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 25, Ross M. Ramsey, MD, president and CEO of Scheurer Health, gives listeners an inside look at working in one of Michigan’s rural hospitals as both a clinician and leader. Ramsey, who grew up in the region before attending medical school at Michigan State University, explains the care model and culture that sets rural hospitals like Scheurer apart from their urban counterparts.
The episode, currently available to stream on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud, also explores the vital role healthcare plays in rural communities and why those in the medical field might consider a career in the less populated areas of the state.
The MiCare Champion Cast is part of the statewide #MiCareMatters campaign, launched in 2017, which aims to build a network of citizens — “MiCare Champions” — who will be called upon to engage in advocacy efforts to protect access to affordable healthcare services in Michigan.
Members with questions or who would like to submit ideas for future podcasts should contact Lucy Ciaramitaro at the MHA.
The legislation needed for hospitals to begin converting to Rural Emergency Hospitals (REH) in Michigan was sent to the Governor’s desk Dec. 6 for final approval. Due to limited session days left, the language to allow for REH licensure in Michigan was officially included in Senate Bill (SB) 183. After the REH amendments were adopted, SB 183 passed with overwhelming support in both the State House and Senate.
The MHA has been actively working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and the Whitmer administration’s legal team on REH licensure during the legislative process and have received positive indications of the administration’s support for SB 183.
Member hospitals considering conversion to an REH are encouraged to review the final rules by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Some key changes outlined in the final rule include:
Clarification that REHs can operate provider-based rural health clinics (RHCs) and that REHs are considered hospitals with less than 50 beds for purposes of the payment limit exception. Provider-based RHCs will maintain their excepted status upon a hospital’s REH conversion.
A roughly $4,000 per month increase in monthly facility payments due to a misstep in the methodology that the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) highlighted in the MHA comment on the proposed rule.
The CMS agreed with the NRHA that one-lane federal highways should be excluded from the definition of primary roads. Primary roads are now defined as state or federal highways with two or more lanes in either direction.
Additionally, the CMS has released initial information on the application process. There will also be an application process at the state level through LARA. This application is still in development.
Members considering converting to the REH designation should contact Lauren LaPine at the MHA for support in navigating this process.
The MHA received media coverage on a variety of topics during the weeks of June 27 and July 4. Areas of focus included the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the passage of the fiscal year 2023 state budget and challenges facing small and rural hospitals.
The MHA shared a statement with media following the SCOTUS decision that repealed Roe v. Wade. Outlets that included comment from the MHA in their stories included the Detroit Free Press, Bridge and Gongwer.
The passage of the state budget the morning of July 1 by the Michigan Legislature was celebrated by MHA CEO Brian Peters in a media statement that outlined the existing MHA budget priorities that continue to be protected as well as significant new funding to support behavioral health capacity and the healthcare workforce. MLive, MiBiz, The Center Square and Gongwer carried portions of the statement.
Renewed attention was brought to financial challenges faced by small and rural, particularly independent, hospitals due to a legislative request for funding from Sturgis Hospital as the organization pursues the possibility of converting to the new rural emergency hospital designation through the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. MiBiz and Bridge published articles that include reaction from the MHA following assistance the association made in the legislative ask that secured $11 million for Sturgis Hospital.
Members with any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.