions to combat workforce challenges. Members with questions about membership or registration should contact Brenda Carr at the MHA.
  • The Root Cause Coalition (TRCC) is accepting requests for proposals to present at the 8th Annual National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health Dec. 3-5 in Kansas City. Proposals are being accepted for breakout sessions and poster presentations. Organizations with proven, measurable solutions that address health equity and collectively chart an intentional, meaningful and measurable path for progress are encouraged to submit. Members with questions can contact Lori Bennett at the TRCC.

MHA, Industry Leaders Gather at Trinity Health to Discuss Food Insecurity

MHA CEO Brian Peters, Alfreda Rooks, Kristen Matlack, Lisa McDowell and Karlen Sandall.

As individuals and families across the state and country continue to face food insecurity, Michigan’s hospitals, health systems and community leaders are engaged in creating collaborative solutions. MHA CEO Brian Peters joined fellow food security champions March 24 at the Come to the Table: Ending Hunger in America by 2030 event, hosted by Trinity Health.

The event, which took place at St. Joseph Mercy in Ypsilanti, gathered representatives from healthcare, agriculture, education, veteran’s affairs, housing and various other sectors to discuss key topics related to food insecurity. Peters kicked off a series of panels moderating a discussion on nutrition insecurity in healthcare. Panelists included:

  • Alfreda Rooks, MPA, director of community health services for Michigan Medicine – UM Health.
  • Kristen Matlack, community health advocacy initiative manager at MetroHealth System’s Institute for HOPE.
  • Lisa McDowell, clinical nutrition and lifestyle medicine at Trinity Health.
  • Karlen Sandall, digital health worker manager at OSF Healthcare.

Additional panelists covered hunger across the age spectrum, bridging the gap between hunger and nutrition and ways to take a bipartisan approach to addressing food insecurity. Attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas in a town hall-style discussion that followed.

The event included virtual remarks from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur; Secretary Vilsack, Department of Agriculture; Secretary Becerra, Department of Health and Human Services.

The gathering concluded with an exclusive tour of The Farm at Trinity Health Ann Arbor, one of Michigan’s oldest hospital-based farms in the country. The five-acre space, which includes a hub for growing and distributing food along with an outdoor classroom, is a regional program that connects thousands of people annually to nutritious, local food.

Additional onsite speakers included: Stephanie Cihon, director of grants and public policy at ProMedica; Alonzo Lewis, president at Trinity Health Ann Arbor; Gary Cates, chief philanthropy and chief government relations officer at ProMedica; Stacy Dean, deputy under secretary, food, nutrition and consumer services at the USDA; Barbara Petee, president of the Root Cause Coalition, and many others.

In 2022, the MHA and its member hospitals and health systems contributed a combined total of $45,000 toward the Michigan Harvest Gathering in an effort to combat food insecurity throughout the state. The annual campaign is organized by the Food Bank Council of Michigan – those interested in getting involved or learning more can visit

MHA-supported Bills See Action Before Break

capitol building

capitol buildingThe Michigan House of Representatives acted on a pair of MHA-supported bills during the week of March 20.

In the House Health Policy Committee, members voted to report legislation to strengthen Michigan’s Healthy Michigan statute. House Bill (HB) 4224, introduced by Rep. Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo), would remove Michigan’s Medicaid work requirements that are currently held up by the courts. The MHA has provided testimony in support of the bill and expects additional improvements to the Healthy Michigan statute to be introduced in the coming weeks. HB 4224 now awaits a floor vote by the full House of Representatives and the MHA will continue to monitor any action in future Monday Report articles.

Another MHA-supported bill, HB 4167, was passed by the full House of Representatives and transmitted to the Senate for further consideration. Introduced by Rep. Jason Morgan (D-Ann Arbor), HB 4167 would establish a new rare disease advisory council at the Department of Health and Human Services to provide guidance on research, diagnosis and treatment efforts in Michigan. The MHA hopes this council will help identify opportunities to improve care for the one in 10 U.S. residents impacted by rare diseases according to the National Institutes of Health.

In the other chamber, Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) introduced a new bill intended to increase access to vaccines and certain laboratory tests. Senate Bill (SB) 219 would allow for pharmacists to order and administer vaccinations and certain diagnostic tests for their patients without physician supervision. Under the bill, the diagnostic tests pharmacists would be allowed to perform would be limited to those waived for home use by the Food and Drug Administration or approved for waiver under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA). The MHA has not taken a position on SB 219, which has been referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee.

Legislators will now return to their districts for a two-week break from session before returning to focus on the fiscal year 2024 state budget.

Members with questions about state legislative action can reach out to Adam Carlson for more information.

Medicaid Eligibility Redetermination Webinar Recording Available

The Michigan Medicaid program has grown to nearly 3.2 million Michiganders, an increase of more than 700,000 when compared to pre-pandemic levels, due to federal statutory limitations on states’ abilities to remove people from the program during the public health emergency. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently released a final policy bulletin informing providers that Medicaid eligibility redeterminations will resume in June 2023 for the first time since early 2020, with some enrollees who no longer meet program eligibility criteria losing coverage as early as July.

The MHA, in partnership with the Michigan Primary Care Association, Michigan Association of Health Plans, Michigan State Medical Society and Michigan Osteopathic Association, hosted a member webinar March 20 to cover the Medicaid eligibility redetermination process, timelines and provider roles. A recording of this webinar is available.

Hospitals are encouraged to discuss the importance of updating Medicaid patient contact information in the state’s MI Bridges system and how to maintain Medicaid coverage or find new coverage on the federal marketplace.

Members with questions are encouraged to contact Jason Jorkasky at the MHA.

Expanding Advocacy Roots with the Next Generation

SciPol-Detroit in front of the Capitol.

The MHA collaborated with Wayne State University for the first-ever student-led advocacy day March 22. Science Policy Network-Detroit (SciPol- Detroit) is a student organization at Wayne State that aims to advocate for science-related issues in Detroit. Over 20 undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty with science-based backgrounds visited Lansing to discuss evidence-based ideas for future legislation. SciPol-Detroit members, including doctoral and nursing students, met with lawmakers from their local communities and key health policy committee leadership. Students advocated for legislation surrounding air pollution, lead testing and behavioral health.

MHA and Michigan State Medical Society staff members shared career development opportunities with the students. Staff members emphasized the importance of developing meaningful connections with local lawmakers and associations to kickstart career goals and help shape laws that will impact their profession.

The MHA is working towards establishing a pipeline program with Wayne State University, beginning with the Government Relations and Health Policy Fellowship. The MHA hopes to introduce more students with science-based backgrounds to the realm of health policy. For some students, this event was their first exposure to advocacy.

Members with questions about future advocacy days may contact Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.

Applications Open for Excellence in Governance Fellowship, Prepares Trustees to Lead

The MHA Excellence in Governance Fellowship is now available to healthcare board members looking for innovative, effective ways to lead their organizations as hospitals and health systems navigate financial strain and labor challenges. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2023-2024 Excellence in Governance Fellowship, which will be held from October 2023 through June 2024.

Launched 20 years ago, the fellowship is a rigorous and comprehensive program delivering tools and knowledge in four strategic areas: principles of effective governance, improving quality and patient safety, building collaborative medical staff partnerships and building strong relationships with the community and stakeholders. The sessions are led by experts in governance with a healthcare background.

With the busy schedules of board members in mind, fellows can expect to meet four times a year, either in-person at the MHA headquarters in Okemos or through virtual sessions.

Graduates of the fellowship have high praise for the fellowship, as demonstrated by a video of  graduates’ testimonials.

Members looking to further explore this one-of-a-kind offering can contact Erin Steward at the MHA.

March 30 Webinar Outlines Considerations for the End of the Public Health Emergency

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) COVID-19 public health emergency expires May 11, 2023, which may significantly decrease the flexibility providers have become accustomed to.

The MHA will host The End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) and Preparing for the New Regulatory Environment webinar from 4 to 5 p.m. March 30, 2023, providing practical guidance on unwinding reliance on the COVID-19 public health emergency flexibilities. The webinar will identify the steps hospitals should take to prepare for the end of the federal and state public health emergency, review the status of waivers and extensions of PHE-oriented flexibilities and outline how the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services will work with providers in determining which COVID-19 response policies will end, be modified or remain permanently. Experts from Jones Day and the MHA staff will present and answer questions.

Chief executives, financial, medical and nursing executives, legal counsel, patient account and revenue cycle directors, government relations officers, public relations directors and human resources directors are encouraged to register. The webinar is free of charge and open to MHA member organizations only.

Members with questions should contact Brenda Carr at the MHA.

News to Know – March 20, 2023

MHA Provides Testimony Supporting State Psychiatric Care and Healthy Michigan Plan

During the week of March 13, the MHA provided testimony to both the Michigan House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and the House Health Policy Committee.

Laura Appel, executive vice president of Government Relations and Policy and Lauren LaPine, senior director of Legislative and Public Policy at the MHA  provided testimony Mar. 15 to the House Appropriations Subcommittee.

Laura Appel, executive vice president of Government Relations and Policy at the MHA, provided testimony Mar. 15 to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Appel provided an overview of the impact healthcare workforce challenges are having on state psychiatric care and the need for additional support.

“We share the frustration of families, caregivers and our colleagues at the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services when state psychiatric beds go offline,” said Appel. “We appreciate the Governor’s proposed investments and understand there are many needs in our state – I hope the subcommittee will consider an investment in healthcare for our most vulnerable residents among the highest priorities.”

Adam Carlson, senior vice president of Advocacy at the MHA provided testimony Mar. 16 to the House Health Policy Committee.

Adam Carlson, senior vice president of Advocacy at the MHA, provided testimony Mar. 16 to the House Health Policy Committee in support of House Bill (HB) 4224, introduced by Rep. Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo). HB 4224 would repeal the Medicaid work requirement law that was passed in 2018. That legislation would require Michigan’s Medicaid beneficiaries to report employment or evidence of their search for work in order to maintain coverage.

“Ensuring coverage and access for our lower-income community members improves the health and wellness of our state, while having a positive effect on securing and maintaining employment,” said Carlson.

Members with questions about workforce funding or other state legislative action may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

State Medicaid Office Addresses Legislative Policy Panel

Carlos Jackson, federal lobbyist, Cornerstone Government Affairs.

The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened March 15 to develop recommendations for the MHA Board of Trustees on legislative initiatives impacting Michigan hospitals.

The meeting was highlighted by a presentation on Medicaid redetermination from Brian Keisling, director, Bureau of Medicaid Policy, Operations and Actuarial Services. The state is starting the renewal process this month for nearly three million Medicaid beneficiaries. Keisling discussed the approach they’re taking to review beneficiaries as part of the redetermination process and planned communications with beneficiaries whose eligibility will expire or renew.

Moving to action items, the panel recommended the MHA advocate for incentives that would support birthing hospital participation in Levels of Maternal Care.

In addition, the panel discussed issues around telehealth and the potential discrimination against living organ donors.

The panel received updates on other issues including a federal update from federal lobbyist Carlos Jackson with Cornerstone Government Affairs, hospital workforce funding, state budget negotiations and MHA efforts related to behavioral health.

For more information on the MHA Legislative Policy Panel, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.