Headline Roundup: Week of Jan. 10 for COVID-19 in Michigan

MHA CEO Brian Peters appears on Mid-Michigan NOW on Jan. 13, 2022.
MHA CEO Brian Peters appears on Mid-Michigan NOW on Jan. 13, 2022.
MHA CEO Brian Peters appears on Mid-Michigan NOW on Jan. 13, 2022.

The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the vaccine mandate from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and violence against healthcare workers.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA.

Sunday, Jan. 16

Saturday, Jan. 15

Friday, Jan. 14

Thursday, Jan. 13

Wednesday, Jan. 12

Monday, Jan. 10

Members with questions on COVID-19 efforts and resources should contact Ruthanne Sudderth, and any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.

Explore Ways to Advance Health Equity, Workforce and Resilience at Breakthrough

Virtual Breakthrough

MHA Breakthrough, which will be held in-person Feb. 17 and 18 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa near Traverse City, provides a venue for crucial conversations about the healthcare crisis and ways providers can lead recovery using information, tools and shared ideas and best practices. Attendees will examine the evolution of the pandemic and its impact, including lessons learned around treatment and staffing, patient and family expectations, and burnout and resilience; how MHA members and partners can address the workforce shortage and drive policy and funding on this critical issue; and how to lead critical conversations about health equity and use structures already in place to build capacity for advancing equity.

A preconference session will feature tactics to optimize the CEO-board relationship by exploring the primary roles and responsibilities and the attributes and actions credited to a high-functioning governing board. The session includes an assessment and improvement activity that can be adopted or modified for use in participants’ organizations as part of an ongoing effort to strengthen CEO-board dynamics.

Breakthrough will be held in-person, and COVID-19 vaccination will be required. The vaccination verification process is detailed online under the Code of Conduct Policy. Registration is open, and a full agenda, additional details and sponsors are posted online. Contact Erin Steward at the MHA with questions about Breakthrough.

Active Shooter and Workplace Violence Response Training Essential to Safety

The threat or use of physical force or harassment against a healthcare worker very often results in injury, psychological trauma or stress. Aggressive behavior and violence are becoming a too frequent reality, and healthcare employees need to understand the actions and behaviors needed to protect themselves and combat workplace violence.

The MHA is holding two virtual events to assist members with these challenges. The member forum Active Shooter Prevention and Response will be offered virtually from noon to 1 p.m. EST Jan. 21 to teach participants to better detect a potential active shooter situation and actions they can take in an active shooter incident, like Run-Hide-Fight response techniques. The member forum is free of charge.

The virtual training TEAM® Essentials: Recognizing and Managing Aggression will be held from noon to 2 p.m. EST Jan. 28 and is designed for healthcare workers and volunteers who may encounter angry, disruptive or potentially dangerous individuals. The training will teach participants how to protect themselves and others by applying the TEAM® Aggression CycleSM techniques to verbally de-escalate and manage volatile situations. An organization registration fee of $100 allows for multiple employees and volunteers in one hospital to take advantage of this training.

The faculty for both events is an experienced law enforcement professional with HSS, an MHA Service Corporation Endorsed Business Partner organization with expertise in physical security and emergency management.

Contact Erica Leyko at the MHA to register for TEAM® Essentials: Recognizing and Managing Aggression. Members can register online for the Active Shooter Prevention and Response member forum or contact Brenda Carr at the MHA with questions.

News to Know – Week of Jan. 10

Hospital staff are encouraged to participate in a national webinar hosted by DataGen to review the Medicare fee-for-service outpatient prospective payment system final rule and impact analysis for calendar year 2022. The webinar is scheduled from 3 to 4 p.m. Jan. 19 and is available free of charge; however, registration is required. The MHA plans to distribute hospital-specific impact analyses before the webinar takes place. Members with questions should contact Vickie Kunz at the MHA.

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Weeks of Dec. 20, Dec. 27 and Jan. 3

MHA Covid-19 update

MHA Covid-19 updateAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker, the omicron variant of COVID-19 is now the dominant strain across the U.S. The CDC’s model indicates that more than 95% of cases in the nation as of Jan. 1 may be due to omicron.

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.

President Announces Updated Testing and Military Personnel Strategy

President Joe Biden Dec. 21 announced the federal government will make 500 million at-home rapid tests available to Americans and will deploy roughly 1,000 military personnel to hospitals across the U.S. to help ease the stress the current COVID-19 surge has placed on providers.

The rapid tests will be free of charge and available via an online request form, after which they will be delivered to residents’ homes. The plan also includes opening new federal testing sites and sending out hundreds of federal vaccinators. These tactics will begin in January according to the White House fact sheet on this effort.

Members are encouraged to review the entire fact sheet, which discusses other elements of the plan, including the distribution of more ventilators, production increases for supplies, federal testing sites and more.

The MHA will keep members apprised as more information becomes available about what assistance will be directed to Michigan as a result of this announcement. Members with questions about federal actions may contact Laura Appel at the MHA.

Boosters Expanded to 12- to 15-year-olds; Waiting Period Shortened

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC have announced that children aged 12 to 15 may now receive booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The agencies also approved a shortened waiting period from six months to five months to receive a booster following a primary series of either of the two vaccines. In addition, certain immunocompromised children aged 5 to 11 are eligible for a booster and may receive it 28 days after the completion of their initial series.

The two-month booster interval recommendation for people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has not changed.

The FDA reached its decision after reportedly reviewing data from Israel, which included information on 6,300 people ages 12-15 who received a booster shot at least five months after their initial two-dose series. The data showed no new cases of two possible side effects that had been observed in some young people who received the vaccine — myocarditis and pericarditis.

Urge Senate to Support Healthcare Staffing Funds

The MHA issued an action alert before the holidays, urging all members to contact their state senators and ask that they support critical healthcare staffing funding, which passed the state House with bipartisan support in December. As lawmakers prepare to return to session the week of Jan. 10, it is important to continue advocacy efforts.

House Bill 5523 would appropriate $300 million for healthcare retention and recruitment, which could help hospitals and other providers navigate the serious worker shortages that currently exist amid a pandemic surge. The MHA Legislative Action Center provides key messages on this issue and contact information for senators. Members with questions may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

Additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic is available to members on the MHA Community Site and the MHA COVID-19 webpageQuestions on COVID-19 and infectious disease response strategies may be directed to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC).

WELL-B Program Starting March 1

Well-being Essentials for Learning Life-Balance (WELL-B) is a behavioral health training program for the healthcare workforce that delivers weekly webinars on evidence-based well-being topics, including prevalence and severity of burnout, relationship resilience and being present. Compared to anxiety and depression, burnout is relatively easier to treat and prevent.

This free webinar series is a collaboration between the MHA Keystone Center and the Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality, led by Bryan Sexton, PhD. WELL-B delivers “bite-sized” virtual learnings to train clinical and nonclinical staff on how they can support their colleagues. The WELL-B webinar series has a planned start date of March 1 and runs for 10 consecutive weeks at noon EST. Attendees may receive up to 11 hours of continuing medical education credit or American Nurse Credential Center credit. Recordings will be available to view and share after each live session.

Additional information and enrollment are available online. Those who would like assistance enrolling or have questions should contact the MHA Keystone Center.

Governor Signs Bill to Codify Licensure Exemptions

capitol building

On Dec. 27, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 759, which codifies a licensure exemption provision that has given hospitals regulatory flexibility to appropriately respond to the pandemic, specifically staffing challenges.

The new law took effect immediately and allows licensed, out-of-state providers who are in good standing the ability to render clinical care in Michigan without a Michigan license during an “epidemic-related staffing shortage” as currently identified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

MHA CEO Brian Peters released a statement Dec. 14 applauding lawmakers for prioritizing the bill. The provision that was previously in place, activated by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, was originally set to expire Jan. 11. Members with questions may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

Pandemic and Workforce Challenges Topics at MHA Breakthrough

Virtual Breakthrough

At the close of 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic situation confronting Michigan hospitals was dire. A prolonged fourth surge drove intensive care unit occupancy rates to nearly 90 percent. Additionally, significant workforce challenges that predated the pandemic became worse and the increasing rates of violence due to the public’s impatience with longer wait times or visitor restrictions reached a breaking point.

MHA Breakthrough, scheduled for Feb. 17 and 18 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, is an opportunity for healthcare leaders to openly discuss these significant challenges with colleagues. Through conversations during advisory tables and a town hall, participants will share ideas and strategies for caring for staff who have been seriously wounded by the loss of life and civility; re-engaging patients’ family and relationships essential to decreasing hostility and improving patient outcomes; driving the message that public health is more than infectious diseases and all community stakeholders must be committed to solving health challenges; and allocating funding to assist with healthcare workforce recruitment and retention and with essential partnerships to fill the workforce pipeline.

In conjunction with the conference, an exclusive dinner limited to hospital CEOs has been scheduled to talk to MHA leaders about how the MHA can assist with the challenges facing their organizations. Seating for the dinner is limited and reservations will be secured on a first-come, first-served basis. The dinner will be held the evening prior to the conference, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 16, in the Aerie restaurant at the resort. Reservations should be made by contacting Erica Leyko at the MHA no later than Feb. 4.

Breakthrough will be in-person and vaccination will be required. Details surrounding the vaccination verification process will be available soon. Registration is open, a full agenda is online, and sponsorship is available through Jan. 12. Questions about the event should be directed to Erin Steward at the MHA.

Webinar Will Help Boards Analyze Strategic Plan

Innovation in medicine and service delivery, new competitors, payer upheaval, renewed scrutiny on the social determinants of health, and more are creating instability. There is much work ahead for hospital and health system boards as organizations reassess their strategic plans, community engagement strategies, financial health and growth opportunities. The webinar Governance Megatrends: What is the Impact on Your Board? will focus on challenges and how to perform a comprehensive review of an existing strategic plan through pandemic-era eyes. It will examine essential inpatient and outpatient services, how to build investment strategies around them, and funding streams that will give hospital and health system leaders the flexibility to examine new tactics to improve services and the bottom line. The faculty will pair each step of the strategic process with real stories demonstrating the value of this approach.

The webinar is scheduled from 1 to 2 p.m. EST Jan. 26. MHA members can register for $155 per hospital, with an unlimited number of connections within that hospital. The single connection fee does not apply to multiple sites within a health system. Members with questions should contact Erica Leyko at the MHA.

Virtual Events Focus on Active Shooter, Workplace Violence Prevention and Response

Aggressive behavior and violence are becoming a too frequent reality, whether it is expressed as violence against caregivers or gun violence in the community. The MHA is holding two virtual events to assist members with these challenges.

The member forum Active Shooter Prevention and Response will be offered virtually from noon to 1 p.m. EST Jan. 21 and will teach participants to better detect a potential active shooter situation and actions they can take in an active shooter incident, like Run-Hide-Fight response techniques. The member forum is free of charge.

The virtual training TEAM® Essentials: Recognizing and Managing Aggression, scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. EST Jan. 28, is designed for healthcare workers and volunteers who may encounter angry, disruptive or potentially dangerous individuals. The training will teach participants how to protect themselves and others by applying the TEAM® Aggression CycleSM techniques to verbally de-escalate and manage volatile situations. An organization registration fee of $100 allows for multiple employees and volunteers in one hospital to take advantage of this training.

The faculty for both events is an experienced law enforcement professional with HSS, an MHA Service Corporation Endorsed Business Partner organization with expertise in physical security and emergency management.

Contact Erica Leyko at the MHA to register for TEAM® Essentials: Recognizing and Managing Aggression. Members can register online for the Active Shooter Prevention and Response member forum or contact Brenda Carr with questions.