The MHA received media coverage the week of March 13 regarding conversations around workforce funding and current challenges amid the third anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a collection of headlines from around the state.
The MHA received media coverage the week of Feb. 6 regarding a variety of topics, including the fiscal year 2024 executive budget recommendation, the role food insecurity has as a social determinant of health, the new state House Behavioral Health subcommittee and the need for hospitals to make infrastructure updates.
Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that includes interviews or statements from MHA representatives. Included is coverage from a media statement from MHA CEO Brian Peters released a statement published in support of the executive budget recommendation, thanking Gov. Whitmer for her continued commitment to protecting hospitals and supporting healthcare workers.
The MHA received media coverage the week of Jan. 30 regarding the 340B drug pricing program and the lack of child psychiatrists in northern Michigan.
Crain’s Detroit Business published an op-ed Feb. 1 from MHA CEO Brian Peters on how the 340B drug pricing program benefits hospitals. The placement of the op-ed follows recent criticism of the program in the media on how the program generates savings for hospitals and health systems.
“Michigan has some of the best state-level 340B protections in our country that prioritize access to care for vulnerable patients,” said Peters. “The program is funded through drug company discounts and not taxpayer dollars. Reducing the availability of 340B simply means even higher profits for drug companies. As the Michigan Legislature begins a new session, it is important to remember that for three decades, the 340B drug pricing program has received bipartisan support and helped hospitals from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula.”
In a separate story, Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, appeared in a story that looks at the shortage of child psychiatrists in rural and northern Michigan and the challenges it presents to children and families accessing care. The story originally written by Capital News Service was picked up by publications such as the Midland Daily News, Cadillac News, Ludington Daily News and City Pulse.
Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.
The 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.”
To expand access to critical information and discussion about the MHA’s 2022-2023 program year’s strategic action plan, the MHA Trustee Member Forum on Nov. 2 will be offered in a virtual format rather than in …
The MHA Service Corporation (MHASC) board focused on supporting MHA Strategic Action Plan priorities at the Oct. 13 planning session including addressing financial viability, workforce restoration & wellbeing, behavioral health improvements, health equity and …
The MHA hosted a virtual forum Oct. 18 reviewing the Strategic Action Plan that was approved by the MHA Board of Trustees in August. The forum discussed pressing challenges and opportunities facing healthcare, including workforce development …
The MHA’s Race of the Week series highlights the most pivotal statewide races and ballot questions for Election 2022. The series will provide hospitals and healthcare advocates with the resources they need to make informed decisions on Election Day, including candidates’ views and background …
“Mid-mid-term election day is 22 days away. The “official end” of the Covid public health emergency has been delayed to January 11. The Federal Reserve is expected to increase its borrowing rate for the sixth time this year at its November meeting as it attempts to slow inflation and the stock market is under-water as year-end approaches. Regardless of the mid-term outcome and the state of the economy, healthcare will be prominent in the upcoming lame-duck Congress…”
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 …
Rising costs, uncertain governmental policies, workforce challenges, behavioral health and equity issues have put hospitals and health systems in a compromising position. The summit aimed to connect industry experts to collaborate on solutions and share best practices to tackle these issues.
Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy at the MHA, spoke on a panel that covered solutions to the labor challenges and measures that reduce pressure on healthcare institutions throughout the state.
“There are no quick, easy fixes,” Appel noted. “Public health is a way for us to get people in a better place in the aggregate – we cannot solve diabetes, for example, with healthcare alone. We’ve got to do the policy work that it takes to push back and reduce rates [of illness], as opposed to just stopping the upward trends.”
Leaders from MHA-member hospitals and health systems were also featured in breakout sessions that covered workforce challenges and technological solutions to improve efficiency and safety. Panelists included:
Kimberly Keaton Williams, vice president of talent acquisition and development and chief diversity officer at McLaren Health Care.
Shana Lewis, vice president of talent acquisition and workforce development programs at Trinity Health.
Lisa Ouellette, interim chief human resources officer at Corewell Health.
Robert Riney, president & CEO of Henry Ford Health.
The event also featured keynote speaker Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, vice president and chief health equity officer at CVS Health, who spoke about attainable solutions for addressing inequities and improving health outcomes for underserved, vulnerable communities.
Crain’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.
The 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.”
The MHA received media coverage on a variety of topics during the weeks of Aug. 1 and Aug. 8. Areas of focus included health insurance tax credits from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), healthcare benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act, growing demand for healthcare careers and more.
Crain’s Detroit Business published Aug. 2 a Letter to the Editor on the importance of permanently writing into law ARPA health insurance tax credits that was signed by Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, along with Dominick Pallone, executive director, Michigan Association of Health Plans; Julie Novak, CEO, Michigan State Medical Society; and Phillip Bergquist, CEO, Michigan Primary Care Association. Together, they describe how the expanded income tax credits helped 67,000 Michigan residents gain access to health insurance.
“Premium tax credits serve as a key that unlocks greater access to this care and the healthier future we need. We must protect them before it’s too late. We call on lawmakers to work with urgency to see that ARPA’s health insurance tax credits are permanently written into law before they expire at the end of this year.”
An article on the fastest growing job opportunities in Michigan through 2030 was also published by Crain’s, which includes several healthcare careers at the top of the list. The article quotes Brian Peters discussing the state funding available for community colleges to partner with a four-year institution to offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing on a community college campus.
“Staffing shortages are impacting Michigan hospitals throughout the state, particularly in the areas of nursing,” said Peters. “This plan will help us get more highly-skilled professionals into the field quickly and increase access to nursing education in more communities across the state.”
Lastly, Crain’s published a story Aug. 12 that includes a quote from the MHA celebrating the federal Inflation Reduction Act including an extension for three years of expanded subsidies to reduce Health Insurance Marketplace premiums and insulin being capped at $35 a month for Medicare patients.
Additional news clips included a statement provided to MiBiz on a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling Aug. 1 that allowed county prosecutors to pursue criminal charges in most abortion cases until an Oakland County circuit court judge granted a temporary restraining order to block local prosecutors from enforcing the law later that same day. Becker’s Hospital Review also published an interview with MHA CEO Brian Peters on a variety of topics in preparation for Peters serving on a panel at Becker’s 10th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable conference in November.