Headline Roundup: Price Transparency, Workforce Challenges and Contrast Media Shortages

Brian Peters

Brian PetersThe MHA responded to several media requests the week of May 16 on topics including the RAND 4.0 Hospital Price Transparency Study, hospital workforce challenges and the shortage of contrast media from GE Healthcare.

MiBiz and Crain’s Detroit Business published stories on the latest RAND report that includes multiple quotes from MHA CEO Brian Peters discussing the flaws associated with the study, including the use of Medicare as a reimbursement benchmark and the limited data set. The MiBiz story also cites recent findings from the American Hospital Association and Kaufman Hall on significantly increasing hospital expenses.

“So it’s not a comprehensive set. It’s looking very specifically at Medicare reimbursement rates, which we know in Michigan and other states as well does not cover the true cost of care,” said Peters to MiBiz. “Hospitals do everything they possibly can just to break even, at best, and still lose money on Medicare.”

Michigan Radio aired a feature on May 16 following an interview with Peters on workforce challenges impacting hospitals.

“We are losing employees to McDonald’s for a job that pays better and is less stressful,” said Peters. “And we are incredibly limited in our ability to compete with rising wages in other industries.”

Crain’s Detroit Business published an additional article May 18 on the topic that cited the Michigan Radio story and quotes Peters. Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, also spoke with WZZM-TV Channel 13 for a story on workforce challenges that aired May 19.

The Detroit Free Press and Fox 2 Detroit also reached out earlier in the week on the reported shortage of contrast media from GE Healthcare. A general statement was provided to reflect the varying impacts from the shortage on hospitals throughout the state.

MHA Monday Report Feb. 28, 2022

MHA Monday Report

MHA Covid-19 update

The current surge of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 has continued its downward trend. The seven-day average of hospitalizations in the U.S. as of Feb. 22 was 53,987, down from 146,534 Jan. 20. Michigan hospitalizations for confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 …

capitol backgroundPharmacy Benefit Manager Legislation Signed, Amended Right to Try Act Passes House

Important pharmacy benefit manager legislation was signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer the week of Feb. 21 and the Michigan Legislature took up several pieces of legislation that impact hospitals. The Senate Health Policy and Human  …

Register Now for CMS Conditions of Participation Webinar

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Conditions of Participation recently made significant changes to regulatory standards of telemedicine because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These standards, along with 1135 telemedicine waivers and new tag numbers for critical access hospitals will be …

Media Recap: Auto No-fault & Crain’s Detroit Business Coverage

The MHA received media coverage the week of Feb. 21 on efforts to amend Michigan’s auto no-fault law and from Crain’s Detroit Business advocating for state funding support for midsize vital hospitals and behavioral health. …

The Keckley Report

Paul Keckley

The Health System in Ukraine: Four Systemic Flaws

“This week, all eyes will be on Ukraine, Europe’s poorest country. Since becoming an independent state in 1991 after separating from the Soviet Union, Ukraine has failed to invest in its people, its economy and its health system. As the potential for conflict rises, the preparedness of the Ukrainian health system will garner global attention, especially if armed combat results in civilian casualties.”

Paul Keckley, Feb. 21, 2022

News to Know

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund’s 2022 Behavioral Health Initiative began accepting grant proposals Feb. 23.

Media Recap: Price Transparency & Staffing Crisis

The MHA responded to several media requests the week of Oct. 25 that focused on hospital price transparency and the on-going staffing crisis.

The Detroit News published Oct. 24 a story on the staffing shortage impacting EMS workers and touched on the staffing crisis impacting hospitals. MHA CEO Brian Peters is quoted in the story discussing the lack of availability of transport for patients to lower levels of care, resulting in increased cost and strain to the healthcare system.

“They are in crisis mode,” said Peters. “These are not only front-line clinical staff who are in short supply, but also non-clinical staff. … We are struggling on both counts.”

The MHA also provided statements to stories published by Crain’s Detroit Business and WXYZ Detroit on the federal price transparency rule.

“In addition, there is ambiguity within the final rule that has left hospitals to interpret the level and detail of pricing information that should be provided to consumers,” said the statement published by Crain’s. “Hospitals and health systems are working diligently to comply with federal policies in their release of information.”

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.

Appel Discusses Managed Care in Crain’s

Laura Appel

Laura AppelLaura Appel, senior vice president, health policy & innovation, MHA, participated in a Crain’s Detroit Business virtual roundtable to discuss how collaboration between employers and managed care plans can control rising healthcare costs.

The story includes perspectives from a variety of individuals in the healthcare and insurance industries. Topics that Appel addresses include value-based care, behavioral health integration and healthcare overutilization.

“A lot of people want to say, ‘mental health care and physical health care.’ And I try to stay away from that because, last I checked, my brain is part of my body,” said Appel. “If I could wave a magic wand, it would be to have employers demand integration. We really need a demand that says, ‘I want you to take care of my person in a way that recognizes those two things are coming together.’”

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Weekend Headline Roundup: Physician Burnout & Pediatric Dentistry Challenges

MHA CEO Brian Peters

MHA CEO Brian PetersMHA CEO Brian Peters was quoted in stories published Aug. 8 by MLive and Crain’s Detroit Business discussing the impacts of physician burnout due to COVID-19 and pediatric dentistry challenges.

Hospital staffing has been a challenge since the pandemic began, particularly during the three COVID-19 surges that occurred in Michigan. The MLive story focuses on hospital staff who have transitioned away from COVID-19 care or the acute care hospital setting entirely due to burnout.

“A contributing factor to the staffing shortage prior to the pandemic was the rate of stress and burnout in the healthcare setting and the pandemic has exacerbated the issue,” said Peters. “It is apparent that there are certain jobs, especially those dealing with direct patient care, where the burnout factor is especially pronounced.

“We have heard numerous anecdotal reports from our membership that the pandemic has led many healthcare workers nearing retirement age to leave the workforce. This has created a real crunch in staffing and was really felt during the last surge in Michigan.”

The Crain’s Detroit Business story evaluates the challenges associated with finding operating room time for pediatric dental procedures, particularly for those children with special needs.

"Currently, operating room access is limited throughout the state, and difficult decisions have to be made on which types of procedures can be performed," said Peters. "Hospitals have an obligation to prioritize the patients under the care of their employed physicians and surgeons. In addition, hospitals throughout Michigan continue to operate at high capacity while caring for high volumes of non-COVID-19 patients, which we believe is a consequence of delayed care from the pandemic. The postponement of nonemergency medical procedures at the beginning of the pandemic is one specific example that has led to further demand for operating room space."

Brian Peters Quoted by FREEP & Crain’s on State Reopening

MHA CEO Brian Peters

MHA CEO Brian Peters issued a statement June 17 expressing the role the COVID-19 vaccine has had in allowing the lifting of public health orders June 22 that required masks and limited gathering capacities.

Portions of the statement were included in stories by the Detroit Free Press and Crain’s Detroit Business.

“The key factor that has allowed us to get to this point is the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Peters. “The drop in cases and hospitalizations is a direct result of the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing transmission."

Headline Roundup: Week of Nov. 9 for COVID-19 in Michigan

covid cell

As Michigan hospitals address a second surge of COVID-19 patients, the MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to responding to the pandemic.

MHA CEO Brian Peters joined CEOs of Michigan hospitals Nov. 12 during a virtual press conference organized by the Michigan Economic Recovery Council (MERC). Other participants included Henry Ford Health System President and CEO Wright Lassiter III, UP Health System Market President Gar Atchinson, Spectrum Health President & CEO Tina Freese Decker, Munson Health Care President & CEO Ed Ness and Beaumont Health President & CEO John Fox.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include interviews or statements from the MHA, including coverage of the MERC Press Conference:

Sunday, November 15

Friday, November 13

Thursday, November 12

Tuesday, November 10

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.

MHA Featured in Crain’s Detroit Business Articles on COVID-19

MHA CEO Brian Peters

Crain’s Detroit Business published stories the week of Nov. 2 that referenced the MHA and aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crain’s referenced a conference call Gov. Whitmer had with the MHA Board of Trustees Nov. 1 in an article published Nov. 3.

“They're very worried — our hospitalizations are up," Gov. Whitmer said in reference to the concern expressed by the Board of Trustees.

MHA CEO Brian Peters also spoke with Crain’s Nov. 5 for a story on the exponential growth of COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalizations in Michigan.

"We have had over 2,000 inpatient hospitalizations from member hospitals,” said Peters. “At the current pace if the rise of hospitalizations continues over next few weeks we will be right back to the all inpatient high (of about 4,500) by Thanksgiving. It's a scary proposition. We are seeing hospital ER visits that are COVID-related double in the last two weeks, and that results in additional hospital admissions."

Headline Roundup: CMO Joint Statement on COVID-19 Policies

covid cell

As Michigan hospitals continue to address the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the MHA released a joint statement on behalf of Chief Medical Officers and Chief Clinical Officers of Michigan Healthcare Systems and Hospitals regarding needed public actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Signing the joint statement were 28 hospital or health system leaders, including Gary Roth, DO, chief medical officer, MHA. Here are a few headlines from around the state.

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.

Crain’s Detroit Business: Report – Michigan hospital prices second lowest in nation

MHA CEO Brian Peters

Crain’s Detroit Business published a story Sept. 18 on a new report from the Employers Forum of Indiana and the RAND Corp. that reviewed claims data from 3,112 hospitals in 49 states.

The study found that Michigan hospitals charged self-insured employers and private payers the second-lowest prices in the nation after Arkansas from 2016 to 2018. Michigan was the lowest in the Great Lakes region at 190% compared to Ohio (235%), Wisconsin (290%), Minnesota (297%) and Indiana (303%).

A statement from MHA CEO Brian Peters was included in the story.

“We believe this study also reiterates that the existence of a strong (Certificate of Need) program continues to play a key role in keeping costs low and quality high in our state,” said Peters.

“At the same time, COVID-19 has shown that the same efficiencies that save employers and patients on costs can make crises even more difficult to navigate. The study shows that health care pricing is a delicate and difficult balancing act. Our member hospitals and health systems will continue to provide the highest quality care possible to every person who walks through their doors, and will continue to be good stewards of the dollars they receive, regardless of who is paying the bill.”

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