MHA Monday Report Nov. 7, 2022

MHA Monday Report

MHA Board of Trustees Advances Strategic Action Plan, Affirms Policy Panel Legislative Recommendations

The MHA Board of Trustees began their Nov. 2 meeting with a review of key communication strategies to assist hospitals and health systems to “tell their stories” about the unprecedented financial and workforce challenges they currently face and how they are adapting to meet the critical healthcare and economic development needs of their communities …


Logo for MI Vote Matters, Tuesday Nov. 8Healthcare Community Urged to Vote in Nov. 8 General Election

The MHA encourages its staff, members and other stakeholders in the healthcare community to vote in the state’s general election Nov. 8.- Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. …


Parents Urged to Take Preventive Measures as Pediatric Beds Fill Up

Michigan children’s hospitals and pediatric healthcare leaders are raising awareness about a pediatric hospital bed shortage and urging the public to help prevent respiratory illnesses, which are rapidly spreading in the form of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza …


CMS Releases Final Rule to Update OPPS

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a final rule to update the Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) effective Jan. 1, 2023 …


Provider Enrollment Requirements Reinstated Effective Dec. 1, 2022

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued MMP 22-38 COVID-19 Response: Termination of Bulletin MSA 20-28, which reinstates provider enrollment requirements …


CMS Releases Final to Update Medicare PPS Effective 2023

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a final rule to update the Medicare fee-for-service home health (HH) prospective payment system (PPS) effective Jan. 1, 2023 …


MHA Supports Increased Access to Affordable Post-Secondary Education

The MHA, along with stakeholders across diverse fields, supported record state investment in Michigan’s future workforce. On October 11th, the Governor signed Public Act 212 of 2022 establishing the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, and applications starting with students in the high school class of 2023 will now be eligible for increased state financial aid …


CE Credits Available for Unionization and Legal Guidelines Webinar

The webinar Dispelling Misinformation About Unionization and Legal Guidelines 8:30 – 10 a.m. ET Nov. 11 has been approved by HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®) for 1.5 hours …


MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEOMHA CEO Report — Your Vote Matters

At the MHA, we often say that politics is not a spectator sport. It requires continual engagement and relationship building so that when you are in a crisis and need assistance, you have trusted friends you can turn to …


The Keckley ReportPaul Keckley

The Three Blind Spots in Hospital Strategic Plans

“For 40 years, I have facilitated Board Retreats for hospitals, health systems, insurance plans and medical groups. At no time has the level of uncertainty about the future for hospitals been as intense nor the importance of a forward-looking strategic vision and planning been as necessary as now. The issues are complicated: lag indicators about demand, clinical innovations, reimbursement, costs et al are a foreboding backdrop for these discussions. And three issues have surfaced as blind spots in the environmental assessments and deliberations preceding the plan …”

Paul Keckley, Oct 31, 2022


Michigan Harvest GatheringsNews to Know

Many Michigan hospitals are underway with their Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign which runs through Nov. 18. Online donations by hospital employees and community members to the Michigan Harvest Gathering program can be made through the Food Bank Council of Michigan’s website …


MHA in the News

The MHA received media coverage on the surge of RSV cases across Michigan’s pediatric hospitals during the week of Oct. 31. The coverage included several comments provided to news outlets and the distribution of a press release Nov. 4 to statewide media …

MHA Supports Increased Access to Affordable Post-Secondary Education

The MHA, along with stakeholders across diverse fields, supported record state investment in Michigan’s future workforce. On October 11th, the Governor signed Public Act 212 of 2022 establishing the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, and applications starting with students in the high school class of 2023 will now be eligible for increased state financial aid. The legislature passed and Governor Whitmer signed a state budget supplemental in October that included record funding for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. The scholarship will allow students to save up to $8,250 over three years as they earn their associate degree at a community college, up to $20,000 over five years at a private college or up to $27,500 over five years at a public university.

The MHA supported this investment to increase access to affordable post-secondary programs that will give students the ability to pursue high demand healthcare careers with far fewer barriers. As our state continues to navigate the workforce and talent pipeline needs across numerous industries, the Michigan Achievement Scholarship is a positive step towards developing the state’s future workforce.

Governor Whitmer announced this week the official opening of the MI Student Aid website to assist students and parents interested in learning more about and applying for the Achievement Scholarship. Interested parties can visit Michigan Achievement Scholarship website to get started on the steps necessary to apply for funds, which will be available starting with students in the high school class of 2023.

Questions on the scholarship can be directed to Elizabeth Kutter at the MHA.

Legislature Returns to Continue Healthcare-related Work

The Legislature returned the week of Sept.19 to continue work on several pieces of legislation that the MHA is currently monitoring. Committees met in both the House and Senate, taking up legislation that included several new bills supported by the MHA in the areas of behavioral health, rural emergency hospitals, speech-language pathologist licensure and telemedicine.

In the House Health Policy Committee, initial testimony was taken on new legislation to make changes to the preadmission screening process for behavioral health patients. House Bill (HB 6355), introduced by Rep. Graham Filler (R-St. Johns) and supported by the MHA, would memorialize the requirement for preadmission screening units operated by the Community Mental Health (CMH) services program to provide a mental health assessment within three hours of being notified by a hospital of the patient’s need. If a preadmission screening unit is unable to perform the assessment within the three-hour time frame, HB 6355 would also allow for a clinically qualified individual at a hospital who is available to perform the required assessment.

Kathy Dollard, Psychologist and Director of behavioral health for MyMichigan Health, joined the committee to testify in support of HB 6355.

Kathy Dollard, psychologist and director of behavioral health for MyMichigan Health, joined the committee to testify in support of HB 6355. “Strengthening our behavioral health system includes strengthening our behavioral health workforce and that can start with creative solutions like providing clinically qualified hospital personnel the ability to conduct pre-admission screenings,” said Dollard. No votes were held on HB 6355 at this initial hearing.

MHA staff also provided testimony during committee on HB 6380. Introduced by Rep. Andrew Fink (R-Hillsdale), HB 6380 would make the necessary changes to state law to allow for Michigan hospitals to pursue a new federal designation of “Rural Emergency Hospital” (REH) status. A REH designation comes with significant requirements such as limiting total beds to 50, maintaining an average length of stay of 24 hours or less and a required transfer agreement with a level I or II trauma center. Hospitals that choose to convert to a REH will receive enhanced federal reimbursement to provide critical emergency and outpatient services, especially in geographic areas.

Lauren LaPine and Elizabeth Kutter of the MHA testified in support of HB 6380.

Lauren LaPine, director of small and rural hospital programs, MHA, and Elizabeth Kutter, senior director of advocacy, MHA, testified in support of the legislation. “HB 6380 provides rural hospitals in our state with the ability to continue providing care in our most rural communities,” said LaPine. No votes were taken on HB 6380.

Initial testimony on two bills that were previously reviewed by MHA’s Legislative Policy Panel also occurred during committee. Senate Bill (SB) 811, introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), would extend the length of time for an individual to complete a temporary Speech-Language Pathologist license and extend the length of time those temporary licenses are valid. The MHA is supportive of SB 811, which did not see any votes this week.

House committee members also took initial testimony on SB 450, which would ensure that visitors of cognitively impaired patients are permitted in healthcare facilities. Introduced by Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), the bill would prohibit the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) or a local health officer from issuing an order that prohibits a patient representative from visiting a cognitively impaired individual in a healthcare facility. As written, the legislation does not prevent a healthcare facility from implementing reasonable safety measures for visitors and will still allow for facilities to limit the number of representatives per patient. The MHA is neutral on the bill and will continue to monitor any action taken.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee took initial testimony on SB 1135, which was introduced by Sen. Mike MacDonald (R-Macomb Township). SB 1135 would specify that previous expansions to Medicaid telemedicine coverage also apply to the Healthy Michigan Program and Michigan’s medical assistance program. Most notably, the legislation would require continued coverage for audio-only telemedicine services. The MHA is supportive of SB 1135, which would continue virtual care policies that have proved to be effective and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Senate’s Regulatory Reform Committee, testimony was taken on another MHA-supported bill to regulate the sale of kratom in Michigan. Kratom is a substance of concern with opiate-like effects that has no approved medical use in the United States. HB 5477, introduced by Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren), would create a license for kratom sales and manufacturing, require testing of products and require new safety warnings on kratom substances sold in Michigan. While the MHA prefers a federal Schedule I ban of the drug, the association is supportive of HB 5477, which will help limit adolescent addiction and prevent adulterated products from being on the market.

Members with questions on these bills or any other state legislation should contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

MHA Integral in Development of New BSN Proposal

The MHA, the Michigan Community College Association, Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities and the Michigan Association of State Universities released June 1 a collaborative proposal to invest state funds in expanding access to bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree programs to the state’s 28 community college campuses. The proposal, which aims to allocate $56 million to eligible community colleges that partner with a four-year institution, will increase access to BSN degree programs, especially in rural communities and areas of the state currently lacking a four-year degree granting institution.

The MHA supports the proposal since the investment should help address the talent pipeline for nurses and improve overall hospital nursing across Michigan. Increasing access to programs throughout the state and creating opportunities for those programs to be more affordable will have a direct, positive impact on the nursing workforce.

“Staffing shortages are impacting Michigan hospitals throughout the state, particularly in the areas of nursing,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters in the press release. “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.”

Also supporting the proposal are the Michigan Works! Association, Michigan Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Michigan Council of Nursing Education Administrators. Media coverage of the announcement includes a story from WWMT-TV in Grand Rapids.

Questions on the proposal can be directed to Elizabeth Kutter at the MHA.

Workforce Challenges Focus of GME Advocacy Day

Rep. Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville) meets with Trinity Health Saint Mary’s residents during their GME Advocacy Day visits.

The MHA Graduate Medical Education (GME) Advocacy Day welcomed 32 physician residents from more than a dozen member hospitals to the MHA Capitol Advocacy Center offices May 5 for a day of meetings with members of the Michigan Legislature and their staffs. Each group of residents met with a combination of lawmakers and legislative staff throughout the day, with conversations focusing on the importance of GME funding and the role it plays in Michigan’s healthcare workforce talent pipeline.

Meetings were held in the Michigan Capitol, the Anderson House Office Building and the Senate Binsfeld Office Building. Most of the meetings involved current members of both the House and Senate health policy committees, which is where the majority of healthcare legislation originates. Participating lawmaker offices included those of Senate Health Policy Minority Vice Chair Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), Senate Health Policy member Sen. Kim LaSata (R-Niles), House Health Policy Majority Vice Chair Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville) and House Health Policy Minority Vice Chair Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township).

Residents used and shared with lawmakers an infographic that provides facts regarding GME and the healthcare workforce shortage. With the nation experiencing a shortage of healthcare workers, residents reinforced the value of GME investment and physician residency training to help address physician shortages.

Members with questions on GME and state legislation related to the healthcare workforce should contact Elizabeth Kutter at the MHA.

MHA Announces Senior Staff Promotions, Additions

Laura Appel
Laura Appel
Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA.

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association is promoting Laura Appel to executive vice president of government relations and public policy from her prior role as senior vice president, health policy & innovation. In this role, which takes effect Feb. 28, Appel will have executive oversight of the MHA’s Capitol Advocacy Center.

Appel joined the MHA in 2000 following a career at the Michigan House of Representatives as a director and policy analyst. Throughout her time at the MHA, Appel has focused on strategic priorities related to state and federal lobbying and healthcare policy analysis, including issues such as auto no-fault insurance, behavioral health, Medicare and Medicaid policy and the 340B drug pricing program.

“It is clear that Laura has earned the respect of the MHA Board of Trustees, as well as her peers, and I am confident that she will help lead the MHA effectively into the future,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters.

Also joining the MHA Advocacy team as of Feb. 22 is Elizabeth Kutter, JD, now the MHA’s senior director, government & political affairs. Kutter joins the MHA from Wayne State University, where she served as director, state relations, since May 2020. Prior to that, Kutter worked as manager, government affairs, at Henry Ford Health System.

In addition to these advocacy-focused changes, the MHA also welcomes Sarah Scranton, MPA, MPP, as the MHA’s new vice president of safety and quality and the MHA Keystone Center’s new executive director effective Feb. 28. Scranton has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and public policy. She is the former executive director of the Arthritis Foundation of Michigan. She has also served as executive director at Tomorrow’s Child and Planned Parenthood Advocates and Affiliates of Michigan. As executive director, Scranton will work closely with MHA and MHA Keystone Center staff and governing boards to execute the association’s mission, vision and values.