MHA Monday Report Dec. 20, 2021

MHA Covid-19 update

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Dec. 13

A full year after COVID-19 vaccines were made available in the U.S., the coronavirus continues to sicken and kill people, with nationwide deaths from the illness surpassing 800,000. As demonstrated in a collection of headlines, Michigan’s hospitals are being stretched to treat COVID-19 patients across …


capitol buildingMichigan House Passes Healthcare Workforce Funding Bill

The Michigan House of Representatives passed Dec. 14 House Bill 5523, a $1 billion COVID-19 supplemental funding bill that includes $300 million for recruiting and retaining healthcare workers. The appropriation is a direct result of MHA advocacy efforts regarding the dire situation of hospitals confronting staff …


Bill to Codify Licensure Exemptions Awaits Governor’s Signature

The full House passed Senate Bill (SB) 759 Dec. 14 and it now awaits the governor’s signature. Introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) and supported by the MHA, SB 759 would codify a provision that has given hospitals flexibility to appropriately respond to the pandemic; however, the …


Advocacy Continues to Defend Healthcare from Harmful Federal Policies

President Joe Biden Dec. 10 signed legislation to postpone several proposed cuts in Medicare rates recently approved by Congress. The MHA and the American Hospital Association had urged lawmakers to delay the cuts that would have taken effect Jan. 1 due to …


Virtual Breakthrough

Discuss Approaches to Pandemic, Workforce Challenges at MHA Breakthrough

In a recent video message, MHA CEO Brian Peters shared his thoughts about the MHA’s commitment to helping hospitals and health systems deal with the effects of the pandemic and the value of convening in person to study challenges, learn from


COVID-19 Impact on Strategic Planning Focus of Webinar

Hospital and health system boards will face challenges as the world transitions from a multiyear pandemic to confronting an endemic disease. The industry is experiencing instability and near-constant change: innovation in medicine and service delivery, new competitors, payer upheaval, renewed scrutiny on …


Two-part Webinar Will Review Challenging Accreditation Standards Jan. 13

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other regulatory agencies are continually revising requirements that result in changes to The Joint Commission (TJC) standards. In addition, there are problematic areas that are commonly reviewed on TJC surveys that require additional education and …


MHA Creates COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit for Hospitals

As hospitals and health systems across Michigan continue communication efforts around COVID-19 and the importance of getting vaccinated this winter season, the MHA has developed a downloadable social media toolkit with posts and graphics for healthcare organizations to share across digital …


Recording Available of Event Outlining Collection of SOGI Data Best Practices

MHA members were among those who virtually attended the webinar Collection of Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Data Best Practices for the Acute Care Setting. The event was hosted Nov. 10 by the Michigan Public Health Institute, the Michigan State University Institute for Health Policy, the MHA …


Mental Health and Resilience for Health Care Workers During the HolidaysAbilitiCBT Logo

Mental health is central to everything. This is a definitive statement because it is so true. Mental health is central to our quality of life, relationships, work experience and even participation in the economy. Many people take it for granted, but if there is any benefit to the strain of the past twenty months, it is that it …


Trustee Insights Highlights Crisis Standards of Care, Community Investment

The latest edition of Trustee Insights, the monthly digital package from the American Hospital Association, is now available. This month’s issue features an article on crisis standards of care. In this severe pandemic, one of the most challenging demands that many hospitals may face is …


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

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

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. …


The Keckley Report

Paul Keckley

Inflation and Healthcare: Prices Matter

“Medical care services- one of two components of the Medical Care Index in the United States- increased 2.1% for the 12 months ending November 2021, after rising 3.2% in 2020 and 5.1% in 2019 over the same time period …

“A one-month or one-year look-back period doesn’t tell the full story for healthcare.”

Paul Keckley, Dec. 13, 2021


Mental Health and Resilience for Health Care Workers During the Holidays

AbilitiCBT Logo

By Paula Allen, global leader and SVP, research and total wellbeing, LifeWorks, an Endorsed Business Partner of the MHA

AbilitiCBT LogoMental health is central to everything. This is a definitive statement because it is so true. Mental health is central to our quality of life, relationships, work experience and even participation in the economy. Many people take it for granted, but if there is any benefit to the strain of the past twenty months, it is that it has become clear that no one can or should ever take their mental health for granted. Since the Spring of 2020, there has been a significant decline in the mental health of working Americans.  Life and work has been filled with massive change, uncertainty and unprecedented risks and demands. People are tired.

While the holiday season is a time for celebration and connection, the work demands of this season can potentially overshadow the benefits of this time of year. When this happens, stresses can actually feel more stressful than at another time of year. Now more than ever, it is important to take stock of your situation and your opportunities. Gratitude grounds us and focuses the mind. Simple and unexpected kindness can foster the connection to someone else which changes how we experience stress.  At times, however, we might need more. With this MHA has launched AbilitiCBT. It offers evidence-based and effective mental health therapy for anxiety, depression and other issues. Two of the most important benefits are that it can fit into any busy schedule given digital access, but the process is also guided by a therapist who is there when needed, and who ensures the right path for each individual.

Mental health cannot be taken for granted. AbilitiCBT is here for you to use.

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Aug. 23

MHA Covid-19 update

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.

FDA Issues Full Approval of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Aug. 23 issued full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 16 and older, making it the first shot to move past the emergency use authorization phase. In doing so, the FDA reviewed hundreds of thousands of pages of safety and efficacy data, reaffirming the mRNA vaccine to be highly safe and effective. The MHA issued a media statement about the approval shortly after the announcement. For children ages 12 to 15, the shot remains under emergency use authorization. Emergency authorization of this and other vaccines for anyone younger than 12 remains outstanding and could come by the end of 2021.

The required vaccine fact sheets for providers’ use have been updated and are posted to the state’s Pfizer-focused webpage.

The lack of FDA approval has been a primary talking point for individuals delaying getting their COVID-19 vaccines. The MHA is communicating with media outlets and on its social media channels about the approval and where individuals can get vaccinated, especially as children head back to school. As of Aug. 23, the rate for children ages 12 to 15 who are fully vaccinated was 30%, and the rate for children ages 16 to 19 was 39.2%.

First doses of the vaccine continue to be administered at a slow but steady pace, with Michigan having administered nearly 154,000 first doses from Aug. 1-26. Providers – especially those who see younger patients – are urged to do direct patient outreach to increase vaccination rates and ensure those who are immunocompromised get a third dose if they received an mRNA vaccine. The MHA is developing provider outreach tools for practice settings to assist with these efforts.

Members with vaccine questions may contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

Bridge Magazine Hosting Youth Mental Health Conversation Aug. 31

Bridge Magazine, which the MHA supports as an underwriter of its Health Watch series, is hosting a free, online, one-hour conversation on youth mental health in Michigan from noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 31. MHA members are invited to participate in the online event by registering online.

The dialogue will include a description of the state of youth mental health services in Michigan as well as potential solutions for improving the availability of mental healthcare for youth and their families. Improved access to high-quality behavioral health services for Michiganders remains a top priority of the MHA, as evidenced by its proposal for an additional $125 million in the state budget dedicated to this issue. The MHA Board of Trustees held a robust discussion on behavioral health at its recent meeting, and more details on how the association will be dedicating resources to this issue are forthcoming.

Panelists for the event include Zakia Alavi, staff psychiatrist at LifeWays Community Mental Health in Jackson; Kevin Fischer, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Michigan Chapter</a>; and Tim Michling, research associate – Health Affairs at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. The hour-long discussion will be moderated by Bridge health reporter Robin Erb.

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).

Sept. 8 Safe Table to Address Mental Health and Wellbeing

The MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) is hosting a safe table focusing on mental health and wellbeing Sept. 8 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged healthcare organizations across the care continuum. Employees continue to provide care for patients despite exhaustion, personal risk of infection, fear of transmission to family members, illness or death of friends and colleagues and the loss of many patients. Many also faced unavoidable stressors, such as long shifts, employee turnover and personal isolation.

This safe table will serve as a safe and open space for healthcare employees to discuss the hardships frontline staff are facing during the pandemic. In addition, participants will hear from Mark Eastburg, PhD, president and CEO of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, who will share strategies to positively impact mental health and wellbeing.

Registration is available for PSO members. Questions may be directed to the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

Appel Featured in Bridge Series on Michigan’s Mental Health Services for Children & Teens

Appel

MHA Senior Vice President Laura AppelBridge Michigan published a series of articles the week of June 28 that examine Michigan’s mental health system for children and teens.

Shared in three installments, the pieces look at the strain on families, the boarding of children in the emergency department as they await treatment, and potential solutions.

The series includes Laura Appel, senior vice president, health policy & innovation, MHA, discussing the challenges that hospitals and health systems experience when providing behavioral health treatment to children and teens. Specifically, Appel discusses the constantly changing state pediatric psychiatric bed census, and legislation that would provide transformational funding to increase child inpatient psychiatric beds and to update emergency department facilities to mirror environmental features found in psychiatric facilities.

Part 1: Mental health crisis: Children at breaking point during COVID

Part 2: Emergency rooms confront ‘tidal wave of sadness’ among young patients

Part 3: A child mental-health fix takes early action, more help. Here are 7 ideas.

Speaker Sought to Explore Mental Health and Wellbeing During COVID-19

The MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) is seeking a speaker for an upcoming safe table focusing on mental health and wellbeing of employees within hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The speaker will be asked to provide approximately 30 minutes of content and participate in the group discussion afterward. Although a date has not yet been confirmed, the event will take place in mid-July.

This invitation is for a presentation that reviews staff mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic across different disciplines within hospitals. Areas to be discussed should include the hardships front-line staff are facing during the pandemic, healthcare leaders’ strategies to positively impact mental health and wellbeing, lessons learned since the pandemic began, and ways in which hospitals can improve care for their staff. The selected speaker will be encouraged to include the approaches their organization is taking to improve coping mechanisms amid the hardships facing hospital staff.

Those who wish to be considered as a speaker for this event should contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO by May 28.

MHA Hosts Mental Health Twitter Chat

MHA Health Chat Recap

#MHAHealthChat RecapThe MHA hosted a Twitter chat Sept. 9 to help educate and encourage the conversation around mental health as it relates to COVID-19 and National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

The conversation featured key input from guest expert Brian Ahmedani, PhD,
director, Center for Health Policy & Health Services Research at Henry Ford Health
System, who provided feedback to questions specific to mental health stigmas and inequalities, as well as provided mental health guidance and resources to those in need.

The chat kicked off with discussion around the impact COVID-19 could have on a person’s mental health as a result of loneliness, fear and isolation. In this thread, Ahmedani provided an article from Henry Ford News as a resource to better understand and manage anxiety during a pandemic.

It also covered the stigmas and inequalities surrounding mental health. Ahmedani, along with other participants, stressed the importance of listening to others and offering support to those seeking help. Ahmedani discussed the inequities faced by minority groups, including access to care, and referenced The National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health as a resource for successful programs targeting this issue.

Those interested in reading this chat or following future conversations can search the
hashtag #MHAHealthChat on Twitter, or visit the MHA’s channel for details. The next
chat will be focused on Sepsis Awareness Month and hosted on the MHA Keystone page
from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 24. Follow along using hashtag #KeystoneSepsis.

MHA Hosting Mental Health Twitter Chat Sept. 9

MHA Health Chat

The fear and uncertainty of COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted the mental health of our communities. In a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, it was found that 53% of adults in the U.S. reported poor mental health due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.#MHAHealtChat

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).

During times when people may be suffering in silence, it’s important to work together to break the stigma, raise awareness and provide resources related to mental health. Those interested in participating may follow along from the MHA’s Twitter account (@MIHospitalAssoc) or search the hashtag #MHAHealthChat over the course of the hour.

Those with questions should contact Lucy Ciaramitaro at the MHA.

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: