WOOD TV8 published a story Dec. 12 on the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 183, which includes language allowing rural emergency hospital (REH) licensure in Michigan. The bill passed Dec. 6 with overwhelming support in both the State House and Senate following collaboration between the MHA, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Whitmer administration on making the necessary changes in state statute to allow for the new federal designation.
Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, spoke with WOOD TV8 on the bill and the challenges rural hospitals face which led to the creation of the federal REH designation. Appel discussed the high fixed costs associated with maintaining inpatient services and the financial reimbursement benefits offered to REHs.
“If your population goes down, your fixed costs don’t go down, but Medicare is going to continue to help you with those,” said Appel. “Regardless of where you are, if you’re a hospital in financial stress or if you’re a hospital that doesn’t want to become financially stressed … you have all of those things working in your favor.”
The MHA also received mentions in stories published Dec. 15, including one from Michigan Radio on the surge of respiratory illnesses being treated by Michigan’s pediatric hospitals and from Bridge on the increase of flu-related hospitalizations in the state.
Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.
The MHA received media coverage on several topics during the week of Sept. 12. Areas of focus included the Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report and the new national rural emergency hospital (REH) designation.
MHA CEO Brian Peters was a guest on the MIRS Monday podcast Sept. 12, discussing the findings of the Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report, while discussing a variety of other challenges impacting the healthcare industry and potential legislative or policy solutions. Also appearing in the episode was Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon and former Gov. Gretchen Whitmer aide Mark Burton.
The Lansing State Journal also covered the Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report in an article published Sept. 14 that looked at emergency department wait times and staffing shortages. The article referenced data from the report on the sudden loss of healthcare workers in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and how that has led Michigan to have an average of 1,700 fewer staffed beds in Michigan hospitals compared to October of 2020.
Crain’s Detroit Business also published a story Sept. 15 on Sturgis Hospital pursuing the new REH designation. Peters is quoted at the end of the article discussing why hospitals may consider adoption the new designation.
“This is about keeping the doors open,” said Peters. “Telemedicine is a potential game changer for these struggling hospitals. Prenatal visits are critically important, but if you’re in a community where you used to have a full-service OBGYN clinic and now you don’t, a robust telemedicine offering can bridge that gap. This will allow health care leaders to not feel they are abandoning their mission while remaining open.”