CMS Wage Data Revisions Due Sept. 2

Hospitals are encouraged to review their preliminary wage and occupational mix data released May 23 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and submit any requests for changes to their Medicare Administrative Contractor by Sept. 2 since no new requests for changes will be accepted after that date.

This data is being used by the CMS to develop the fiscal year (FY) 2024 Medicare wage index which will be used to adjust up to nearly 70% of the payment amount across Medicare prospective payment systems including inpatient, outpatient and post-acute care settings effective Oct. 1, 2023. To assist hospitals in reviewing their data, the MHA distributed hospital-specific reports that included comparisons to the previous two years and to that of other hospitals in their core-based statistical area. Materials and a recording of the MHA’s educational webinar held June 29 are available upon request by contacting Crystal Mitchell at the MHA.

Hospitals are also reminded that applications for Medicare geographic reclassifications are due Sept. 1 to the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board (MGCRB). Applications approved by the MGCRB are valid for three years, FY 2024 -2026, and can be withdrawn if needed. Applications, instructions and other information regarding hospital wage index reclassifications are available on the CMS website.

Members with other questions regarding the Medicare wage index or geographic reclassification process should contact Vickie Kunz at the MHA.

Healthcare Community Urged to Vote in Aug. 2 Primary Election

MI Vote Matters logo

The MHA encourages its staff, members and other stakeholders in the healthcare community to vote in the state’s primary election Aug. 2. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sample ballots are available through the Michigan Secretary of State website, and additional information and resources can be found on the MHA Election 2022 webpage. Voters may only vote in one party section for the entire ballot. Ballots with votes in more than one party section will not be counted. Voters are also encouraged to vote in nonpartisan sections of their ballots.

Those who would like to ensure they are properly registered or need to verify their precinct number may click on “Your Voter Information” on the Michigan Secretary of State website and type in the requested information. The November 2018 passage of the state constitutional amendment, Promote the Vote Ballot Proposal, allows citizens to register to vote up to and on Election Day at their local clerk’s office.

The 2022 gubernatorial and midterm elections are critical to Michigan’s healthcare future. In addition to choosing the next governor, secretary of state and attorney general of Michigan, voters across the state will decide political contests that impact the legislative and regulatory environments faced by hospitals and the patients they serve, including two Michigan Supreme Court seats and all seats in both the U.S. House of Representatives, the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate. Based on the political makeup of legislative districts, the results of the primary election often determine who will take office in January.

Following the August primary and the Democratic and Republican state conventions at the end of the month, the MHA will once again offer members a series of nonpartisan communication tools designed to encourage voter education and participation at the local level for the Nov. 8 general election. The MHA will also feature regular election updates on its Facebook and Twitter feeds using the hashtag #MIVoteMatters. Members with questions should contact Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.

New Physician Recruiting Data and Insights Provided by Merritt Hawkins

Merritt Hawkins

By Kurt Mosley, vice president of strategic alliances at Merritt Hawkins, an MHA Endorsed Business Partner

For the last 29 years, Merritt Hawkins, a division of AMN Healthcare, has released its annual Review of Physician and Advanced Practice Practitioner (AP) Recruiting Incentives.Merritt Hawkins

The recently released 2022 Review is based on a representative sample of over 2,600 recruiting engagements and, like previous reviews, tracks physician and AP starting salaries, signing bonuses, relocation allowances and related incentives. Over the years, the Review has provided benchmark data that many hospitals, medical groups and others use to determine if their recruiting packages offer customary and competitive incentives.

The new Review indicates that demand for physicians, and the salaries they are offered, has rebounded dramatically from COVID-19. Patient backlogs, an aging population and widespread chronic medical conditions have caused a strong surge in physician demand.

Increased from last year, the average starting salaries for orthopedic surgeons and most other specialties are shown on a downloadable infographic. The 2022 Review also shows that demand for medical specialists is rising, while demand for primary care physicians has declined. Most of Merritt Hawkins’ search engagements (64%) over the prior 12 months were for medical specialists, while only 17% were for primary care physicians. The remaining 19% were for advanced practice professionals such as nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), and certified registered nurse anesthetists.

Two factors account for this shift. One is an aging population that needs more specialists to care for ailing internal organs, musculoskeletal conditions and neurological problems. The other is the growing use of NPs and PAs to provide primary care, often in “convenient care” settings such as urgent care centers, retail clinics and through telemedicine.

The Review includes a wide range of additional data and analysis. MHA members can obtain a copy of the review by contacting Merritt Hawkins Regional Vice President Ben Jones.

News to Know – Week of May 23

The deadline is approaching to apply for the Circle of Life Awards, which recognize innovative palliative or end-of-life care providers that measure and evaluate the impact of their work on patients, family and/or the community. Part 1 applications for the 2023 awards will be accepted through May 31 and Part 2 applications are due Aug. 15. The new two-part process is designed to reduce the time needed to apply. Up to three Circle of Life Awards will be presented during the American Hospital Association (AHA) Leadership Summit in July 2023. Caring Circle of Lakeland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Spectrum Health Lakeland, is one of the most recent winners of the award. Questions about the award and the application process may be directed to the AHA.

Webinar Reviews Infection Control Worksheet Compliance

Antibiotics have transformed the practice of medicine, making once lethal infections readily treatable and other medical advances possible. Like all medications, antibiotics can have serious unintended consequences, such as causing a patient to have an adverse drug reaction or a patient misusing the antibiotic. Improving the use of antibiotics is an important patient safety and public health issue. The MHA Health Foundation webinar The CMS Hospital Infection Control and Antibiotic Stewardship Program Compliance Requirements will examine:

  • How to accurately complete Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) infection control worksheets.
  • Updated procedures for the hand hygiene tracer.
  • Details surrounding the use of clean needles and syringes.
  • Vaccine storage and handling, as well as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention procedures for cleaning and disinfecting reusable medical devices.

The webinar is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon ET June 7, and MHA members can register for a $200 connection fee per facility. Members with questions should contact Erica Leyko at the MHA.

Trustees Play Significant Role in Healthcare Recovery


EIGFCOVID-19 has reshaped the healthcare environment. Emerging trends will have implications for years to come and the way hospitals and boards lead through recovery — be it financial, clinical or emotional — will determine the organization’s future.

The MHA Excellence in Governance Fellowship is the best choice to help prepare health organization board members to excel in performing their vital responsibilities as hospitals and health systems navigate an environment where COVID-19 is endemic. 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.

Fellows meet in person four times a year at the MHA headquarters in Okemos and participate in virtual sessions held in the months when fellows are not meeting in person. This format is designed to give board members the opportunity to fit this valuable learning into their busy schedules.

Graduates of the fellowship have high praise for the fellowship, as demonstrated by a video of graduates’ testimonials. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2022 – 2023 Excellence in Governance Fellowship, which will be held from October 2022 through June 2023. To further explore this one-of-a-kind offering, contact Erin Steward at the MHA.

News to Know – Week of Dec. 13

The MHA welcomes AbilitiCBT by LifeWorks as a new Endorsed Business Partner that can help healthcare organizations support and enhance the mental health of their employees — which is especially critical now, with employee burnout and turnover reaching record heights. AbilitiCBT by LifeWorks is an innovative, internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) solution guided by professional therapists and delivered through a secure, digital platform that’s accessible through any device (smartphone, tablet, computer). AbilitiCBT combines the same clinical efficacy of in-person therapy with the convenience of virtual access. To learn more about opportunities available or to schedule a demo of AbilitiCBT by LifeWorks, contact Carey McKenzie, senior vice president at LifeWorks.

MiPLUS, the Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL) licensing platform, sends an electronic copy of a provider license via email as soon as it is issued or renewed. Electronic copies of licenses are also stored in individual MiPLUS accounts and can be accessed at any time. Therefore, paper copies of licenses will no longer be automatically mailed upon issuance or renewal beginning Jan. 1. Licensees may choose during the application or renewal process to have a paper copy of their license mailed. Questions may be directed to the BPL at (517) 241-0199 or to Paige Fults at the MHA.

The MHA recently submitted comments to the United States departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury and the Office of Personnel Management regarding the No Surprises Act Part 2 regulations scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. The MHA continues to review how the federal law intersects with the Michigan surprise billing law. Members are encouraged to share these comments with partners and stakeholders and to contact Lauren LaPine at the MHA with any questions.

News to Know – Week of Nov. 22

MHA offices will be closed Nov. 25 and 26 in recognition of Thanksgiving and will reopen Nov. 29. The MHA Monday Report will not be published Nov. 29, but timely news will continue to be posted in the MHA Newsroom prior to publication of the Dec. 6 edition of Monday Report. Best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday!

The MHA will offer a webinar on Unemployment Compensation and Vaccine Mandates at 10 a.m. EST Dec. 9. Attorneys from the MHA Unemployment Compensation Program will discuss the various issues impacting vaccine mandate unemployment claims and provide guidance for employers on how to address such claims. The webinar is free of charge for MHA members and UCP clients, but registration is required. Questions may be directed to Neil MacVicar at the MHA.

The MHA will host a free webinar from noon to 12:45 p.m. EST Dec. 9 to review new requirements from The Joint Commission on workplace violence that take effect in January. MHA Endorsed Business Partner HSS will review the updated areas of the accreditation standards and what hospitals need to do to comply. The webinar is free of charge for MHA members, but registration is required. In addition, HSS offers an online version of its Techniques for Effective Aggression Management (TEAM®) that is fully compliant with government requirements. Members are encouraged to view a demonstration of the online TEAM Essentials eLearning program. Questions on the upcoming webinar or the online program may be directed to Seth Karnes at HSS.

Healthcare Organizations Gather Virtually for Michigan Health Equity Summit

Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, PhDNearly 137 safety and quality professionals participated in the virtual Michigan Health Equity Summit Nov. 3 hosted by the Michigan Public Health Institute, the Michigan State University Institute for Health Policy and the MHA Keystone Center, with funding provided by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. The event explored how hospitals can continue expanding their work in achieving health equity and eliminating disparities.

The summit featured Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, PhD, who discussed the need to change culture and rebuild. He challenged members to ensure that the change they implement will lead to the sought-after results and engage the appropriate people. He shared the need to look at the process and not just the outcome to eliminate inequity, as pointing out inequities doesn’t make a change; acting to establish equity through access does.

Additionally, Brenda Jegede, manager, Office of Equity & Minority Health, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), discussed Michigan’s requirements for implicit bias training for healthcare workers. She also shared the MDHHS’ health equity strategies, including a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council; mandatory DEI training; institutionalizing the use of an equity impact assessment tool; and minority health capacity building grants to fund local organizations to address social determinants of health.

Spectrum Health Lakeland and Bronson Healthcare shared goals and information learned since focusing on health equity. Lynn Todman, vice president, health equity, Spectrum Health Lakeland, shared the hospital’s goal is to have at least 75% of race, ethnicity and language data captured during the registration process and to start collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data. Beth Washington, vice president, community health, equity and inclusion, Bronson Healthcare, shared that Bronson’s data reflected a significant increase in the number of area residents who speak the Arabic language and learned the community had recently become identified as a refugee resettlement site.

Jenkins closed out the summit reminding participants to lead with DEI in mind, encouraging them not to speak for someone without first speaking with that person, to avoid “guilt-centered dumps” and not to let the paralysis of inequity win.

A recording of the summit is available on the MHA Community site. Questions may be directed to the MHA Keystone Center.

Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Cuts Hospital Costs, Improves Patient Care

The MHA Keystone Center is working alongside the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM) through the Michigan Opioid Partnership to provide funding and technical assistance for the emergency department-based medication for opioid use disorder (ED MOUD) program. The program will increase access to medication for OUD statewide and connect patients receiving MOUD with appropriate resources to continue care in the community. An online video provides additional information on the program.

The CFSEM recently released impact stories highlighting successes of the program from previous participants. Andrew King, MD, an emergency room physician at Detroit Medical Center and advisor to the CFSEM, has witnessed the effectiveness of MOUD and reminds practitioners that it is possible to guide those with OUD down a path to recovery.

“I can see the people who are now on medications and feeling much better and doing well. They are happy and putting their lives back together, and that’s a beautiful thing!” King says. “By controlling the disease process, maybe they’re treating their kids or their spouse better or they’re doing a better job at work. That’s the whole point of why we signed up for this job — trying to keep people safe and healthy and in the game for as long as possible.” An article from the CFSEM provides additional information.

The MHA has also been advocating to improve legislation related to ED MOUD by working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to ensure all hospitals interested in starting an emergency department-based medication assisted treatment program have the funding resources to do so.

Members with questions on the ED MOUD program may contact the MHA Keystone Center.