MLive published an article Nov. 3 on the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The article quotes MHA CEO Brian Peters on the value of the approval when it comes to protecting younger children from severe infection and reducing the overall spread of the disease.
“At a time when children’s hospitals throughout Michigan are strained due to high rates of respiratory illness, this approval will keep children safe and help reduce the burden on our hospitals and allow them to focus on their patients with non-COVID illnesses,” said Peters.
MHA CEO Brian Peters was quoted in stories published Aug. 8 by MLive and Crain’s Detroit Business discussing the impacts of physician burnout due to COVID-19 and pediatric dentistry challenges.
Hospital staffing has been a challenge since the pandemic began, particularly during the three COVID-19 surges that occurred in Michigan. The MLive story focuses on hospital staff who have transitioned away from COVID-19 care or the acute care hospital setting entirely due to burnout.
“A contributing factor to the staffing shortage prior to the pandemic was the rate of stress and burnout in the healthcare setting and the pandemic has exacerbated the issue,” said Peters. “It is apparent that there are certain jobs, especially those dealing with direct patient care, where the burnout factor is especially pronounced.
“We have heard numerous anecdotal reports from our membership that the pandemic has led many healthcare workers nearing retirement age to leave the workforce. This has created a real crunch in staffing and was really felt during the last surge in Michigan.”
The Crain’s Detroit Business story evaluates the challenges associated with finding operating room time for pediatric dental procedures, particularly for those children with special needs.
"Currently, operating room access is limited throughout the state, and difficult decisions have to be made on which types of procedures can be performed," said Peters. "Hospitals have an obligation to prioritize the patients under the care of their employed physicians and surgeons. In addition, hospitals throughout Michigan continue to operate at high capacity while caring for high volumes of non-COVID-19 patients, which we believe is a consequence of delayed care from the pandemic. The postponement of nonemergency medical procedures at the beginning of the pandemic is one specific example that has led to further demand for operating room space."
MLive published a story June 18 with Chris Mitchell, executive vice president, advocacy & public affairs, discussing the reasons behind hospital mergers.
The story reviews a proposed merger between Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health. Mitchell contributed comments about the recent trend of hospital mergers in broad terms, as well as the benefits health systems receive through a merger.
“The name and brand recognition obviously is important to all parties involved in these, and really some of the efficiencies that can be achieved through group purchasing and consolidation of information technology and emergency medical records services,” said Mitchell.
MHA CEO Brian Peters provided a statement May 12 expressing the MHA is pleased that the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended 12- to 15-year-olds can receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
“This vaccine proved to be 100% effective in trials of this age group, and even more importantly, extremely safe – meaning young people who get vaccinated can return to doing so many things they’ve missed over the last year,” said Peters. “We want these kids back in school, back in sports, back to seeing friends – but doing so safely. The best way to get your child back to their normal activities is to get them vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
Peters also appears in a story by the Michigan Advance discussing the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As Michigan hospitals address a second surge of COVID-19 patients, the MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to responding to the pandemic.
MHA CEO Brian Peters joined CEOs of Michigan hospitals Nov. 12 during a virtual press conference organized by the Michigan Economic Recovery Council (MERC). Other participants included Henry Ford Health System President and CEO Wright Lassiter III, UP Health System Market President Gar Atchinson, Spectrum Health President & CEO Tina Freese Decker, Munson Health Care President & CEO Ed Ness and Beaumont Health President & CEO John Fox.
Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include interviews or statements from the MHA, including coverage of the MERC Press Conference:
MLive published a story Nov. 10 analyzing the implications for Michigan if the U.S. Supreme Court rules the Affordable Care Act (ACA) invalid.
Oral arguments were heard Nov. 10 by the U.S. Supreme Court in a lawsuit brought by 18 state attorneys general, which is asking the high court to declare the ACA invalid. As stated in the article, the plaintiffs argue the law’s mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional because Congress repealed the penalties for not complying. They also say that means the entire law is invalid, since a 2012 Supreme Court decision ruled the ACA is constitutional because of the tax.
Laura Appel, senior vice president and chief innovation officer, MHA, is quoted on the implications of such a ruling on the Healthy Michigan plan and individuals who receive other coverage benefits, such as those with pre-existing conditions.
“It has implications for people covered by Healthy Michigan. It has implications for people with pre-existing conditions,” said Appel. “It has implications for people who are able to stay their parents' coverage up to age 26. It has implications for people on Medicare, who use the Medicare prescription drug benefits or who need an annual physical and don’t have the money to pay for it. For young women who get pregnancy coverage.”
Appel also discussed how the ACA has benefitted consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So we’re coming close to 150,000 people who were able to get coverage right away because we had that in place. There’s no doubt that being able to quickly cover people through the Affordable Care Act has been a huge benefit for Michigan."