MHA Monday Report Aug. 21, 2023

MHA Monday Report

MHA Joins Partners to Urge Childhood Vaccinations

The MHA participated in a press conference Aug. 17 alongside representatives from I Vaccinate, the Franny Strong Foundation, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Ascension Michigan and Pontiac Middle School, to urge families …

Opportunities for Training and Placement of CHWs Available to Hospitals

The MHA has multiple higher education partners that recently received Health Resources and Services Administration grants to increase the number of community health workers (CHW) and health support workers, and these institutions are …

DEA Listening Sessions on Prescribing Controlled Substances via Telemedicine

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be hosting two listening sessions to receive additional input concerning the practice of telemedicine with regards to controlled substances. Hosted virtually and in person from 9 a.m. …

MHA Webinar on Maximizing Contributions of Physician Board Members

How can leadership utilize the distinct skills and expertise of physician board members? The MHA webinar Maximizing Contributions of Physician Board Members will take place from noon to 1 p.m. EST Oct. 17 will present …

The Keckley Report

Paul KeckleyNot for Profit Hospitals: Are they the Problem?

“The issues facing the U.S. health industry are complex. The role hospitals will play is also uncertain. If, as polls indicate, the majority of Americans prefer a private health system that features competition, transparency, affordability and equitable access, the remedy will require input from every major healthcare sector including employers, public health, private capital and regulators alongside others. It will require less from DC policy wonks and sanctimonious talking heads and more from frontline efforts and privately-backed innovators in communities, companies and in not-for-profit health systems that take community benefit seriously.

No sector owns the franchise for certainty about the future of U.S. healthcare nor its moral high ground. That includes not-for-profit hospitals.

The darkening cloud that hovers over not-for-profit health systems needs attention, but not alone, despite efforts to suggest otherwise. Clarifying the community-benefit standard is a start, but not enough. Are NFP hospitals a problem? Some are, most aren’t but all are impacted by the darkening cloud. …”

Paul Keckley, August 14, 2023

News to Know

  • The Healthcare Association of Hawaii has compiled a list of trustworthy local organizations that are accepting monetary contributions amid the recent wildfires of Maui, Hawaii.
  • The MHA encourages MHA chief nursing officers and other Michigan hospital leaders to register for Hospitals for Patient Access Advocacy Day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 13.
  • QURE Healthcare was approved for associate membership June 2023.

MHA in the News

The MHA received media coverage the week of Aug. 14 following a press conference Aug. 17 where Michigan health officials urged families to get kids up-to-date on routine vaccines ahead of the new school year. …

MHA Joins Partners to Urge Childhood Vaccinations

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Chief Medical Executive, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (top left); Jonnie Hamilton, DNP, PNP-BC, NE-BC, Medical Manager, Ascension; Ruthanne Sudderth, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Michigan Health and Hospital Association; Veronica Valentine McNally, President, Franny Strong Foundation and Founder, I Vaccinate Campaign; Colleen Hall-Young, DNP, Pontiac Middle School’s health center.

The MHA participated in a press conference Aug. 17 alongside representatives from I Vaccinate, the Franny Strong Foundation, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Ascension Michigan and Pontiac Middle School, to urge families to get their kids up-to-date on routine vaccines as the new school year begins.

Vaccination rates for Michigan children ages 19 to 36 months have fallen below 70% in more than half of the state (52 of 83 counties), according to June 2023 data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR).

Ruthanne Sudderth, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the MHA, encouraged families to get the safe and effective vaccines that are available to help protect their own children, as well as those who cannot get vaccinated in their communities. Speakers at the event also highlighted the latest vaccine data, the safety review processes that vaccines undergo in the U.S., the status of COVID-19 boosters and answered questions from the media regarding vaccine hesitancy and data trends.

The MHA will continue to promote vaccine safety and effectiveness information throughout the program year.

Members with vaccine questions can contact Ruthanne Sudderth.

MHA Service Corporation Board Highlights Solutions and Successes

The MHA Service Corporation (MHASC) board held its final meeting of the 2022-2023 program year focused on supporting the MHA Strategic Action Plan priorities of workforce sustainability, financial viability, achieving health equity and improving access and funding for behavioral health. Members are invited to review the July MHA CEO Report for more information on the association’s efforts to address these ongoing priorities.

The MHASC board celebrated the  2023 Outstanding Performance award given to the MHA Unemployment Compensation Program (MHA-UCP) by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. This award affirms the MHA-UCP’s dedicated work to reduce unemployment liability for its clients, decrease unemployment fraud and prevent waste with state unemployment agencies. The MHA-UCP has a large portfolio of healthcare employer clients throughout the country, including many MHA members. To learn more about the services available, members may contact Neil MacVicar at the MHA-UCP.

The board was joined by Kelsey Stevens, principal and senior consulting actuary, Wakely, for an overview of actuarial and risk management services for value-based payment arrangements and more. MHASC is planning to launch new Endorsed Business Partnerships in the coming weeks.

The MHASC board had several appointments and reappointments adding depth and breadth of expertise and welcomed new MHASC board members Melissa Holmquist, CEO, Upper Peninsula Health Plan, Marquette; Paul Karsten, CFO, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Grand Rapids; Peter Marinoff, south regional president, Munson Healthcare, Cadillac; and Scott McLean, managing director, Corewell Health Ventures, Grand Rapids. The board recognized David Leonard, JD, chief legal officer, Corewell Health, Grand Rapids and Southfield, and Dennis Smith, president, Dennis H. Smith Consulting, LLC, Marquette, for their service on the board ending this year. The board also affirmed the reappointments of Betty Chu, MD, chief quality officer, Henry Ford Health, Detroit; Brian Connolly, Connolly Associates, Rapid City; Brett Furst, founder & CEO, Foresight Ventures, Lake Orion; Marita Hattem-Schiffman, president & CEO, MyMichigan Health Central Region, Alma; and Chair Kent Riddle, CEO, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Grand Rapids.

The MHASC provides critical support to the MHA in the form of nondues revenue through its Data Services, Unemployment Compensation Program and Endorsed Business Partner program to address workforce, financial and other business needs. Visit the MHA Business Services webpage to learn more about resources available.

Questions regarding the MHASC Board should be directed to Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

MHA Launches MI Hospital Careers Healthcare Career Campaign

MI Hospital Careers Campaign Logo

MI Hospital Careers Campaign LogoMichigan hospital and education leaders joined forces June 8 to highlight the current state of Michigan’s healthcare workforce shortage and launch a campaign to expand interest in health careers in Michigan. The goal of the new Mi Hospital Careers campaign aims to ensure students in high school and college know about those opportunities, as well as working professionals looking for a rewarding career. Without addressing the existing healthcare workforce shortage, Michigan residents risk losing access to quality, accessible healthcare services within their local community.

Member hospitals and health systems, as well as other stakeholders, are encouraged to use the Partner Toolkit on the campaign website to help raise awareness about the benefits of working in healthcare and about the range of career pathways and training/education/financial support mechanisms available.

While many are aware of the shortage of physicians and nurses, high demand exists for non-clinical roles as well, with more than 27,000 total open positions at hospitals across the state. Within the next five years, the U.S. faces a projected shortage of more than 3.2 million lower-wage healthcare workers such as medical assistants, home health aides and nursing assistants, according to a Mercer report.

The campaign launched Monday, June 12. Residents can visit where they can learn more about the career paths available in healthcare and the different training programs and scholarships available across Michigan.

The MHA received media coverage from outlets including Crain’s Grand Rapids, Michigan Advance, Becker’s Hospital Review, Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, Lansing City Pulse, WOOD TV, WNEM-TV, WILX News 10, WJR Newsradio 760, Gongwer, MIRS and HealthLeaders Media.

Members with questions may contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

MHA Monday Report Feb. 20, 2023

MHA Monday Report

Innovative Solutions Explored by MHA Service Corporation Board

The MHA Service Corporation board began its Feb. 8 meeting addressing current strategic priorities including exploring innovative solutions to support hospital financial viability, workforce restoration and wellbeing, behavioral health improvements, health equity and more. The board considered strategies to continue …

MHA Keystone Center and MVC Release Statewide Childbirth Outcomes Report

The MHA Keystone Center and the Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC) developed and released a statewide report Feb. 2 on birth outcomes following recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an effort to support maternal health …

Nominations Open for the 2023 Healthcare Leadership Award

The annual presentation of the MHA Healthcare Leadership Award honors those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership within individual facilities and in their communities. Nominations for exceptional healthcare trustees, executives, physicians, nurses or other leaders for …

headphones with heart icon in middle.MHA Podcast Explores the Community Benefit of Rural Hospitals

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 26, Helen Johnson, …

The Keckley Report

Paul KeckleySOTU 2023 Takeaways for Healthcare: Surprises, Implications

“The spontaneous reaction to the President’s commentary on Medicare was the biggest surprise of the night! It’s especially significant as 2024 Presidential campaigns launch in the next 90 days (Haley this week) and Congress grapples with the debt ceiling and appropriations to Medicare, Veterans Health, Medicaid, pandemic preparedness and public health to name a few. ….”

Paul Keckley, Feb. 13, 2023

News to Know

The Michigan Society of Healthcare Risk Management is now accepting nominations for the Paul Venzke Award for Outstanding Performance in the field of Healthcare Risk Management. …

T. Anthony Denton.

MHA in the News

The MHA received media coverage the week of Feb. 13 regarding challenges impacting hospital viability in Michigan and on a statement released by MHA CEO Brian Peters following the shooting Feb. 13 on the campus of Michigan State University …

Innovative Solutions Explored by MHA Service Corporation Board

The MHA Service Corporation (MHASC) board began its Feb. 8 meeting addressing current strategic priorities including exploring innovative solutions to support hospital financial viability, workforce restoration and wellbeing, behavioral health improvements, health equity and more. The board considered strategies to continue to diversify and increase opportunities to support members through potential products, business opportunities and Endorsed Business Partner (EBP) expertise. The board also recognized the MHA Unemployment Compensation Program for expanding its consultative approach to managing unemployment claims in Ohio, Idaho, New Mexico and more. The MHASC and MHA leadership teams will continue to evaluate the performance and availability of existing and potential endorsed services to ensure they align with the MHA strategic action plan.

MHA EBP Demand Workforce/Qodex presented to the board, outlining an innovative, on-demand mobile app that is transforming healthcare staffing by providing a simple, user-friendly platform that enables hospitals to fill open shifts quickly and efficiently. Members are invited to register for free webinars from 12 to 12:30 EST Feb. 22 and March 8 to learn more information.

In addition, the MHASC Board passed a resolution in honor of the upcoming retirement of longtime MHA Chief Operating Officer Peter Schonfeld and celebrated recent organizational changes to integrate business development and marketing support for both the MHA and MHASC, including the promotion of Ruthanne Sudderth to senior vice president and chief strategy officer. A lunch with the MHA and MHASC Board was jointly sponsored by partners from Merritt Hawkins, AMN Leadership Solutions and Demand Workforce/Qodex.

The MHASC provides critical support to the MHA and MHA members through its Data Services products, Unemployment Compensation Program and Endorsed Business Partner program to address workforce, financial and other operational needs.

Questions regarding the MHASC board should be directed to Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

MHA CEO Report — Pediatric Capacity Crisis

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEO

Every child begins the world again.Henry David Thoreau

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEOIn all of my life experiences to date, none have been so challenging in every sense as those times when my young children were hospitalized in the NICU, fighting for their very lives. We were incredibly fortunate to have positive outcomes with both of them, thanks to the efforts of our Michigan hospitals and the incredible people who work there every day.

I share this perspective because there is a crisis throughout Michigan that truly hits home with me. I know the angst and exhaustion being felt by far too many parents right now – emotions that are also being acutely felt by our heroic caregivers. In short, it feels like déjà vu in Michigan’s children’s hospitals, but instead of a surge of COVID-19 patients stressing capacity to the limits, our facilities are strained by a high number of pediatric patients suffering from respiratory illnesses largely driven by RSV. Similar tactics that have been implemented in prior years, such as initiating incident command systems, have been in operation to ensure appropriate direction and communication is occurring throughout those systems impacted by this crisis.

Hospitals operating at capacity is nothing new and the staffing challenges that continue to result in Michigan operating with 1,700 fewer staffed beds than we had prior to the pandemic are well documented. What we’re seeing today is the real impact of what those staffing challenges mean: longer wait times in the emergency department, lack of available beds for patient transports (particularly in rural Michigan) and pediatric ICUs operating at beyond 100% capacity.

There are few professionals in the world that have proven to be more resilient than healthcare workers, whether they are physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, environmental service workers…the list goes on and on (and I am proud to say that the MHA Keystone Center has played an important role with the launch of our WELL-B initiative that continues to provide resiliency tools for our clinicians and other team members). But as residents of our communities, we can no longer take our healthcare workers and the access to care they provide for granted. These workers, and their organizations, need help.

Thankfully, the Michigan Legislature provided funding earlier this year through Public Act 9 to improve the recruitment, retention and training of healthcare workers. So far, over 69,000 healthcare workers have benefitted from that funding and it has helped to stabilize existing staffing levels. Hospitals are also exploring innovative ways to grow the talent pipeline, such as investment in higher education partnerships and other apprenticeships. However, while impactful, this funding is a finger in the dyke. Without additional attention, the problem will persist.

Addressing the strain on our children’s hospitals is a multi-pronged approach, and in addition to the aforementioned work of our MHA Keystone Center, we are also deriving input and guidance from our MHA Council on Children’s Health, led by Laura Appel, executive vice president for government relations and public affairs, as well as our system chief medical officer (CMO) group, led by our own CMO Gary Roth, DO.

While the MHA will continue to pursue legislative and regulatory solutions to the staffing crisis, there are actions anyone can undertake to help our healthcare workers caring for very sick children across Michigan, particularly as COVID-19, RSV and the flu converge to drive hospitalizations.

First and foremost, ensure that both you and your children are up to date on all the relevant vaccinations that are now readily available. The MHA is a long-time supporter of I Vaccinate which is a good source of information on vaccines, and our MHA Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications Ruthanne Sudderth continues to be our point person with this organization. Second, practice proper hygiene, including handwashing and staying home when sick. Third, seek the appropriate setting for care; visit the hospital for emergencies but contact your primary care physician or an urgent care facility for testing or care for mild symptoms. Lastly – and very importantly – be sure to express some grace and appreciation for any healthcare worker you meet. As we approach the winter and holiday season, they are here to provide exceptional care to all who need it and deserve to be treated with respect both on and off duty.

If you have not done so already, please join me in sharing this messaging within your networks. Our hospitals need the support from our partners in healthcare, the business community and in Lansing and Washington, DC to weather this storm. Respiratory illnesses will always be here, but there are many small actions we can take to care for the health and wellness of our communities well into the future.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

Legislative Policy Panel Convenes for Program Year

The MHA Legislative Policy Panel convened Oct. 12 to develop recommendations for the MHA Board of Trustees on legislative initiatives impacting Michigan hospitals.

The meeting was highlighted by a presentation from Ruthanne Sudderth, senior vice president, public affairs and communications, MHA, on a storytelling campaign advocating for funding solutions to the financial challenges facing MHA members. Sudderth described the objectives of the campaign, strategies that will be utilized and ways members can get involved. The campaign is a direct result of an MHA Board directive from the strategic action plan.

The panel also held a discussion on Certificate of Need in relation to pediatric psychiatric beds in Michigan and potential measures to improve access to care and patient experience. An additional portion of the meeting was dedicated towards reviewing challenges associated with placing patients in post-acute care settings and potential legislative options to assist hospitals.

Regarding an action item, the panel recommended the MHA support proposed state legislation to expand the swing bed program.

The panel received updates on other issues at the state level, including a preview of the upcoming lame-duck session, the November election and the 340B drug pricing program.

For more information on the MHA Legislative Policy Panel, contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

Opportunities for Immunization Grants – Applications Due Nov. 1

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently announced multiple grant opportunities for health organizations and AAP Chapters to improve community confidence in vaccines and to support pediatricians in the delivery of on-time vaccinations. Several grant programs and funding amounts are currently available related to COVID-19, HPV, influenza and other routine childhood immunizations. Applicants are encouraged to propose activities that will address the unique needs of children and families within their communities to improve vaccination uptake.

For more information on the various opportunities, view the Call for Proposals

Applications should be submitted through Survey Monkey and are due Nov. 1.

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