Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Feb. 16 signed House Bill (HB) 5523, a $1.2 billion supplemental funding bill that focuses on keeping kids learning in-person and bolstering the state’s healthcare workforce. This legislation directs $300 million to healthcare providers for recruitment, retention and training purposes, $225 million of which will be specifically for acute-care and behavioral health hospitals.
The MHA will act as fiduciary for the hospital funds and is working with the state to obtain the $225 million for distribution as soon as possible. The MHA will update hospitals in the coming weeks on specific allocations and distribution. Critical access hospitals and small and rural facilities will receive a portion of the funds, and a minimum amount has been set that all hospitals will receive.
The Senate passed HB 4348, which would regulate and establish licensure for Pharmacy Benefit Managers in Michigan. HB 4348 was introduced by Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland) and is supported by the MHA to help slow the rising cost of prescription medications. Passed in the Senate Feb. 15, the House concurred with the Senate version Feb. 16, and the bill will now go to the governor to sign into law.
Any questions on state legislation related to healthcare may be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.
At its Feb. 9 meeting, the MHA Board of Trustees had robust conversations about key priorities for healthcare and the MHA. Among them were the MHA’s role as healthcare and public policy continue to evolve; workforce development and shortages (including $300 million appropriated by the Michigan Legislature; see related article); auto no-fault insurance; staffing agency challenges; COVID-19 data trends; Medicaid payment and policy; and much more. The MHA will use much of the board’s discussion to address strategic priorities this program year and beyond.
Members with questions about the MHA Board of Trustees may contact Amy Barkholz at the MHA.
The Michigan Legislature passed Feb. 9 House Bill 5523, a supplemental spending bill that includes $300 million for healthcare facilities for recruitment and retention of healthcare workers. While this funding will not solve the long-term healthcare staffing crisis, it can provide some immediate relief to hospitals and their employees. This achievement comes after extensive advocacy efforts by the MHA and members to ensure funding resources to improve workforce sustainability in the short term.
The bill will now be sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for signature. Of the total $300 million appropriated, $225 million is dedicated specifically to acute-care hospitals and inpatient behavioral health providers. The MHA will serve as the fiduciary of the funds, which may be spent on healthcare recruitment and retention including, but not limited to, student loan repayment assistance, tuition assistance, training programming or a limited amount for cash bonuses. The MHA is encouraging the governor to sign this bill quickly and will keep members apprised of future progress on distributions.
The MHA published a media statement expressing gratitude to the Michigan Legislature for prioritizing this funding. Media coverage referencing the MHA include stories from the Associated Press and MiBiz.
Work will continue on a variety of other efforts to help members overcome healthcare workforce shortages. Members with questions may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.
As MHA CEO Brian Peters outlines in his December CEO Report, the situation confronting Michigan hospitals is dire, with hospitalizations due to COVID-19 exceeding record highs and intensive care units full of patients — most of whom are unvaccinated. The MHA joins healthcare experts around the country in urging the public to get one of the available …
The Michigan House Appropriations Committee adopted an H-3 substitute for House Bill 5523 Dec. 8. The COVID-19 supplemental funding bill would allocate $1.2 billion in federal funds, including $300 million for recruitment and retention bonuses for healthcare settings. The appropriation is in …
The House Health Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Bronna Kahle (R-Adrian), reported the MHA-supported Senate Bill 759 to the full House Dec. 9. Before the bill was reported, Adam Carlson, senior vice president of advocacy, MHA, and Sean Gehle, regional vice president, advocacy and …
The Michigan House of Representatives acted on several bills related to healthcare during the week of Dec. 6. The House Education Committee supported legislation to allow community colleges to offer four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. The House Health Policy Committee approved …
In partnership with the MHA Keystone Center, Michigan Opioid Partnership and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has launched an Emergency Department Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Initiative and …
The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as two pieces of legislation that would address the staffing crisis.
“This week, more than 800 will assemble in San Diego for America’s Physician Group’s (APG) 2021 Annual Conference. The group’s 335 member organizations seek to replace ‘the antiquated, dysfunctional fee-for-service reimbursement system with a clinically integrated, value-based healthcare system where physician groups are accountable for the coordination, cost, and quality of patient care.’”
The MHA welcomes AbilitiCBT by LifeWorks as a new Endorsed Business Partner that can help healthcare organizations support and enhance the mental health of their employees — which is especially critical now, with employee burnout and turnover reaching record heights.
MiPLUS, the Bureau of Professional Licensing licensing platform, sends an electronic copy of a provider license via email as soon as it is issued or renewed. Paper copies of licenses will no longer be automatically mailed upon issuance or renewal beginning Jan. 1.
The MHA recently submitted comments to the United States departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury and the Office of Personnel Management regarding the No Surprises Act Part 2.
As MHA CEO Brian Peters outlines in his December CEO Report, the situation confronting Michigan hospitals is dire, with hospitalizations due to COVID-19 exceeding record highs and intensive care units full of patients — most of whom are unvaccinated. The MHA joins healthcare experts around the country in urging the public to get one of the available COVID-19 vaccines.
The MHA continues to keep members apprised of pandemic-related developments affecting hospitals through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. Important updates are outlined below.
Legislature Considers Bills to Assist in Treating COVID-19
The Michigan House Appropriations Committee voted Dec. 8 in support of House Bill 5523, a bill that would provide critical staffing resources to hospitals and other providers. The MHA urges hospitals and others to contact their legislators, urging them to support the bill (see related article).
In addition, the Michigan Senate unanimously voted Dec. 8 in support of Senate Bill (SB) 759, a bill that would allow healthcare workers licensed by another state to continue to practice in Michigan during COVID-19 (see related article).
Court Issues Temporary Stay of Vaccine Mandate Enforcement for Federal Contractors
A federal district judge in Georgia issued an injunction Dec. 7 that is applicable to all states and temporarily pauses enforcement of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors.
This is a preliminary injunction; until there is a final decision from the highest appellate court on these challenges to the CMS rule, federal contractors should be prepared to comply if the requirement is upheld. Like previous injunctions, this does not impact a contractor’s ability to implement and enforce its own organization-based vaccine policy.
The MHA will apprise members of updates on legal challenges to President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates as they become available. Those with questions may contact Amy Barkholz at the MHA.
The Michigan House Appropriations Committee adopted an H-3 substitute for House Bill (HB) 5523 Dec. 8. The COVID-19 supplemental funding bill would allocate $1.2 billion in federal funds, including $300 million for recruitment and retention bonuses for healthcare settings. The appropriation is in response to healthcare workforce shortages and ongoing MHA advocacy efforts. The funds would be allocated to employers to use at their discretion, but employers are prohibited from using vaccination status to determine which employees can receive the funds.
Also included in the bill is $100 million to create eight monoclonal antibody treatment infusion sites to be placed regionally throughout the state. The plan would improve accessibility for residents while reducing the burden on hospitals and their workforce. The state will be able use existing transfusion center infrastructure in this role.
An additional $25 million is allocated to procure the antibody treatment. Lastly, $300 million is planned for COVID-19 testing in schools along with funding for vaccine distribution.
The House Appropriations Committee took testimony on the bill while negotiations continue among lawmakers. Member support for HB 5523 is critical to prioritizing those negotiations during the few remaining legislative session days.
The MHA urges hospitals and healthcare champions to contact their elected officials to encourage passage of this legislation before the Legislature adjourns for the calendar year. The MHA Legislative Action Center offers assistance in telling legislators this funding is critical to hospitals across Michigan that continue to battle this COVID-19 surge. Members with questions should contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.