Peters Talks Auto No-fault with Michigan Radio

MHA CEO Brian Peters

Brian PetersMHA CEO Brian Peters spoke Oct. 14 with Michigan Radio on the new auto no-fault law. Much of the discussion focused on the impact to providers of the mandated Medicare fee schedules that went into effect July 1, 2021.

Peters reinforced the MHA’s commitment to caring for auto accident survivors and the continued years of advocacy on the issue. Peters also reviewed the current political arena and the outlook for future policy changes.

“If not for the pandemic, this would have a tremendous amount of visibility in the public eye,” said Peters. “I really do think there would be a much higher degree of conscientiousness about what’s happening in Michigan right now with the ramifications of the new law.”

“The mantra for many public policy members was, ‘we’re going to do something different and sit back and see how it plays out, and make adjustments if necessary.’ So I think we’re going to have an opportunity to revisit this issue, if things continue to play out as they have in these initial months. The proof will be there that maybe this did not benefit Michiganders in the way that many thought it would.”

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MHA Board of Trustees Wraps up Unprecedented Program Year

The MHA Board of Trustees concluded the 2020-2021 program year by holding its first in-person meeting of the year at the MHA offices in Okemos for fully vaccinated attendees. As with every meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the board reviewed the latest statewide COVID-19-related data and took a moment to reflect on the daunting toll the virus has taken in lives lost and strain placed on healthcare workers and all Michiganders. It was noted that, since the onset of the pandemic, Michigan hospitals have treated over 450,000 COVID-19 patients in emergency departments and admitted more than 120,000 for inpatient care, including 4,500 children. Despite these sobering statistics, the board celebrated the continued steep decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and infections, as well as advancements in treatment since the onset of the pandemic; however, members expressed concern about slowing rates of vaccination as more infectious variants continue to spread nationally.

The board welcomed the staff of the Michigan Osteopathic Association (MOA), which represents osteopathic physicians statewide, as new tenants within the MHA headquarters building. MOA CEO and executive director, Kris Nicholoff, addressed the board and noted the longstanding and strong relationship between hospitals and the osteopathic community, which can be further strengthened through the new space-sharing arrangement.

The board also received a report on the status of healthcare funding priorities in the fiscal year 2022 state budget, which continue to be deliberated in the Legislature, as well as recent activities related to the statewide roll-out and provider concerns related to recent reforms to Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance law. Current Health PAC Chair and incoming MHA Board of Trustees Chair Tina Freese Decker provided an update on the status of the 2021 MHA Health PAC campaign, which has been extended through July 31. Freese Decker encouraged eligible individuals and organizations to meet their contribution goals. Information about the MHA Health PAC can be found online. The board also approved type 3 membership and Endorsed Business Partnership for NextJob, a nationwide reemployment solutions company.

The board concluded the meeting by acknowledging outgoing board members Edward Bruff, president & CEO, Covenant Healthcare, Saginaw; James (Chip) Falahee, senior vice president, Legal & Legislative Affairs, Bronson Healthcare Group, Kalamazoo; and David Jahn, president & CEO, War Memorial Hospital, Sault Ste. Marie. The board also recognized outgoing chair Ed Ness, president & CEO, Munson Healthcare, Traverse City, for his leadership during such a challenging program year and extended its best wishes to incoming chair Tina Freese Decker, president & CEO, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, for a successful year ahead. For more information about actions of the MHA Board of Trustees, contact Amy Barkholz at the MHA.

Auto No-Fault Utilization Review Rules Examined in Webinar

The MHA hosted a member webinar Feb. 9 to discuss the recently finalized auto no-fault insurance utilization review rules. The presentation was led by Jennifer Benedict and Becky Glitman, partners in the Honigman law firm, with follow-up discussion led by Sally Bailey, nursing services senior director at Michigan Medicine.

A one-page summary of the new utilization review process is available online. To obtain a copy of the presentation slides, contact Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA. Members with questions on the utilization review rules should contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

Laura Appel Discusses Auto Insurance Changes on Nightly News


Laura Appel, senior vice president and chief innovation officer, MHA, appeared on the nightly news broadcasts of WNEM TV5 and WLNS TV-6 on consecutive nights discussing the impact of the new law, the choices available to drivers, and the MHA’s public education campaign “Big Changes Ahead.”

The WNEM TV5 story aired June 30 in the Flint/Tri-Cities television market as Appel reviewed the risks associated with purchasing less than unlimited personal injury protection coverage.

“People don’t get to choose their accident. You don’t know ahead of time how much coverage you really need depending on what might happen to you or a member of your family,” said Appel. “We really wanted people to understand what the changes are to the law and what’s available to you, and to encourage people to think hard about what they could afford and think in the context of what they might need.”

On July 1, Appel contributed to a WLNS TV-6 story providing the top six things a consumer needs to know about the new auto insurance law.

MHA Monday Report June 22, 2020

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Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of June 15

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order (EO) 2020-117 June 18 to extend Michigan’s state of emergency due to COVID-19 through July 16. The MHA continues to keep members apprised of developments during the pandemic …

Legislation to Regulate Electronic Cigarettes Moves to House Committee

The Michigan Senate voted June 17 to support Senate Bills 781-786, a package of bills to amend the regulation of electronic cigarettes. The proposed legislation would establish a regulatory scheme for the sale of electronic cigarettes, provide for …

News Reporters Join Call Announcing “Big Changes Ahead”

The MHA conducted a media call June 15 to announce the launch of its statewide “Big Changes Ahead” public education campaign and website, The campaign is designed to make Michiganders aware of the medical coverage options …

Regional Safety Sessions to Focus on Maternal Hypertension, Implementing Safety Bundles​

Approximately three in five pregnancy-related deaths can be prevented, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To address this matter, hospital teams across Michigan are focusing on combating factors contributing to maternal …

Recording Available: Overcoming Challenges for COVID-19 Survivors Webinar​

The June 10 iteration of the bimonthly MHA Workplace Safety Safe Patient Handling and Mobility webinar series focused on overcoming challenges for COVID-19 patient survivors. … Survey Report Describes COVID-19 Impact on Compensation, Benefits, an endorsed business partner of the MHA and a leading software provider of cloud-based compensation data, software and analytics, released new survey data that shows 66% of employers either reduced their workforce or negatively impacted employee pay…

Headline Roundup: COVID-19 Financial Challenges for Hospitals​

Read and listen to coverage about the MHA, including recent interviews with Ruthanne Sudderth, senior vice president, public affairs & communications, on Interlochen Public Radio and WWMT-TV.

The Keckley Report

The Independent Practice of Medicine: Pipe Dream or Realistic Aim for Physicians

“Last weekend, Susan Bailey, M.D., an allergist and immunologist from Fort Worth, Texas, was sworn in as the 175th President of the American Medical Association (AMA) at its virtual House of Delegates meeting. In her acceptance remarks, she vowed to advocate for protection of the independent private practice of medicine and financial support for clinicians. …

“Dr. Bailey’s sentiment is widely shared among clinicians. But is it realistic?”

Paul Keckley. June 15, 2020

News to Know

Important healthcare news for the week of June 22:

  • State licenses for health facilities, agencies and substance use disorder services programs expire July 31, and the 2020-2021 renewal cycle is open through the eLicense portal.

Headline Roundup: DIFS Launches Website for New Auto Insurance Law

Auto No-Fault

On Feb. 5 the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced the launch of a new website, hotline and additional resources for Michigan drivers on the new no-fault auto insurance law that was signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer May 30, 2019.

Mentioned in each article is consumer research released by the MHA that found more than half of Michigan motorists are unfamiliar with the new law.

Here are a few headlines from around the state:

The MHA will continue to work with DIFS and other stakeholders as the association develops a public education campaign that will launch in the spring. Members with questions regarding the upcoming public awareness campaign should contact Ruthanne Sudderth, and any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.

Sudderth Discusses Auto Insurance Research in Crain’s Detroit Business

Ruthanne Sudderth

On Feb. 2, Crain’s Detroit Business published an article that includes a section on the new auto no-fault insurance law that was signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2019.

The article references research commissioned by the MHA that shows 53% of insurance consumers are unaware of the forthcoming changes in the law. Ruthanne Sudderth, senior vice president, public affairs and communications, MHA, is quoted discussing the launch of a public education campaign by the MHA to educate consumers on the new law.

"This is not about relitigating the law, this is about educating drivers and making sure patients are protected," said Sudderth. “We want folks to understand that buying the most coverage they can afford is probably going to be best for their families.”

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Paul W. Smith “Live from Lansing” Show Focuses on Healthcare

Chris WJR

On Jan. 30, the MHA sponsored the WJR News Talk Radio broadcast of the Paul W. Smith “Live from Lansing” show as part of its annual coverage of legislative and policy issues facing the state.

MHA Executive Vice President Chris Mitchell (left) was featured on WJR’s “Live from Lansing” Jan. 30 broadcast, hosted by Paul W. Smith (right).Hosted by Rep. Angela Witwer (D-Delta Twp.) in the Anderson House Office Building, Smith spoke with various political and business leaders, including MHA Executive Vice President for Advocacy and Public Affairs Chris Mitchell. Mitchell spoke about several different topics, including maternal health, the state healthcare budget, rural health and changes to Michigan’s auto insurance law.

Other individuals making an appearance on the show included Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake).

As a sponsor of the event, the MHA developed a 60-second message for airing before and during the broadcast. For more information, contact John Karasinski at the MHA.

MHA Monday Report Jan. 27, 2020

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Auto No-FaultStudy: Michigan Motorists Largely Unfamiliar with New Auto No-fault Law That Takes Effect July 1

Michigan’s 7.2 million licensed drivers know little about the state’s new auto no-fault insurance law that takes effect July 1 with a menu of first-time coverage choices and exceptions that could lower premiums and substantially limit medical care …

U.S. Supreme Court Declines Request to Expedite Ruling on Fate of Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Supreme Court declined a petition to review and overturn a recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Fifth Circuit found the ACA’s individual insurance mandate to be unconstitutional and sent …

Members Testify Before Senate on Critical Incident Stress Management Bill

Amy Morrison-Maybee, Bronson Healthcare CISM team coordinator, testifies before the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee.Members of the Bronson Healthcare team testified before the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee Jan. 23 to advocate for House Bill (HB) 4862 on behalf of medical providers living with critical incident stress. The bill would expand …

Michigan Capitol BuildingSurprise Billing Legislation Approved by Senate Insurance and Banking Committee

The Michigan Senate Insurance and Banking Committee approved legislation Jan. 22 to address the issue of surprise medical bills. Also referred to as balance billing, surprise medical billing occurs when patients are unexpectedly held responsible for …

Patient Safety OrganizationRegistration Open for MHA Keystone Center PSO Annual Meeting

Registration is open for the MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) Annual Meeting, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 11 at the VisTaTech Center – Schoolcraft College, Livonia. A virtual option is available for those …

MHA Health Foundation Webinar Reviews Medicare and Medicaid Overpayments

Overpayments to healthcare providers receiving Medicare reimbursements can result in civil and criminal enforcement action if providers are not diligent in compliance with reimbursement rule requirements. Healthcare providers cannot keep money paid …

MHA Ludwig AwardNominate a Great Community Benefit Program for a Ludwig Award

The MHA’s Ludwig Community Benefit Award is presented annually to recognize MHA-member healthcare organizations that demonstrate community benefit by improving the health and well-being of their communities through collaborative health, economic … 

The Keckley Report

Paul KeckleyThe 38th JP Morgan Healthcare Conference: My Take
“The 38th version of the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference is in the books and there were few surprises. …

“JPM is Woodstock for healthcare lenders and investors and the companies that desire their money.”

Paul Keckley, Jan. 20, 2020

News to Know

Upcoming events and important healthcare news for the week of Jan. 27:

  • A webinar titled Compensation Wellness: Four Things to Make a Priority in 2020 will be presented by at noon Tuesday.
  • Learning Webinar 1 of the Great Lakes Partners for Patients Hospital Improvement Innovation Falls Improvement Sprint series will take place from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday.
  • Learning Webinar 1 of the Great Lakes Partners for Patients Hospital Improvement Innovation Readmissions Improvement Sprint series will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday.
  • The MHA hosted a webinar Jan. 14 with its endorsed business partner Care Logistics, an industry leader in improving patient flow, throughput, quality and experience.

MHA in the News

Read recent coverage about the MHA, including a roundup of articles from across the state about recent research that finds Michigan drivers are largely unfamiliar with the state’s new auto no-fault insurance law that will take effect July 1.

Headline Roundup: MHA Research Shows Michigan Motorists Largely Unfamiliar with New Auto No-fault Law

Auto No-Fault

The MHA received coverage from several media outlets across the state following the public release of research that finds Michigan’s 7.2 million motorists are largely unfamiliar with the state’s new auto no-fault insurance law that will take effect July 1.

On May 30, 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill making sweeping changes to Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance law. An in-depth study of 1,005 Michigan motorists conducted by Escalent, a southeast Michigan company that conducts specialized market and consumer behavior research for many companies and industries, found that only 12% of insured motorists are “very familiar” and 35% are “a little familiar” with the new law, while 53% have just “heard of it” or are “not at all familiar.”

Here are a few headlines from around the state:

The MHA will continue to work with key stakeholders during the launch of a public education campaign in the spring to educate motorists about the new law. Members with questions regarding the upcoming public awareness campaign should contact Ruthanne Sudderth and any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.