The MHA released another episode of the MiCare Champion Cast, which features interviews with healthcare policy experts in Michigan on key issues that impact healthcare and the health of communities.
On episode 31, MHA CEO Brian Peters and Kim Meeker, RN, BSN, MBA, president of the Michigan Organization for Nursing Leadership (MONL), discuss a recentpackage of bills introduced in the Michigan Legislature that could severely harm hospitals and access to patient care, if passed.
Senate Bills 334 – 336 and House Bills 4550 – 4552 propose a one-size-fits-all nurse ratio staffing mandate. In a recent joint statement, the MHA and MONL noted how this approach would limit the number of patients receiving hospital care at any one time and services hospitals can offer to their communities, prolong the time it takes for a patient to receive care and hinder many hospital’s ability to respond to a crisis in fear of violating Michigan law.
Throughout the episode, Peters and Meeker explain exactly what this could look like for Michigan nurses and patients while addressing false claims that the bills will help nursing shortages in Michigan – noting more effective solutions, including:
Michigan joining the national Nurse Licensure Compact to reduce barriers for out-of-state nurses to move to and practice in Michigan immediately.
Increasing eligibility for Michigan Reconnect by lowering the age requirement to 18 and older.
Expanding Michigan Reconnect availability to include 4-year institutions.
Increasing penalties for violence committed against healthcare workers.
Note: Each interview in this episode was recorded prior to the passing of the legislative fiscal year 2024 state budget. To see MHA CEO Brian Peters statement on new healthcare funding, visit the MHA Newsroom. Additional resources mentioned include the MHA Keystone Center and Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality WellB program and the MI Hospital Careers webpage.
The MiCare Champion Cast is part of the statewide #MiCareMatters campaign, launched in 2017, which aims to build a network of citizens — “MiCare Champions” — who will be called upon to engage in advocacy efforts to protect access to affordable healthcare services in Michigan. Members with questions or who would like to submit ideas for future podcasts should contact Lucy Ciaramitaro at the MHA.
The MHA received media coverage the week of May 15 regarding a shortage of two critical chemotherapy medications, hospital nurse staffing legislation and the well-being of hospital workers. A press release was published May 17 by the MHA regarding the shortage of cisplatin and carboplatin and the strategies hospitals and health systems are implementing to continue chemotherapy treatments for patients.
MHA representatives appearing in published stories include CEO Brian Peters and Executive Vice President Laura Appel. MONL President Kim Meeker, RN, BSN, MBA, also appears in a story on the nurse staffing legislation, while MHA Keystone Center WELL-B partner Bryan Sexton, PhD, from the Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality, appears in a story about how hospitals assist healthcare workers with feelings of grief and loss.
Below is a collection of headlines from around the state.
The MHA received media coverage the week of May 8 regarding nurse staffing legislation, healthcare worker shortages, the ending of the COVID-19 public health emergency and more. A joint media statement was published May 11 by the MHA and the Michigan Organization for Nursing Leadership (MONL) immediately following a press conference announcing legislation that would mandate nursing staffing ratios. The statement referenced the potential for the proposed bills to severely harm hospitals and access to important services for patients, if the bills become law.
MHA representatives appearing in published stories include CEO Brian Peters, Executive Vice President Laura Appel and Senior Vice President Sam Watson. MONL President Kim Meeker, RN, BSN, MBA, also appears in a collection of stories on the nurse staffing legislation. Below is a collection of headlines from around the state.
The following joint statement can be attributed to Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, and Kim Meeker, RN, BSN, MBA, president of the Michigan Organization for Nursing Leadership (MONL).
A package of bills announced today in the Michigan Legislature has the potential to severely harm hospitals and access to important services for patients, if ultimately passed. Proponents of the legislation falsely claim this will address nursing shortages in Michigan, but those claims couldn’t be further from the truth. Michigan hospitals are trying to fill 8,500 job openings for nurses. Instituting a one-size-fits-all mandate requiring hospitals hire more nurses who do not currently exist will limit the services hospitals can offer to their communities, prolong the time it takes for a patient to receive care and hinder the ability of hospitals to respond to a crisis in fear of violating Michigan law.
Tangible, proven steps are needed to attract more nurses to Michigan. Those include passing legislation that allows Michigan to join the Nurse Licensure Compact, expanding Michigan Reconnect eligibility and increasing penalties for those who commit acts of violence against healthcare workers.
Michigan hospitals and health systems have been hard at work addressing nursing shortages over recent years. Those efforts include:
Obtaining a total of $300 million in state funding that has benefitted at least 69,000 healthcare workers for the purposes of the recruitment, retention and training through Public Act 9 of 2022 and Public Act 5 of 2023.
Securing additional nurse training opportunities including expanded state policy allowing four-year BSN programs at community colleges.
Expanding Michigan Reconnect to allow funds to support Michiganders moving from a licensed practice nurse (LPN) to a registered nurse, or from a patient care technician certificate to a LPN.
Modernizing the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists which allows flexibility for each hospital to choose the anesthesia care model that best fits its location, staffing and resources under Public Act 53 of 2021.
Providing emotional well-being support to healthcare workers through a partnership with the Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality that has so far assisted 5,000 healthcare workers from 144 organizations throughout Michigan.
Nursing careers not only provide stable, well compensated jobs with a set of transferrable skills that rarely become obsolete, but in a rewarding environment that truly make a difference in the lives of the patients they serve. The MHA and our member hospitals and health systems, together with MONL, remain committed to focusing on effective solutions that support Michigan nurses and ensure safe patient care.