MHA CEO Report — Michigan Hospitals: Benefitting Communities in Significant Ways

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEO

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEOFall is officially upon us. At the MHA, that means a new program year is well underway, we have a new Strategic Action Plan in place and are preparing for the November election which is now just weeks away. This fall, we are also very proud to continue an annual tradition and publish two new reports documenting the critical role of our membership throughout the state: the 2022 Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan and the Healthy Futures, Health Communities community benefit report.

Fiscal year 2020 data (the most recently available) is shared in each report and it reinforces the position that hospitals are both economic drivers and community leaders. Healthcare remains the largest private sector employer in Michigan with nearly 572,000 total individuals directly employed, 224,000 of which are in hospitals. These direct healthcare workers earned $44.2 billion in wages, salaries and benefits and when combined with indirect, healthcare-supported jobs, contributed almost $15.2 billion in local, state and federal taxes. Hospitals provide mission-oriented work aimed at the health and wellness of their patients and communities, but the data is clear that hospitals clearly have a role in the economic health of our state as well.

We take our work towards improving community wellness seriously, which is demonstrated by the nearly $4.2 billion investment in community-based partnerships and programming. Hospitals invested more than $869 million in community and voluntary-based activities while providing $3.4 billion in uncompensated care. Hospitals are committed to not only caring for anyone who walks through their doors, but towards preventative care programs that can help reduce the need of inpatient hospital services. The costs of these efforts come directly out of a hospital’s bottom line but are vital towards ensuring vulnerable patients have the ability to receive needed care.

These reports are based on data from the first year of the pandemic. I do not have to tell you how trying and difficult those times were for hospitals. Despite the uncertainty and demand on hospitals and health systems during that time, they continued to support our communities in these important ways. Our healthcare system was stretched to new lengths, but we had over half a million individuals directly involved in providing care to patients. With a statewide population of 10 million, 40% of which are either under the age of 18 or aged 65 and older, healthcare either directly or indirectly employs over 18% of our workforce.

Yet the 2020 numbers also begin to provide evidence of the loss of healthcare workers that we anecdotally have shared for the last several years. For the first time in the history of the economic impact report, total direct jobs in Michigan from healthcare declined, including the loss of 7,000 jobs in hospitals. Despite those losses, total compensation for hospital workers remained the same, as contracted labor (e.g. those working for nurse staffing agencies) became a necessity for hospitals to maintain appropriate staffing levels.

But I do not want to lose sight of what the headline should be, and that is healthcare remains an economic engine and the largest private-sector employer in Michigan. At a time where every industry is struggling with having enough staff, healthcare remains a very significant employer. And the industry holds a tremendous amount of opportunity for new job growth moving forward: Michigan’s recent list of the top career fields with the highest projected growth is dominated by healthcare professions. Hospitals not only offer well-compensated careers with strong benefits, but in a rewarding field that truly makes a difference in the lives of our neighbors. Hospital careers also exist in communities large and small, helping to keep college graduates and young professionals in our state. Lastly, the skills of a healthcare professional are transferrable, regardless of region, and long-lasting. The training and education for a healthcare professional today will remain relevant over the next several decades.

Every year that goes by, hospitals seek to be more involved with individuals outside the walls of their facilities. They are helping to address the social determinants of health, including access to transportation and food insecurity. And they are intertwined in not only the individual health of community members, but in the success of local business and municipalities. Access to healthcare is at the top of any organization’s checklist wishing to expand their footprint into new markets. Our success depends on the success of community leaders and vice versa.

When we advocate for much-needed Medicaid and Medicare funding, for the 340B drug pricing program and for good health policy at the state and federal level, we do so because we know these are essential to maintaining access to quality healthcare in communities throughout Michigan. With the facts presented by our new reports on economic impact and community benefit, we believe there is more reason than ever for our elected officials – and all of us – to support our Michigan hospitals.

As always, I welcome your thoughts.

MDHHS Proposes to Cover Doula Services for Medicaid Beneficiaries

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently released a proposed policy for Medicaid coverage of doula services effective Oct. 1, 2022, contingent upon approval by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The MHA supports this proposal and agrees with the MDHHS statement that the policy would improve birth outcomes, address social determinants of health, and decrease health and racial disparities for Medicaid beneficiaries.

A doula is a nonclinical person who typically provides physical, emotional and educational support services to pregnant women during the prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum periods. Doulas must have a current certification by a doula training program or organization approved by the MDHHS and provide it upon request. They must complete an online application in the Community Health Automated Processing System and enroll with an Individual National Provider Identifier as either a Rendering/Servicing-Only or Individual/Sole Provider to be a Medicaid-enrolled provider.

Under the proposed policy, Medicaid would cover various types of doula services, including community-based, prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum services when recommended by a licensed healthcare provider. Doula services are expected to be in-person, with prenatal and postpartum services available via telehealth when there is a barrier to in-person services. Covered services would include a maximum of six total visits during the prenatal and postpartum periods and one visit for labor and delivery. All prenatal and postpartum visits would need to be at least 20 minutes to be eligible for reimbursement. The proposed payment rate is $75 per visit for prenatal and postnatal visits and $350 for attendance at labor and delivery.

Comments are due to the MDHHS June 4. Members with questions should contact Vickie Kunz at the MHA.

New Podcast Explores Social Determinants of Health with Wright Lassiter

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 this episode, Wright Lassiter, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health, discusses social determinants of health — what they are, why they matter, and how understanding them can help achieve better health outcomes. Lassiter also shares valuable insight about how to best support healthcare workers as they continue to face pandemic burnout and what drove the organization’s recent rebranding to Henry Ford Health, previously Henry Ford Health System.

As president and CEO, Lassiter oversees the $7 billion integrated health system comprised of six hospitals, a health plan and a wide range of ambulatory, retail and various health services across more than 250 locations in Michigan and 33,000 employees. Lassiter joined Henry Ford Health in 2014 as president and assumed the role of president and CEO in 2016.

This podcast 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. It is currently available via Spotify, iTunes and SoundCloud.

For more information, visit micarematters.org. Members with questions or who would like to submit ideas for future podcasts should contact Lucy Ciaramitaro at the MHA.

MHA Monday Report Feb. 21, 2022

MHA Monday Report

MHA Covid-19 updateCombating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Feb. 14

The current surge of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 has continued its downward trend. The seven-day average of hospitalizations in the U.S. as of Feb. 13 was 80,185, down from 136,534 Jan. 20. Michigan hospitalizations for confirmed and suspected cases …


capitol building

Supplemental Budget Signed, Pharmacy Benefit Manager Legislation Passed

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Feb. 16 signed House Bill 5523, a $1.2 billion supplemental funding bill that focuses on keeping kids learning in-person and bolstering the state’s healthcare workforce. This legislation directs $300 million to …


MHA Virtual Member Forum to Review Strategic Action Plan Priorities

The MHA will host a virtual member forum from 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 24 to outline the MHA 2021-2022 program year’s strategic action plan, which the MHA Board of Trustees approved in August. The forum will review the priorities set for the year, progress to date, and the tactics the …


Feb. 22 Webinar to Outline Housing Options for Those in Need

Throughout the pandemic, being nimble and recognizing that much in the social support sector is in flux has been crucial, as has being intentional about identifying key areas and needs, including housing. Housing interventions improve housing stability and health outcomes while decreasing healthcare …


Webinar Explores Changing Environment of Digital Marketing for Healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic and the rapidly changing competitive environment are making the consumer digital experience a higher priority for healthcare marketers than ever before. With budgets rebounding and marketers accelerating efforts in personalization, healthcare marketers must invest in new …


WELL-B Program Registration Extended

Registration has been extended to March 29 for the Well-being Essentials for Learning Life-Balance webinar series. WELL-B is a behavioral health training program for the healthcare workforce that delivers weekly webinars on evidence-based well-being topics, including prevalence …


Eligibility Expanded for ED Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Initiative

In partnership with the MHA Keystone Center, the Michigan Opioid Partnership and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has launched an Emergency Department Medication for Opioid Use Disorder …


Workforce, Operational Challenges Addressed at MHASC Board, HR Committee Meetings

At its Feb. 9 meeting, the MHA Service Corporation (MHASC) board focused on supporting MHA Strategic Action Plan priorities including behavioral health, workforce sustainability, data strategy, cybersecurity and diversifying MHASC products, services, and partnerships. To receive an update …


Online Workforce Solutions Available

The MHA and the Michigan Health Council announced two offerings as means for strengthening the nursing workforce. The Clinical Faculty Academy is designed to expand the pool of nurses involved in educating the next generation of nurses and to increase nursing school enrollments. …


Submit Proposals to Present at The Root Cause Coalition National Summit

The MHA is a member of The Root Cause Coalition, whose mission is to reverse and end the systemic root causes of health inequities for individuals and communities through cross-sector partnerships. The coalition has opened its request for proposals to present at the seventh National Summit on the …


Latest AHA Trustee Insights Highlights Board Engagement

The latest edition of Trustee Insights, the monthly digital package from the American Hospital Association, is now available and contains valuable information on board engagement. COVID-19 has tested boards’ abilities to lead in times of prolonged and daunting pressures, and time …


Laura Appel speaks Feb. 14 with WILX News 10.

Media Recap: Appel Discusses Workforce Issues

Laura Appel, senior vice president, health policy & innovation, MHA, was quoted in stories the week of Feb. 14 discussing issues impacting the healthcare workforce. Hospitals across the country are concerned about anticompetitive activity and questionable pricing from …


The Keckley Report

Paul Keckley

The Healthcare Value Agenda 3.0: What to Expect in 2022 and Beyond

“The value agenda in U.S. healthcare is transitioning to version 3.0. While the aim of replacing fee-for-service incentives remains the same, the next version will be decidedly different.”

Paul Keckley, Feb. 14, 2022

Submit Proposals to Present at The Root Cause Coalition National Summit

The MHA is a member of The Root Cause Coalition, whose mission is to reverse and end the systemic root causes of health inequities for individuals and communities through cross-sector partnerships. The coalition has opened its request for proposals to present at the seventh National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health, which will be held in Minneapolis Oct. 2 through 4.

Proposals will be accepted through March 14 to serve at the summit as a featured speaker or to lead a breakout session on health inequities and social determinants. Official proposals may be submitted online. Questions may be directed to Madison Flores at The Root Cause Coalition.

Feb. 22 Webinar to Outline Housing Options for Those in Need

Throughout the pandemic, being nimble and recognizing that much in the social support sector is in flux has been crucial, as has being intentional about identifying key areas and needs, including housing. Housing interventions improve housing stability and health outcomes while decreasing healthcare costs and advancing health equity.

The MHA Health Foundation webinar Housing as Healthcare: Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Real Estate will take place from 11 a.m. to noon Feb. 22. The webinar will review the initial business and legal considerations to making financial investments in housing capital costs to address the lack of housing and homelessness; financing sources that are available, and examples of successful healthcare-supported affordable housing strategies and steps to implement them.

MHA-member hospitals can register for an unlimited number of connections per hospital/entity for $200. This pricing does not include systemwide hospitals. For more information contact Erica Leyko at the MHA.

MHA Monday Report Feb. 14, 2022

MHA Monday Report

MHA Board Meeting Focused on Workforce, Other Healthcare Challenges

At its Feb. 9 meeting, the MHA Board of Trustees had robust conversations about key priorities for healthcare and the MHA. Among them were the MHA’s role as healthcare and public policy continue to evolve; workforce development and shortages (including $300 million appropriated by the Michigan …


capitol buildingVital Healthcare Workforce Funding Passed by Michigan Legislature

The Michigan Legislature passed Feb. 9 House Bill 5523, a supplemental spending bill that includes $300 million for healthcare facilities for recruitment and retention of healthcare workers. While this funding will not solve the long-term …


Governor’s Budget Recommendation Supports Healthcare Workers, Protects Hospitals

The fiscal year 2023 executive budget recommendation was presented to the Legislature Feb. 9 by State Budget Director Chris Harkins. The governor’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year protects key hospital priorities and includes …


Michigan Legislature Addresses Multiple Healthcare Bills

The Michigan Legislature took up several bills impacting hospitals during the week Feb. 7. Some of the covered topics included legislation to expand the essential health provider loan repayment program, make changes to nonopioid directive forms, new regulation for pharmacy benefit managers …


Virtual Breakthrough

Register by Feb. 14 for Virtual MHA Breakthrough

The MHA Breakthrough event will be held virtually from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 17, and registration is encouraged by close of business Feb. 14. For many months, leaders have had limited opportunities to study challenges and learn from each …


Virtual Training Offered Feb. 15 for FY 2019 Medicaid DSH Audit

Myers and Stauffer LC, Michigan’s contractor for the federally mandated Medicaid disproportionate share hospitals audits, encourages hospital staff to participate in the upcoming virtual training at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 15. Hospital staff will also benefit from viewing …


Housing as Healthcare Webinar to Explore Population Health Improvement

Homelessness can take many forms, with people living on the streets, in encampments or shelters, or with family and friends. While the federal government reports 1.5 million people a year experience homelessness, other estimates find up to twice this number of people are without …


Responses to Cybersecurity Attacks, Mitigation Strategies Focus of Member Forum

The healthcare sector remains a target-rich environment for cyberattacks due to a large amount of sensitive data related to patient care and operations. The MHA will host a cybersecurity member forum from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 24 at the Henry Center for Executive Development. The forum is …


PPSOSO Annual Meeting to Focus on Well-being and Workplace Violence

The MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) Annual Meeting brings together national safety and clinical experts each year to discuss hot topics in healthcare. It will be held virtually from 9 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. March 9. …


Headline Roundup: Workforce Funding, Executive Budget and More

The MHA responded to several media requests the week of Feb. 7 on topics including passage Feb. 9 of House Bill 5523 that provides $300 million in healthcare workforce funding, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Feb. 10 executive state budget recommendation and COVID-19 hospitalizations. …


The Keckley Report

Paul Keckley

Two Events this Week Will Shape U.S. Healthcare for 2022

“On the foreign policy front, the potential Russian invasion of the Ukraine has forced talks this week among heads of state …

“And on the domestic front, the Consumer Price Index for January will be released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and all eyes will be on the inflation rate …

“The U.S. health system is directly impacted by both sets of events though the immediate impact might not be readily obvious.”

Paul Keckley, Feb. 7, 2022


News to Know

  • Nominations for the 2022 Ludwig Community Benefit Award are due Feb. 18.

Housing as Healthcare Webinar to Explore Population Health Improvement

Homelessness can take many forms, with people living on the streets, in encampments or shelters, or with family and friends. While the federal government reports 1.5 million people a year experience homelessness, other estimates find up to twice this number of people are without housing. The connection between housing and homelessness and health and homelessness is well understood.

As providers continue to advance mission- and value-based care strategies, housing can be a high-impact component of those strategies. The MHA Health Foundation webinar Housing as Healthcare: Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Real Estate will be offered from 11 a.m. to noon Feb. 22. The webinar will review the initial business and legal considerations to making financial investments in housing capital costs to address the lack of housing and homelessness; financing sources that are available, and examples of successful healthcare-supported affordable housing strategies and steps to implement them.

MHA-member hospitals can register for an unlimited number of connections per hospital/entity for $200. This pricing does not include systemwide hospitals. For more information, contact Erica Leyko at the MHA.

Webinar to Outline Housing Options to Improve Population Health

Access to affordable, safe, stable housing is well documented as a strong factor in health. The critical shortage of affordable housing directly affects communities and patients, contributing to repeat emergency room visits and hospital admissions. These patients also tend to have limited resources for self-care.

As providers continue to advance mission- and value-based care strategies, housing can be a high-impact component of those strategies. The MHA Health Foundation webinar Housing as Healthcare: Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Real Estate will be offered from 11 a.m. to noon Feb. 22. The webinar will review the initial business and legal considerations to making financial investments in housing capital costs to address the lack of housing and homelessness, financing sources that are available, and examples of successful healthcare-supported affordable housing strategies and steps to implement them.

MHA-member hospitals can register for an unlimited number of connections per hospital/entity for $200. This pricing does not include systemwide hospitals. For more information, contact Erica Leyko at the MHA.

Submit Proposals to Present at The Root Cause Coalition National Summit

The MHA is a member of The Root Cause Coalition, whose mission is to reverse and end the systemic root causes of health inequities for individuals and communities through cross-sector partnerships. The coalition has opened its request for proposals to present at the sixth National Summit on the Social Determinants of Health, which will be held virtually Oct. 4 through 6.

Proposals will be accepted through March 15 to serve at the summit as a featured speaker or to lead a breakout session on health inequities and social determinants. The proposal questions are available for review, and official proposals may be submitted online. Questions may be directed to coalition representatives through email or by calling (202) 266-2635.