Peters Focuses on Rural Hospital Challenges in Rural Innovation eXchange Story

MHA CEO Brian Peters

MHA CEO Brian Peters

Rural Innovation eXchange interviewed MHA CEO Brian Peters for a story published April 28 that examines the challenges facing rural hospitals in Michigan.

Peters discussed staffing shortages and efforts to improve workforce sustainability, the impact of COVID-19 on hospital finances and cybersecurity threats.

“The [workforce] pipeline is going to be so important,” said Peters. “The pipeline as it exists today is not adequate, particularly in rural areas, which are significantly older than non-rural areas and have older and sicker patients. This also means that the phenomenon of folks leaving the field is felt more acutely in rural communities.”

Other healthcare executives appearing in the story include John T. Foss, vice president of operations, Mercy Health Lakeshore Campus; Steve Barnett, president and CEO, McKenzie Health; and JJ Hodshire, president and CEO, Hillsdale Hospital.

The MHA also provided comment to Michigan Radio for a story published April 27 on increasing COVID hospitalizations due to the omicron BA.2 variant.

“…[B]ut there are clear indications that the severity of illness is down and so we hope there will not be a surge of COVID hospitalizations like the state has experienced previously,” said John Karasinski, director, communications, MHA.

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

MHA CEO Brian Peters

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 MHA sent a memo Feb. 16 to the Michigan House of Representatives encouraging the Legislature to focus on improving the auto no-fault law, including quickly addressing payment issues with post-acute care providers, including a proper definition of Medicare rates, and clarifying that the reimbursement rates outlined in law were intended to be minimum amounts. The Detroit News and Michigan Radio published stories on the memo, which was signed by Adam Carlson, senior vice president, advocacy.

Adam Carlson
MHA Senior Vice President Adam Carlson

“Numerous cases have occurred of patients being transferred to hospitals who did not otherwise need hospitalization because of a lack of long term post-acute care providers to care for them in their home or an appropriate facility,” said Carlson. “In addition, it has become increasingly difficult to transfer patients to post-acute settings as the number of providers and staff has diminished. Both of these circumstances is putting unsustainable pressure on hospitals that don’t have the beds or staff to care for patients who shouldn’t be in the hospital.”

Crain’s Detroit Business also published their latest Forum edition, which includes several pieces of content relevant to Michigan hospitals. An article published Feb. 25 reviews the significant challenges facing midsize vital hospitals, particularly independent hospitals not affiliated with a larger health system. MHA CEO Brian Peters is quoted in the article discussing the financial issues impacting those hospitals. Supporting the article is an op-ed submitted by Hillsdale Hospital President and CEO Jeremiah J. Hodshire.

MHA CEO Brian Peters
MHA CEO Brian Peters

“The volume-based approach to reimbursement has always been a problem and that doesn’t go away,” said Peters.

Crain’s also published an op-ed from Peters encouraging more state funding investments to address Michigan’s broken and fragmented behavioral health system.

“The MHA believes an appropriation to fund additional support for pediatric behavioral health, a grant pool to improve behavioral healthcare in emergency departments and recruitment support for behavioral health providers will have significant and lasting improvements in access to care and quality,” said Peters. “This appropriation will help address a major barrier to improving access right now, which is the lack of appropriately trained and educated behavioral health providers available in Michigan to serve our population. It would also help modify the way emergency departments are prepared to temporarily care for patients in behavioral health crises — especially Michigan’s children.”

Members with any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.

Headline Roundup: Workforce Funding, Executive Budget and More

The MHA responded to several media requests the week of Feb. 7 on topics including passage Feb. 9 of House Bill 5523 that provides $300 million in healthcare workforce funding, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Feb. 10 executive state budget recommendation and COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The MHA published statements on behalf of MHA CEO Brian Peters in reaction to the Michigan Legislature passing HB 5523 and the executive budget recommendation.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that reference the statements or include quotes from MHA representatives.

Thursday, Feb. 10

Wednesday, Feb. 9

Tuesday, Feb. 8

Members with any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.

Media Recap: Hospital Mergers and COVID-19

Brian Peters

The MHA responded to several media requests the week of Jan. 31 that focused on the history of hospital mergers and acquisitions in Michigan and the current outlook for hospitals regarding COVID-19.

Bridge published Feb. 1 an article that looked at the impact of hospital mergers on consumers in light of the merger between Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health. MHA CEO Brian Peters is quoted in the story discussing the reasons between hospital mergers.

“The real watchword is ‘value,’” said Peters. “We want to create value and that equation of course, is cost and quality and appropriateness,” he said, adding “higher quality care costs less in the long run.”

The Detroit News published Feb. 2 a story that focuses on the future outlook for hospitals now that the COVID-19 surge driven by the omicron variant is declining. MHA Director of Communications John Karasinski discussed the statewide trends for hospitals.

“It’s clear that we’re on the downside of this omicron surge as the numbers this week are better than the prior week, but the status of hospitals does vary depending on region, bed capacity and staffing,” said Karasinski.

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.

Media Recap: COVID-19 and Healthcare Workforce Sustainability

MHA Portrait
Gary Roth
MHA Chief Medical Officer Gary Roth, DO.

The MHA responded to several media requests the week of Jan. 24 that focused on the status of COVID-19 hospitalizations across Michigan, ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, violence against healthcare workers and the benefits of community colleges offering four-year nursing programs.

Bridge published Jan. 24 an article that looked at insurance reimbursement for ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. MHA Chief Medical Officer Gary Roth, DO, is quoted in the story discussing the environment clinicians encounter when having to refuse a request for ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

“It has created quite a controversy to the point where it can become a very hostile discussion, where patients and families are demanding a treatment that a physician cannot ethically, morally, or certainly scientifically, provide,” said Roth.

Bridge also published Jan. 26 a story on House Bills 5556 and 5557 that would allow community colleges to offer four-year Bachelor of Nursing programs. The MHA’s support of the bills is mentioned in the article, as the legislation “would increase access to high-quality nurses in areas served by Michigan’s small and rural hospitals where a four-year school does not currently exist.”

Michigan Radio looked Jan. 24 at the status of COVID-19 across the state and if the omicron surge had plateaued. In the story, the MHA Director of Communications John Karasinski shared that the state is “trending in the direction of declining statewide daily COVID-19 hospital admissions and total COVID-19 hospitalizations.”

Two additional stories were published on violence against healthcare workers based on interviews with MHA CEO Brian Peters. WILX News aired Jan. 28 a story that included a focus on House Bills 5084 and 5682 that expand the penalties for assaulting emergency department employees. MiBiz published an article Jan. 30 on how increased rates of violence against healthcare workers increases burnout.

“These are individuals who come to work every single day and put themselves on the line in a difficult environment and they are trying to do their very best,” said Peters to WILX. “To think that there are these acts of violence that could take those caregivers away from that incredibly important duty — it’s absolutely untenable so we’re very supportive of legislation that’s been introduced here in the state that would increase the penalties of those perpetrators of violence.”

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.

Peters Talks Healthcare with Paul W. Smith on WJR’s Live from Lansing Broadcast

MHA CEO Brian Peters was featured on WJR’s “Live from Lansing” Jan. 27 broadcast, hosted by Paul W. Smith.

Detroit’s WJR News Talk Radio broadcast Jan. 27 the Paul W. Smith “Live from Lansing” show as part of its annual coverage of legislative and policy issues facing the state the morning after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State address. The MHA sponsored the program, which was broadcast remotely but livestreamed on WJR’s Facebook and YouTube accounts.

As part of the program lineup, Smith spoke with MHA CEO Brian Peters about a host of topics, ranging from healthcare workforce sustainability to the omicron COVID-19 surge and increased rates of violence against healthcare workers. Other notable interviewees during the event included Whitmer; Dr. Kevin Ward, a professor of emergency medicine and biomedical engineering at Michigan Medicine and executive director of the Max Harry Weil Institute for Critical Care Research and Innovation; and Sen. Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake).

The State of the State address the previous evening primarily focused on economic development, infrastructure and lowering costs for Michigan residents. One specific healthcare item mentioned by Whitmer was mental health, including a plan to improve access by expanding the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program to focus on behavioral health providers and a funding increase for mental health professionals in schools. The administration believes this expansion will help retain or recruit hundreds of mental healthcare providers to Michigan.

As a sponsor of the event, the MHA developed a 60-second message for airing before and during the broadcast. For more information, contact John Karasinski at the MHA.

Headline Roundup: Week of Jan. 10 for COVID-19 in Michigan

MHA CEO Brian Peters appears on Mid-Michigan NOW on Jan. 13, 2022.
MHA CEO Brian Peters appears on Mid-Michigan NOW on Jan. 13, 2022.
MHA CEO Brian Peters appears on Mid-Michigan NOW on Jan. 13, 2022.

The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the vaccine mandate from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and violence against healthcare workers.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA.

Sunday, Jan. 16

Saturday, Jan. 15

Friday, Jan. 14

Thursday, Jan. 13

Wednesday, Jan. 12

Monday, Jan. 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.

Headline Roundup: Weeks of Dec. 20, Dec. 27 and Jan. 3 for COVID-19 in Michigan

MHA CEO Brian Peters appears on CNN on Jan. 3, 2022.
MHA CEO Brian Peters appears on CNN on Jan. 3, 2022.
MHA CEO Brian Peters appears on CNN on Jan. 3, 2022.

The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the Omicron variant and increasing rates of violence against healthcare workers.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA.

Thursday, Jan. 6

Tuesday, Jan. 4

Monday, Jan. 3

Thursday, Dec. 30

Wednesday, Dec. 29

Tuesday, Dec. 28

Thursday, Dec. 23

Wednesday, Dec. 22

Tuesday, Dec. 21

Monday, Dec. 20

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.

Headline Roundup: Week of Dec. 13 for COVID-19 in Michigan

MHA SVP Adam Carlson speaks with WWMT-TV on SB 759
MHA SVP Adam Carlson speaks with WWMT-TV on SB 759
MHA SVP Adam Carlson speaks with WWMT-TV on SB 759.

The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and workforce sustainability challenges.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA, including media clips from a press release issued Dec. 14 by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that includes a quote from MHA CEO Brian Peters.

Sunday, Dec. 19

Thursday, Dec. 16

Wednesday, Dec. 15

Tuesday, Dec. 14

Monday, Dec. 13

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.

Headline Roundup: Week of Dec. 6 for COVID-19 in Michigan

MHA SVP Adam Carlson speaks with WNEM TV5
MHA SVP Adam Carlson speaks with WNEM TV5
MHA SVP Adam Carlson speaks Dec. 7 with WNEM TV5 on Senate Bill 759.

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.

House Bill 5523 provides COVID-19 funding for workforce recruitment and retention, monoclonal antibody transfusions and COVID-19 testing in K-12 schools, while Senate Bill 759 would codify a provision that has given hospitals flexibility to appropriately respond to the pandemic; however, the provision is set to expire Jan. 11.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA, including Brian Peters, CEO, and Adam Carlson, senior vice president, advocacy.

Sunday, Dec. 12

Saturday, Dec. 11

Friday, Dec. 10

Thursday, Dec. 9

Wednesday, Dec. 8

Tuesday, Dec. 7

Monday, Dec. 6

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.