Media Recap: Pediatric RSV Surge

Laura Appel

Laura AppelThe MHA received media coverage during the weeks of Nov. 21 and 28 on the capacity status of hospital pediatric units amid the surge of hospitalized pediatric patients with respiratory illnesses driven by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The Detroit Free Press published an article Nov. 23 on the status of hospitals throughout the state caring for a large number of children and requests made by hospitals to add additional licensed beds. Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, is quoted in the story on how staffing challenges continue to hamper hospitals, even for those with declining pediatric patient census.

“It’s worth noting that even where hospitalizations have receded, many of our members continue to face severe space and staffing challenges,” said Appel

Additional stories were published by The Detroit News, The Center Square and Chief Healthcare Executive.

Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.

Media Recap: Hospital Financial Viability

Laura Appel

Laura AppelThe MHA received media coverage during the week of Nov. 14 on financial and staffing challenges impacting hospitals in Michigan and the potential for further state funding support.

The Detroit Free Press published an article Nov. 14 that reviewed the factors influencing declining financial performance, including lower patient volume, increased supply costs, higher workforce expenses and stagnant reimbursement. Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, is quoted throughout the story. Appel expressed appreciation for the one-time $225 million state grant for the recruitment, retention and training of healthcare workers and discussed the increased rates for staffing agencies.

“We are immensely grateful for that,” said Appel. “But the $225 million (is) a one-time payment that really only offsets a small amount of what we’re paying in 2022 … and none of it is designed to help us in 2023.”

Additional stories were published by Crain’s Detroit Business and The Detroit News.

Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.

Headline Roundup: Pediatric Hospital Capacity & Medical Respite

Laura Appel

Laura AppelThe MHA received media coverage on the continued surge of RSV cases across Michigan’s pediatric hospitals that is stressing hospital capacity during the week of Nov. 6. Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, also contributed to a story on the importance of medical respite with Michigan’s vulnerable population who need continued care after discharge from the hospital.

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

Friday, Nov. 11

Thursday, Nov. 10

Monday, Nov. 7

Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.

Headline Roundup: RSV Straining Pediatric Hospitals

The MHA received media coverage on the surge of RSV cases across Michigan’s pediatric hospitals during the week of Oct. 31. The coverage included several comments provided to news outlets and the distribution of a press release Nov. 4 to statewide media.

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

Sunday, Nov. 6

Friday, Nov. 4

Wednesday, Nov. 2

Monday, Oct. 31

Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.

Media Recap: Stop Nurse Shortages Act & MiCare Champion Cast Coverage

Brian Peters

The MHA received media coverage on through a couple stories during the week of Oct. 17, including on the introduction of the Stop Nurse Shortages Act at the federal level and the latest MiCare Champion Cast episode.

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Birmingham) introduced Oct. 18 the Stop Nurse Shortages Act with Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio), which would authorize a $10 million/year grant program to help nursing schools create, expand or support an accelerated nursing degree program. MHA CEO Brian Peters was quoted in the news release supporting the legislation.

“The shortage of nurses is disrupting our entire health care system,” said Peters. “Michigan hospitals welcome every effort to increase the availability of education opportunities for those who wish to join the high-skilled career of nursing. The MHA applauds this comprehensive effort to fund capacity, faculty, and student financial assistance for accelerated training programs.”

State of Reform also published a story Oct. 19 recapping the latest MiCare Champion Cast podcast episode that included a conversation with Peters and T. Anthony Denton, J.D., MHSA, senior vice president and CEO of University of Michigan Health – Michigan Medicine, and 2022-2023 Chair of the MHA Board of Trustees discussing the top priorities for the MHA’s 2022-23 program year.

Appel Discusses Behavioral Health Bed Shortage with Bridge

Laura Appel

Laura AppelBridge Michigan published an article Oct. 4 which focuses on the staffing challenges impacting behavioral health providers that limit bed capacity. The article begins by reviewing the number of reduced beds at state psychiatric facilities.

Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, contributed to the story. The article also references statewide aggregate data compiled by the MHA on the loss of staffed hospital beds and the dramatic increase in contract labor expenses. Shared in a report recently provided to the Michigan Legislature, the state has approximately 1,400 less staffed acute-care inpatient beds now compared to Oct. 2020 and Michigan hospitals are expected to spend $1.1 billion on contract labor compared to $516 million in 2021.

“We are working with the state to try and figure out how to make it through this crisis,” said Appel. “At the same time, I can’t blame (state officials) for their challenges.”

Headline Roundup: Week of Sept. 25, 2022

Laura Appel speaks with WILX.
Laura Appel speaks with WILX.
MHA EVP Laura Appel speaks with WILX News 10.

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

Thursday, Sept. 29

Wednesday, Sept. 28

Tuesday, Sept. 27

Monday, Sept. 26

Sunday, Sept. 25

Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.

Crain’s Op-Ed: Hospital financial strain is unsustainable, threatens access to care

Brian Peters

Brian PetersCrain’s Detroit Business published an op-ed from MHA CEO Brian Peters Sept. 22 on the unsustainable financial strain currently being experienced by Michigan hospitals and health systems. The op-ed was in response to a Sept. 2 Modern Healthcare article detailing the struggles of hospitals nationwide.

Peters describes the untenable situation where hospitals are experiencing skyrocketing costs combined with stagnant and inadequate reimbursement and staffing challenges. Statewide, Michigan has lost approximately 1,700 staffed hospital beds since 2020 due to lack of available staff. Peters also mentioned the many actions the MHA and member hospitals are taking to address these challenges.

“Multiple factors have contributed to the drain on hospital resources: fewer workers, increasingly sicker patients, and higher costs that cannot keep up with inflation,” said Peters. “According to a new American Hospital Association report, the average length of a hospital stay rose almost 10 percent from 2019 to 2021. Compensation for direct jobs in nursing and residential care rose by about $200 million from 2019 to 2020, but the number of jobs fell by about 11,000. Hospital labor expenses per patient also increased 19 percent. Health care reimbursement is unable to quickly respond to inflation since rates are negotiated in advance, presenting additional financial challenges.

Media Recap: Economic Impact and Rural Emergency Hospitals

Brian Peters

Brian PetersThe MHA received media coverage on several topics during the week of Sept. 12. Areas of focus included the Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report and the new national rural emergency hospital (REH) designation.

MHA CEO Brian Peters was a guest on the MIRS Monday podcast Sept. 12, discussing the findings of the Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report, while discussing a variety of other challenges impacting the healthcare industry and potential legislative or policy solutions. Also appearing in the episode was Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon and former Gov. Gretchen Whitmer aide Mark Burton.

The Lansing State Journal also covered the Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report in an article published Sept. 14 that looked at emergency department wait times and staffing shortages. The article referenced data from the report on the sudden loss of healthcare workers in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and how that has led Michigan to have an average of 1,700 fewer staffed beds in Michigan hospitals compared to October of 2020.

Crain’s Detroit Business also published a story Sept. 15 on Sturgis Hospital pursuing the new REH designation. Peters is quoted at the end of the article discussing why hospitals may consider adoption the new designation.

“This is about keeping the doors open,” said Peters. “Telemedicine is a potential game changer for these struggling hospitals. Prenatal visits are critically important, but if you’re in a community where you used to have a full-service OBGYN clinic and now you don’t, a robust telemedicine offering can bridge that gap. This will allow health care leaders to not feel they are abandoning their mission while remaining open.”

Headline Roundup: Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan Report

Brian Peters speaks with the Michigan Business Network

The MHA responded to several media requests the weeks of Aug. 28 and Sept. 5 which focused on the public release of the Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report and other workforce issues.

Brian Peters speaks with the Michigan Business Network
Brian Peters speaks with the Michigan Business Network.

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

Friday, Sept. 9

Wednesday, Sept. 7

Tuesday, Sept. 6

Sunday, Sept. 4

Sunday, August 28

Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.