The MHA received media coverage the week of Feb. 13 regarding challenges impacting hospital viability in Michigan and on a statement released by MHA CEO Brian Peters following the shooting Feb. 13 on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU).
Bridge published an op-ed Feb. 13 from MHA Board Chair T. Anthony Denton, J.D., MHSA, expressing the need to consider short- and long-term policy solutions to the problems facing healthcare in Michigan. Denton is also senior vice-president and chief environmental, social and governance officer of University of Michigan Health-Michigan Medicine.
“I believe in the power of quality healthcare — care that treats the whole person, with attention and dignity and is close to where people live,” said Denton. “We can only continue to provide that care with high levels of commitment to health with proper resources. Please join me in my call to our policy leaders: healthcare is a team sport, and we all have a vital role to fulfill, on behalf of patients, healthcare teams, families and communities.”
WOOD TV8 published a story Dec. 12 on the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 183, which includes language allowing rural emergency hospital (REH) licensure in Michigan. The bill passed Dec. 6 with overwhelming support in both the State House and Senate following collaboration between the MHA, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Whitmer administration on making the necessary changes in state statute to allow for the new federal designation.
Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, spoke with WOOD TV8 on the bill and the challenges rural hospitals face which led to the creation of the federal REH designation. Appel discussed the high fixed costs associated with maintaining inpatient services and the financial reimbursement benefits offered to REHs.
“If your population goes down, your fixed costs don’t go down, but Medicare is going to continue to help you with those,” said Appel. “Regardless of where you are, if you’re a hospital in financial stress or if you’re a hospital that doesn’t want to become financially stressed … you have all of those things working in your favor.”
The MHA also received mentions in stories published Dec. 15, including one from Michigan Radio on the surge of respiratory illnesses being treated by Michigan’s pediatric hospitals and from Bridge on the increase of flu-related hospitalizations in the state.
Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.
Bridge 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.”
The MHA received media coverage on a variety of topics during the weeks of June 27 and July 4. Areas of focus included the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the passage of the fiscal year 2023 state budget and challenges facing small and rural hospitals.
The MHA shared a statement with media following the SCOTUS decision that repealed Roe v. Wade. Outlets that included comment from the MHA in their stories included the Detroit Free Press, Bridge and Gongwer.
The passage of the state budget the morning of July 1 by the Michigan Legislature was celebrated by MHA CEO Brian Peters in a media statement that outlined the existing MHA budget priorities that continue to be protected as well as significant new funding to support behavioral health capacity and the healthcare workforce. MLive, MiBiz, The Center Square and Gongwer carried portions of the statement.
Renewed attention was brought to financial challenges faced by small and rural, particularly independent, hospitals due to a legislative request for funding from Sturgis Hospital as the organization pursues the possibility of converting to the new rural emergency hospital designation through the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. MiBiz and Bridge published articles that include reaction from the MHA following assistance the association made in the legislative ask that secured $11 million for Sturgis Hospital.
Members with any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.
The MHA received media coverage the week of May 9 on the upcoming Public Health Code Rules requiring implicit bias training for all professions licensed or registered under the Public Health Code and the recently approved extension by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of Michigan Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage for 12 months after pregnancy.
Bridge published May 11 a story on the healthcare industry’s reaction to the June 1 implementation date of the implicit bias training requirement. MHA CEO Brian Peters is quoted in the article expressing the positive reaction from hospitals on the requirement and their commitment to eliminate health disparities.
“There’s been no push back,” said Peters. “Everyone realizes this is the right thing to do.”
State of Reform also published May 10 an article on the increase in coverage for postpartum mothers from 60 days after birth to a full year in Michigan. Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, spoke with State of Reform on the importance of this coverage extension towards addressing maternal mortality and racial disparities.
“It feels counterintuitive to why healthcare coverage for women would end 60 days after they gave birth,” said Appel. “You would in no way expect coverage to end so quickly.”
The MHA responded to several media requests the week of Jan. 31 that focused on the history of hospital mergers and acquisitions in Michigan and the current outlook for hospitals regarding COVID-19.
Bridge published Feb. 1 an article that looked at the impact of hospital mergers on consumers in light of the merger between Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health. MHA CEO Brian Peters is quoted in the story discussing the reasons between hospital mergers.
“The real watchword is ‘value,’” said Peters. “We want to create value and that equation of course, is cost and quality and appropriateness,” he said, adding “higher quality care costs less in the long run.”
The Detroit News published Feb. 2 a story that focuses on the future outlook for hospitals now that the COVID-19 surge driven by the omicron variant is declining. MHA Director of Communications John Karasinski discussed the statewide trends for hospitals.
“It’s clear that we’re on the downside of this omicron surge as the numbers this week are better than the prior week, but the status of hospitals does vary depending on region, bed capacity and staffing,” said Karasinski.
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.
Bridge Michigan published a series of articles the week of June 28 that examine Michigan’s mental health system for children and teens.
Shared in three installments, the pieces look at the strain on families, the boarding of children in the emergency department as they await treatment, and potential solutions.
The series includes Laura Appel, senior vice president, health policy & innovation, MHA, discussing the challenges that hospitals and health systems experience when providing behavioral health treatment to children and teens. Specifically, Appel discusses the constantly changing state pediatric psychiatric bed census, and legislation that would provide transformational funding to increase child inpatient psychiatric beds and to update emergency department facilities to mirror environmental features found in psychiatric facilities.