MHA and Rural Members Advocate on Capitol Hill

Rural hospital leaders at NRHA Rural Health Insitute event in Washington D.C.

The MHA and rural hospital leaders visited Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Feb. 7-9 to advocate for specific rural healthcare policies as part of the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Rural Health Policy Institute event.

During the trip, the MHA and members met with Michigan’s congressional delegation and staff to discuss rural health issues facing Michigan hospitals. Topics included protection of the 340B drug pricing program, the new Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation, rural workforce shortages and reimbursement issues. Also participating in the visit were representatives from the Michigan Center for Rural Health.

Members with questions should contact Lauren LaPine at the MHA.

Media Recap: Food Insecurity & Rural Healthcare Solutions

Brian Peters

Brian PetersThe MHA received media coverage the week of Jan. 23 regarding the issue of food insecurity, rural healthcare solutions and hospital viability.

The MHA contributed a combined total of $45,000 toward the 2022 Michigan Harvest Gathering during the campaign’s luncheon Jan. 25 to help address food insecurity in the state. The Michigan Business Network published the press release issued by the MHA while MHA CEO Brian Peters appeared on Food First, a weekly WJR radio show presented by the Food Bank Council of Michigan and Farm Bureau Insurance. Peters discussed the MHA’s title sponsorship of the 2022 Michigan Harvest Gathering with co-hosts Dr. Phil Knight and Gerry Brisson, as well as the role food insecurity plays as a social determinant of health.

Peters and several MHA members also appeared in a Becker’s Hospital Review story published Jan. 25 sharing ideas on how to save rural healthcare.

“I am a big believer in technology as a game-changer for the future of healthcare delivery,” said Peters. “In particular, it can serve as a force multiplier in the realm of healthcare staffing. When combined with the significant traction gained by telehealth since the start of the pandemic, this means that technology — if thoughtfully deployed — can help to stabilize the rural health infrastructure. One imperative: we need regulatory and reimbursement policies that incentivize and support this concept.

In addition, Peters joined the Paul W. Smith “Live from Lansing” show Jan. 26 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.

Members with any questions regarding media requests should contact John Karasinski at the MHA.