Crain’s Coverage on Healthcare Funding in State Budget

Brian Peters

Brian PetersThe MHA received media coverage since July 15 from Crain’s Detroit Business on new investments for behavioral health funding and the healthcare workforce in the fiscal year 2023 state budget.

Crain’s first published an article July 15 on the state’s higher education budget, which includes $56 million to fund the Michigan Associate Degree in Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at community colleges across the state. Included was a quote from MHA CEO Brian Peters in support of the funding.

“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.”

Crain’s also published an editorial July 22 focusing on the investments being made to improve mental health treatment, particularly among children and teens. The editorial also included a quote from Peters from an op-ed Crain’s published in February from Peters.

“While we do have a small number of outstanding facilities dedicated entirely to mental health care services, and acute-care hospitals have dedicated resources and units to these services, it is simply not enough,” said Peters.

Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget Signed

capitol building

capitol buildingGov. Whitmer signed July 20 the fiscal year 2023 state budget. Included in the 2023 budget agreement is $625 million in new investments for behavioral health funding and the healthcare workforce. This includes:

  • $50 million to expand pediatric inpatient mental and behavioral health capacity throughout the state.
  • $30 million to establish crisis stabilization units for mental and behavioral healthcare.
  • $10 million to fund the essential health provider loan repayment program to cover behavioral and mental health professionals.
  • New and ongoing funding of $3.5 million to support the statewide trauma system.
  • $56 million to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care clinician services.
  • $56 million to fund the Michigan Associate Degree in Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at community colleges across the state.

Additionally, the state budget provides the resources necessary for hospitals and health systems to continue advancing the health of individuals and communities throughout Michigan. Specifically, the budget reflects the protection or enhancement of many MHA priorities, including:

  • Maintains funding for the Healthy Michigan Plan.
  • Protects funding for the graduate medical education of physician residents.
  • Supports disproportionate share hospitals.
  • Continues funding for the rural access pool and obstetrical stabilization fund.

Each of these funding sources are instrumental to keeping hospitals financially secure, particularly those serving vulnerable and underserved populations. MHA CEO Brian Peters released a statement July 1 applauding the healthcare focus of this budget and highlighting significant investments toward rural and behavioral health. These new appropriations will allow hospitals to continue and expand upon service lines that are in increased demand due to the pandemic.

The governor also made several line-item vetoes that do not directly impact hospital priorities when signing the budget, including vetoes of funding the administration argues is anti-abortion.

Members with questions may contact Adam Carlson.

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.