MHA Issues Statement on Important Auto No-Fault Legislation

Brian Peters

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

Brian Peters“The auto no-fault insurance bills introduced today will improve access to care for auto accident survivors and patients. The reforms implemented several years ago created an environment of extreme uncertainty. This bill package is an important step towards providing better access to services and reimbursement clarity, bringing Michigan healthcare provider reimbursement in line with national averages and ensuring they all have the resources needed to care for auto accident survivors throughout their recovery.

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association is proud to join the many stakeholders supporting Senate Bills 530 and 531.”

Proposed Hospital Nurse Staffing Bills Harm Public’s Access to Healthcare

82% of Michigan Voters Oppose Mandated Hospital Nurse Staffing Ratios

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) released data today illustrating strong public opposition to legislation proposing one-size-fits-all state mandated hospital nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and hospital survey data on the severe impact of the legislation on access to care for Michiganders.

A survey of 600 Michigan voters conducted by EPIC-MRA in August shows 82% of Michigan voters do not believe the government should mandate one-size-fits-all nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in every hospital, which is currently proposed in Senate Bills 334 – 336 and House Bills 4550 – 4552.

If the bills were to become law, 83% of Michigan voters would be concerned about their ability to receive care, or the wait times, in a Michigan hospital emergency room.

“These survey results are abundantly clear; Michigan voters have no appetite to remove hospital staffing decisions from clinical nursing leaders to implement an arbitrary one-size-fits-all mandate by politicians,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “Such a decision would be harmful to patients and have dire consequences for healthcare throughout the state. Our hospitals and health systems are focused on proven solutions to address staffing shortages that address the talent pipeline and retain existing nurses.”

The MHA also released the results from a survey of 109 Michigan hospitals conducted in July and August on the potential impact of the proposed legislation. Implementing staffing ratios will either require hiring 12,954 registered nurses or the state risks closing up to 5,074 hospital beds to comply. These results follow a survey of 95% of the MHA membership in March 2023 which found Michigan hospitals had 8,438 immediate openings for nurses amid a nationwide nursing shortage. The loss in hospital bed capacity is roughly equivalent to Michigan closing its six largest hospitals determined by licensed hospital beds.

“The significant and devastating impacts these bills can have on patient care and patient access make these the top concern for hospitals and health systems throughout our state,” said Shannon Striebich, MHA Board Chair and Ministry President and Senior Vice President of Operations at Trinity Health Michigan. “We value our nurses and are working diligently to offer recruitment and retention options that do not come at the expense of access to care for Michiganders.”

Hospital staffing decisions and nurse-to-patient ratios are currently made by nursing leaders in each individual hospital based on years of clinical experience and a complex set of variables. These decisions weigh a multitude of factors which vary from each hospital and community and can include the number of patients in a hospital unit, how sick each patient is, the training and experience level of nurses and other members of the care delivery team, available technology and existing hospital data and metrics.

“The decades of experience I have serving as a bedside nurse, nursing supervisor and in other nursing leadership roles inform decisions I make every day when it comes to helping create the best possible environment for our patients and our clinical team,” said Kelli Sadler, MHA, BSN, RN, senior vice president and chief nursing executive of Corewell Health in Southeast Michigan. “We should be able to determine the staffing ratios that best fit our communities. This legislation doesn’t address the real problem, which is a lack of nurses statewide.”

Hospitals remain committed to identifying tangible solutions to recruit more workers to healthcare careers and to retain existing healthcare workers. The actions by the MHA include:

  • Launching a statewide public awareness campaign in June 2023 targeting high school students and professionals considering a career change to express the value of healthcare careers.
  • Distributing a total of $300 million in state funding to at least 69,000 healthcare workers for the purposes of the recruitment, retention and training through Public Act 9 of 2022 and Public Act 5 of 2023.
  • Successfully advocating for additional nurse training opportunities including funding to incentivize four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs at community colleges and the expansion of Michigan Reconnect to allow funds to support Michiganders in their healthcare career pursuits.

The MHA has also identified several public policy solutions that can be enacted today to help solve nurse staffing shortages. Those solutions include:

  • Michigan joining the national Nurse Licensure Compact to reduce barriers for out-of-state nurses to move to and practice in Michigan immediately, which is supported by 67% of Michigan voters according to the August EPIC-MRA survey.
  • Increasing eligibility for Michigan Reconnect by lowering the age requirement to 18 and older.
  • Expanding Michigan Reconnect availability to include 4-year institutions.
  • Increasing penalties for violence committed against healthcare workers.

The data was released as part of Hospitals for Patient Access Advocacy Day, which brought more than 130 hospital and nursing leaders to Lansing to meet with state lawmakers about nurse staffing shortages and access to care for Michiganders. More information can be found on the MHA nurse staffing ratios webpage.

What’s Next Address Focuses on Healthcare Access

Brian Peters

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association following Gov. Whitmer’s What’s Next address.

Brian PetersOn behalf of Michigan hospitals and health systems, the MHA is very pleased to see Gov. Whitmer prioritize healthcare and improving access to care for Michiganders. Prescription drug costs continue to grow at alarming rates. Addressing prescription drug affordability will help improve access to important medication for residents throughout Michigan, leading to improved health outcomes.

Our association looks forward to working with the administration and lawmakers to support efforts to reduce costs for lifesaving drugs, remove barriers to prescription drug access and protect existing solutions such as the 340B drug pricing program to increase affordable prescription drug access for Michigan residents.

MHA Issues Statement on Andary v. USAA Decision

Brian Peters

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association following the Michigan Supreme Court decision on Andary v. USAA.

Brian PetersThe MHA, on behalf of our member hospitals and health systems, are pleased with the Michigan Supreme Court decision that will provide greater access to care for auto accident survivors. It will make a positive impact on the lives of those survivors seriously injured prior to the recent changes to Michigan’s auto no-fault law who continue to have significant ongoing care needs.

In addition to this decision, the MHA remains engaged with lawmakers on identifying and supporting reforms to the auto no-fault law to improve access to care and support healthcare providers.

Legislative Fiscal Year 2024 State Budget Renews Commitment to Healthcare

Brian Peters

The following statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

Brian PetersThe fiscal year 2024 state budget approved by the Michigan Legislature renews a longstanding commitment lawmakers have made to the health and wellness of Michigan’s hospitals, health systems and communities.

We are extremely pleased to see the inclusion of new funding to support trauma centers and inpatient psychiatric services that will provide a net benefit of $92 million. Trauma centers at hospitals provide lifesaving treatment to people with the most severe injuries, ready at a moment’s notice for mass casualty events and catastrophic accidents with a vital network of EMS services. This added funding makes Michigan a national leader in recognizing the importance of access to trauma services and makes sure trauma centers can continue to be equipped with the resources needed to staff these services 24/7, year-round.

Michigan is also in the middle of a behavioral health crisis where the demand of patients needing inpatient care continues to increase. We commend the Legislature for recognizing this need and increasing rates to inpatient psychiatric facilities based on patient acuity to help hospitals afford the staffing, security and facilities necessary to accept patients with more severe illness.

In addition, the budget continues to support long-standing programs crucial to access to healthcare services throughout Michigan. These include funding for rural and critical access hospitals, obstetrical services, graduate medical education, the Healthy Michigan Plan and Michigan’s Medicaid population.

We look forward to a signed budget that provides hospitals with the needed support to continue to provide high-quality care to every patient.

Health & Hospital Association Elects 2023-2024 Officers and Board Members

2023-24 MHA Board Chair Shannon Striebich.
2023-24 MHA Board Chair Shannon Striebich.

Members of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) elected new officers and appointed board members during the association’s Annual Membership Meeting June 29. Officers of the 2023-2024 MHA Board of Trustees include Shannon Striebich, chair; Julie Yaroch, DO, chair-elect; and Bill Manns, treasurer. In addition, Brian Peters was reappointed to serve an indefinite term of office as CEO of the association. The board directs the greater Lansing-based association’s statewide representation of hospitals and healthcare providers.

Striebich, ministry president and senior vice president, Operations, Trinity Health Michigan, will serve as chair during the association’s 2023-2024 program year beginning July 1. The terms of service of Yaroch, president, ProMedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital, Adrian; and Manns, president and CEO, Bronson Healthcare Group, Kalamazoo, will also span the 2023-2024 program year. T. Anthony Denton, senior vice president and chief ESG officer, University of Michigan Health/Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, will serve as immediate past chair.

Brian Peters
MHA CEO Brian Peters.

“On behalf of the full MHA membership, I want to thank Tony Denton for his terrific leadership of the MHA Board through a year of challenges that included the ending of the COVID-19 public health emergency, workforce shortages and more,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We are grateful for Tony’s service. We are also excited to welcome Shannon Striebich as our incoming chair. There is no questioning Shannon’s commitment to advancing the health of individuals and communities throughout our state.”

Lydia Watson, MD, president and CEO, MyMichigan Health, Midland, was appointed as trustee at-large for a three-year term.

Reappointed for three-year terms on the 2023-2024 MHA Board of Trustees as trustees at-large were Denton, Manns, Gar Atchison, chief executive officer, UP Health System – Marquette, and market president, UP Health System; Mark Eastburg, PhD, president and CEO, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Grand Rapids; and Ed Ness, president and CEO, Munson Healthcare, Traverse City.

Continuing to serve their current terms of service as trustees at-large are Douglas Apple, MD, MS, FHM, chief clinical officer, Ascension Michigan, Warren, and interim president & CEO, Ascension Genesys Hospital, Grand Blanc; Beth Charlton, president and CEO, Covenant HealthCare, Saginaw; Karen Cheeseman, president and CEO, Mackinac Straits Health System, St. Ignace; Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO, Corewell Health, Grand Rapids and Southfield; Jeremiah J. Hodshire, president and CEO, Hillsdale Hospital; Gregory R. Lane, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, McLaren Health Care, Grand Blanc; Brittany Lavis, CEO, Detroit Medical Center; Hunter Nostrant, president and CEO, Helen Newberry Joy Hospital & Healthcare Center, Newberry; Kent Riddle, CEO, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Grand Rapids; and Bob Riney, president and CEO, Henry Ford Health, Detroit.

Facing Workforce Shortages, Health and Education Leaders Launch Campaign to Increase Health Careers

Michigan has 27,000 job openings in hospitals across the state

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan hospital and education leaders joined forces June 8 to highlight the current state of Michigan’s healthcare workforce shortage and launch a campaign to expand interest in health careers in Michigan.

“Michigan’s healthcare industry is the largest private sector employer in the state. More than one million Michiganders work in healthcare, making a combined $73.7 billion in wages, salaries and benefits,” said Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA). “Unfortunately, we are seeing continued job shortages in hospitals and health systems, which pose a risk to healthcare service accessibility across the state.”

While many are aware of the shortage of physicians and nurses, high demand exists for non-clinical roles as well, with more than 27,000 total open positions at hospitals across the state. Within the next five years, the U.S. faces a projected shortage of more than 3.2 million lower-wage healthcare workers such as medical assistants, home health aides and nursing assistants, according to a Mercer report.

The healthcare and education industries are working to raise awareness of the current openings and career paths that exist within hospitals and healthcare systems. The goal of the new Mi Hospital Careers campaign is to ensure that students in high school and college know about those opportunities, as well as working professionals looking for a rewarding career. Without addressing the existing healthcare workforce shortage, Michigan residents risk losing access to quality, accessible healthcare services within their local community.

“Michigan’s public universities are primed and ready to help address the healthcare workforce shortage facing the state,” said Daniel J. Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “Strengthening the talent pipeline for these high-demand careers will require additional investments in higher education that improve college affordability and increase enrollment.”

Michigan hospital employees make an average of $65,000 per year – higher than the state average of $48,000. Still, hospitals across Michigan have gotten creative to offer competitive modern workplaces for employees, including increased bonuses and benefits, on-site daycare, tuition support, wheels-to-work programs and more.

“Healthcare careers, particularly nursing, provide an opportunity to contribute to a meaningful, long-term and successful career,” said Amy Brown, MSN, RN, NE-BC, chief nursing officer of E.W. Sparrow Hospital. “Our state and our current pool of nurses continue to age, creating a situation where we need young professionals entering the workforce to consider nursing careers to meet the future demand of our hospitals.”

Caring for Michiganders isn’t limited to only multi-year medical degrees. Quality patient care relies on professionals from almost every sector, and local hospitals in every community around Michigan are seeking hardworking, passionate residents to help save lives.

“For Michigan hospitals to continue to deliver safe, high-quality care to the communities we serve, we are all in need of clinical and non-clinical talent,” said Shannon Striebich, MHA Board of Trustees Chair-elect, ministry president and senior vice president of Operations at Trinity Health Michigan. “Like most hospitals across the state, Trinity Health Michigan is working very closely with our neighboring colleges and universities to ensure students are aware of rewarding career opportunities within healthcare and the many good-paying jobs available within their own community.”

The campaign will launch Monday, June 12 and run through September 2023. Residents will be directed to where they can learn more about the career paths available in healthcare and the different training programs and scholarships available across Michigan.

Patient Treatment Impacted by Shortage of Cancer Drugs

Manufacturing delays at several pharmaceutical companies are causing nationwide shortages of two critical chemotherapy medications – forcing Michigan hospitals and health systems to find alternative treatments for patients, some of which may be less effective. The two drugs are cisplatin and carboplatin and are used to treat several types of cancer, including bladder, lung, ovarian and testicular cancers. The shortage of these chemotherapy drugs is widespread across the country, impacting hospitals throughout all regions of Michigan.

Both drugs are provided by healthcare providers as injections to oncology patients. The shortage of cisplatin was originally reported to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Feb. 10, 2023, while carboplatin was reported April 28, 2023. Both shortage durations are expected to last at least into June 2023.

To reduce the impact of shortages on patients, hospitals are trying many different solutions, including managing existing supply, seeking alternative sources for drugs in short supply, adjusting chemotherapy regimens for impacted patients and working with healthcare systems, as well as state and federal officials, to mitigate these challenges.

“The priority of hospitals is delivering the right care to every patient, every time,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “Drug shortages severely hamper a hospital’s ability to provide patients with the best treatment, while forcing hospitals to implement strategies that may increase the cost of care and sometimes do not offer the same effectiveness in treatment.”

This current shortage follows a national trend of drug shortages impacting healthcare providers for years. A survey of medical oncologists published in the New England Journal of Medicine found 83% were unable to prescribe their preferred chemotherapy agent due to shortages.

The MHA supports the following strategies that will address the issue:

  • Relaxing prior authorization requirements from health insurers for alternative therapies so they can be widely used, as appropriate.
  • Establishing an early warning system to help avoid or minimize drug shortages.
  • Removing regulatory obstacles faced by manufacturers and the FDA as a way of averting or mitigating drug shortages and allowing drug imports.
  • Improving communication with healthcare providers, including extent and timeliness of information. There often is no transparency on the cause of a drug shortage and many shortages occur with generic drugs.
  • Exploring incentives to encourage drug manufacturers to stay in, re-enter or initially enter the market.

Patients concerned about the impact of this drug shortage should contact their healthcare provider.

MHA & MONL Issues Joint Statement on Harmful Nursing Legislation Introduced in the Michigan Legislature

Kim Meeker, RN, BSN, MBA, president of the Michigan Organization of Nurse Leaders.

The following joint statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, and Kim Meeker, RN, BSN, MBA, president of the Michigan Organization for Nursing Leadership (MONL).

Kim Meeker, RN, BSN, MBA, president of the Michigan Organization of Nurse Leaders.
Kim Meeker, RN, BSN, MBA, president of the Michigan Organization of Nurse Leaders.

A package of bills announced today in the Michigan Legislature has the potential to severely harm hospitals and access to important services for patients, if ultimately passed. Proponents of the legislation falsely claim this will address nursing shortages in Michigan, but those claims couldn’t be further from the truth. Michigan hospitals are trying to fill 8,500 job openings for nurses. Instituting a one-size-fits-all mandate requiring hospitals hire more nurses who do not currently exist will limit the services hospitals can offer to their communities, prolong the time it takes for a patient to receive care and hinder the ability of hospitals to respond to a crisis in fear of violating Michigan law.

Tangible, proven steps are needed to attract more nurses to Michigan. Those include passing legislation that allows Michigan to join the Nurse Licensure Compact, expanding Michigan Reconnect eligibility and increasing penalties for those who commit acts of violence against healthcare workers.

Brian Peters
MHA CEO Brian Peters.

Michigan hospitals and health systems have been hard at work addressing nursing shortages over recent years. Those efforts include:

  • Obtaining a total of $300 million in state funding that has benefitted at least 69,000 healthcare workers for the purposes of the recruitment, retention and training through Public Act 9 of 2022 and Public Act 5 of 2023.
  • Securing additional nurse training opportunities including expanded state policy allowing four-year BSN programs at community colleges.
  • Expanding Michigan Reconnect to allow funds to support Michiganders moving from a licensed practice nurse (LPN) to a registered nurse, or from a patient care technician certificate to a LPN.
  • Modernizing the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists which allows flexibility for each hospital to choose the anesthesia care model that best fits its location, staffing and resources under Public Act 53 of 2021.
  • Providing emotional well-being support to healthcare workers through a partnership with the Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality that has so far assisted 5,000 healthcare workers from 144 organizations throughout Michigan.

Nursing careers not only provide stable, well compensated jobs with a set of transferrable skills that rarely become obsolete, but in a rewarding environment that truly make a difference in the lives of the patients they serve. The MHA and our member hospitals and health systems, together with MONL, remain committed to focusing on effective solutions that support Michigan nurses and ensure safe patient care.

Michigan’s Largest Private-sector Employer Remains Healthcare

Provides Nearly 568,000 Direct Jobs, 219,000 in Hospitals Alone

The Partnership for Michigan’s Health reports healthcare directly employed nearly 568,000 Michigan residents in 2021, demonstrating that healthcare remains the largest private-sector employer in the state despite continued staffing losses attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2023 release of The Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan shows direct healthcare workers in Michigan earned nearly $46 billion that year in wages, salaries and benefits. Hospitals alone employed 219,000 individuals in the state in 2021.

Direct healthcare employment helps create additional jobs that are indirectly related to or induced by healthcare. These indirect, healthcare-supported jobs are held by more than 470,000 people who earned about $28 billion in 2021 in wages, salaries and benefits. Together with their employers, the more than one million workers in healthcare contributed $19.6 billion that year in local, state and federal taxes. These taxes include Social Security, income, motor vehicle, sales, property, corporate and more.

Data from 2021 shows the impact the pandemic had on the healthcare workforce in Michigan. While direct jobs decreased by nearly 4,000 total positions, direct wages increased by 4% year-over-year as labor costs rose due to increased demand. Direct wages in hospitals increased by 6.8%, as many hospitals offered wage adjustments and bonuses to recruit and retain employees, and increased the use of contract labor with staffing agencies. A separate study conducted by the MHA in 2022 showed expenses related to contract labor and recruitment and retention bonuses increased by $516 million from 2020 to 2021. Nursing and Residential Care also experienced a similar trend, as the number of jobs in the category fell by about 8,000 but compensation remained about the same.

The increase in direct wages for hospital employees follows a national trend. A recent American Hospital Association report shows labor costs increased 20.8% between 2019 and 2022. The increase is due in large part to a greater reliance on contract staffing agencies due to staffing challenges and to meet patient demand. Increased labor expenses have a more profound impact on hospitals and health systems, as labor expenses account for more than 50% of total expenses for most hospitals. In addition, healthcare reimbursement is unable to quickly respond to inflationary pressures since rates with commercial payers are negotiated months in advance while Medicare and Medicaid rates are even slower to adjust, presenting additional financial challenges when responding to sudden labor market demand.

The loss of healthcare workers has also had a detrimental impact on physician practices. According to a survey conducted by the Michigan State Medical Society, 86% of participating physician practices experienced a decline in the number of health professionals and administrative staff employed by the practice since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and medical assistants. In addition, 69% reported staffing shortages led to increased wait times for patients, 55% had to reduce hours or available appointments and 43% experienced an estimated 10-25% reduction in patient revenue.

The report was 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, all based in the greater Lansing area. It uses 2021 data, which is the most recent available.

“Hospitals rely on many workers in a variety of clinical and non-clinical roles to operate every hour of the day, year-round.,” said Michigan Health & Hospital Association CEO Brian Peters. “This report demonstrates the significant number of people it takes to have a high-quality, functioning healthcare system available to all Michiganders.”

“Healthcare is a key driver of not only physical health, but the economic wellness of Michigan,” said Kris Nicholoff, executive director of the Michigan Osteopathic Association. “The Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan shows the extensive value healthcare provides to our state, both as an employer and in providing tax revenue for communities.”

“The same dynamics that are at play in our hospitals affect Michigan’s physician practices, which are also struggling to recruit and maintain physicians and ancillary staff,” said Tom George, MD, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan State Medical Society. “We encourage students to consider pursuing a profession in healthcare, which offers rewarding and stable careers across a variety of disciplines.”

Demand for healthcare careers remains high. A March survey of Michigan hospitals reported more than 27,000 current job openings, including nearly 8,500 open nursing positions, 4,500 technician openings and 3,000 positions for clinical assistants from the 95% of the MHA membership who participated. The need for healthcare workers is not unique to hospitals, and is shared by physician practices, nursing and residential care facilities, home health services, ambulatory services and other healthcare organizations.

The 18th edition of The Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan was compiled using IMPLAN® cloud software to quantify healthcare’s significant economic impact in the state. The data represents direct, indirect[1] and induced[2] healthcare jobs; taxes paid by those workers and their employers; and salaries, wages and benefits earned. The report is an online, interactive tool that allows users to examine these economic impacts from a statewide perspective and by region, county or congressional district. It is available at

[1] Indirect jobs are those created to support a larger employer or industry (for example, a laundry that cleans linens for a hospital).

[2] Induced jobs are those created by the spending of people who work in the indirect jobs (for example, a restaurant waiter who serves the laundry workers).