Vaccine Information is Developing Rapidly

The MHA and other stakeholder organizations are prepared to promote events to vaccinate community members against the flu, helping ensure that residents are fully aware of their availability. MHA members that will host or participate in flu vaccine events/clinics are encouraged to share the event details to allow the MHA and interested partners to boost their visibility.

Meanwhile, the MHA and its members have been in frequent contact with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on issues related to COVID-19 vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to soon issue emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for vaccines developed by drug companies Pfizer and Moderna.

The MDHHS has provided updates on COVID-19 vaccines based on the Dec. 1 meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and updated CDC documents. Members are encouraged to review the documents, which will be updated as vaccine information becomes available, for guidance on staff education, storage, data reporting and more. In addition, members should monitor the frequent vaccine updates available in the CDC’s vaccine storage and handling toolkit.

The ACIP recommended that healthcare personnel and long-term care facility (LTCF) residents be included in priority group 1a for vaccination, and this will be considered as Michigan finalizes state priority groups. LTCF residents and LTCF healthcare workers will be vaccinated by LTCF pharmacy partners (largely CVS Health and Walgreens).

The number of vaccine doses that will be shipped has not been finalized. The state is working to ensure that distribution of vaccine to health systems and hospitals is as equitable as possible based on number of employees and storage capacity. The earliest tentative shipping dates are Dec. 15 for the Pfizer vaccine and Dec. 22 for the Moderna preparation. These dates could change based on the timing of the FDA and ACIP final approvals. Initial shipments should be used to administer first doses of the vaccines; facilities will receive second doses for those individuals in separate shipments that will arrive prior to the recommended vaccine administration “gaps” of 21 days for the Pfizer injections and 28 days for the Moderna shot. Hospitals that have vaccine-eligible employees who work in Michigan facilities but reside in another state may receive their vaccine at the Michigan-based hospital.

The MHA is preparing a frequently asked questions document that will answer questions about the vaccines, and additional tools for use in education, responding to the media, and more will be provided in the coming weeks.

For insurance billing purposes, current procedural terminology (CPT) codes have been issued for COVID-19 vaccines that will take effect after the FDA has issued EUAs for the vaccines. Providers may not deny any recipient the vaccine due to their coverage status or ability to pay, and recipients may not be balance billed. Additional coverage details are available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Vaccine recipients must be given information on what vaccine they received, when the second dose is due, and details about the vaccine and potential side effects. In addition, vaccine administration data must be entered into the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) within 24 hours of being given to the recipient, including weekends and holidays.

To assist in ensuring residents receive the necessary second dose of the vaccines, MCIR plans to launch a text service to issue reminders to vaccine recipients. However, providers are encouraged to use their electronic health record systems or other means of reminding patients of their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The MHA will continue to meet regularly with MDHHS immunization leaders to share hospital questions/concerns, receive planning updates and more. The association will keep members apprised of new information as it is received. Members with questions regarding vaccines should contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

MHA Monday Report Oct. 19, 2020

MHA Monday Report logo

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Oct. 12

The MHA is keeping members apprised of pandemic-related developments affecting Michigan hospitals through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. …

Legislature Works to Replace Executive Orders

The Michigan Legislature was busy during the week of Oct. 12, voting on several important issues that impact hospitals. Some of the most notable pieces of legislation included bills to provide limited immunity to businesses and health facilities for their work during the peak pandemic  …

MHA Provides Guidance on Hospital Bedside Voting

As the Nov. 3 election approaches, the MHA is reminding hospitals that voters may make an “emergency” request for an absentee ballot if he or she cannot attend the polls because of personal disablement …

Association Mourns Bill Jackson

Bill Jackson, who was senior vice president and chief financial officer at the MHA from 2013 until his recent retirement, passed away Oct. 10 following a year-long battle with cancer. The former CEO of Charlevoix Area Hospital …

Michigan Harvest Gathering Virtual Kickoff is Oct. 20

The 2020 Michigan Harvest Gathering will virtually kick off at 10 a.m. ET Oct. 20 through a Facebook Live event on the Food Bank Council of Michigan's page. The 30-minute virtual event will include remarks by MHA CEO Brian Peters; Phillip Knight, PhD, executive …

Participate in Updating Michigan’s Health IT Roadmap

The Michigan Health Information Technology (IT) Commission and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services  have begun developing a Statewide Five-Year Health IT Roadmap, which will be a guide for future planning, investments and governance of health …

MHASC Board and HR Committee Address 2020-2021 MHA Action Plan Priorities

The MHA Service Corporation (MHASC) Board of Directors held a virtual strategic planning retreat Oct. 13 to assess and further develop programs and services to support key initiatives in the 2020-2021 MHA Action Plan. MHASC-specific goals outlined in the …

MHA Joins Public Health Officials in Urging Residents to Prevent COVID-19 and Flu

The MHA joined the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Association for Local Public Health at a press conference Oct. 13 to provide COVID-19 data updates and urge …

Michigan Birthing Hospitals Discuss Obstetric Hemorrhage and Severe Hypertension

The MHA Keystone Center and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched five interactive maternal health safety sessions from June through September 2020. The safety sessions were held virtually for birthing hospitals across various …

Celebrate Infection Preventionists During International Infection Prevention Week

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), established in 1986 by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, shines a light on infection prevention annually. This year, IIPW is celebrated Oct. 18 through 24. …

New Guide to Hospital Partnerships Available to MHA Members

MHA Endorsed Business Partner Juniper Advisory has released a book providing a start-to-finish look at what it takes to create a successful hospital partnership. The book, “A Healthcare Leader’s Guide to Successful Mergers & Acquisitions,” includes articles from Juniper …

The Keckley Report

What the K Recovery Means for Healthcare

“There’s growing evidence that the U.S. economic recovery will be a K recovery: a bi-directional response to the pandemic that will produce winners and losers. And the implication is profound in healthcare.”

Paul Keckley. Oct. 12, 2020

MHA Race of the Week – Michigan Supreme Court

The MHA Race of the Week series highlights the most pivotal statewide races for Election 2020. 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.

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Aug. 24

MHA Covid-19 update

MHA COVID-19 UpdateThe MHA continues to keep members apprised of developments affecting Michigan hospitals during the pandemic through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. Important updates are outlined below.

Interim Final Rule Ties COVID-19 Reporting to Medicare Conditions of Participation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Aug. 24 issued an interim final rule that, among other provisions, makes collecting COVID-19 data and reporting it daily to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a condition of participation (CoP) for hospitals that participate in Medicare. The MHA is disappointed in this rule that seeks to obtain data by penalizing hospitals as they continue to fight against a global pandemic.

The rule takes effect upon publication in the Federal Register, after which comments will be accepted for 60 days. The date the rule will be published is currently unknown.
The rule requires hospitals to daily report data including, but not limited to, number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19-positive patients, intensive care unit beds occupied and availability of supplies and equipment. By making this data reporting a CoP, the potential penalty for a hospital’s noncompliance could be termination from the Medicare program unless appropriate corrective action is taken.

While the MHA works to diminish the negative effects of this rule, hospitals are urged to report data through the HHS TeleTracking portal on a daily basis to avoid potential violation of the rule when it is published. Members needing assistance in meeting the reporting requirements should contact Jim Lee at the MHA.

Raising Awareness of Importance of Flu Vaccinations During Pandemic

The MHA is teaming up with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other healthcare organizations to promote flu vaccination during the upcoming influenza season. The potential for a surge of COVID-19 and severe outbreaks of influenza circulating simultaneously could overwhelm the healthcare system. MHA CEO Brian Peters participated in a news conference Aug. 25 to stress the importance of improving flu vaccination rates in Michigan (see related article).

FDA Approval or Authorization Unnecessary for Laboratory Developed Tests

The HHS recently announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will not require developers to submit a premarket approval application, premarket notification or emergency use authorization (EAU) for laboratory developed tests (LDTs). Laboratories opting to use LDTs would not be eligible for Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act coverage and would remain subject to CMS regulation under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 and its implementing regulations, the HHS said. LDT developers may voluntarily apply for approval, clearance or an EUA, and the FDA will adjudicate those submissions.

LDTs are developed, validated and performed by individual laboratories, including hospital laboratories, when commercial diagnostic tests do not exist or meet clinical needs. The American Hospital Association has urged the agency not to regulate LDTs as medical devices, which would reduce patient access to many critical tests and hinder technological and clinical innovation.

Sept. 9 Twitter Chat to Focus on Mental Health During the Pandemic

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll determined that 53% of adults in the U.S. are experiencing poor mental health due to worry and stress over COVID-19. To help educate and encourage conversation around mental health as it relates to COVID-19 and National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the MHA will host a Twitter chat from 1 to 2 p.m. Sept. 9. The chat will feature input from guest expert Brian Ahmedani, PhD, director, Center for Health Policy & Health Services Research at Henry Ford Health System (@bahmedani).

Those interested in participating may follow along through the MHA’s Twitter (@mihospitalassoc) or by searching the hashtag #MHAHealthChat over the course of the hour. Additional details will be emailed to MHA members prior to the event. Those with questions may contact Lucy Ciaramitaro at the MHA.

Additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic is available to members on the MHA Community Site and the MHA COVID-19 webpage. Questions on COVID-19 and infectious disease response strategies may be directed to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC). Members with MHA-specific questions should contact the following MHA staff members:

MHA Joins Governor and MDHHS to Encourage Flu Vaccinations

Brian Flu Presser

MHA CEO Brian Peters speaks at news conference Aug. 25 about importance of immunizations.The MHA participated in a news conference Aug. 25 with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Franny Strong Foundation and the Michigan Primary Care Association at the George W. Romney Building, Lansing, to urge Michigan residents to receive the influenza vaccine this year. As part of the event, the MDHHS launched its Facing the Flu Together statewide public awareness campaign, which seeks to increase flu vaccination rates in Michigan by at least 33% this year.

MHA CEO Brian Peters delivered remarks stressing the need to increase vaccination rates to prevent influenza outbreaks that harm community health and could overwhelm the healthcare system should they coincide with another surge of COVID-19. COVID-19 has had a significant negative impact on vaccination rates across the country — and last year, just over 30% of Michiganders got an influenza vaccine.

Peters also mention an Aug. 25 letter that he cosigned with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director. This letter outlines how hospitals can help increase influenza vaccines this year across Michigan. Together, the MHA and the MDHHS are requesting support from healthcare systems in four specific ways to increase access and awareness of the flu vaccine. Both organizations are committed to assisting hospitals in executing these strategies.

In addition to the focus on influenza vaccinations, the governor provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19. Before taking questions from the media, she received an influenza vaccination to demonstrate the simple process.

For more information about vaccination efforts, contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.