Media Recap: Implicit Bias Training & Medicaid Maternal Health Coverage

Brian Peters

The MHA received media coverage the week of May 9 on the upcoming Public Health Code Rules requiring implicit bias training for all professions licensed or registered under the Public Health Code and the recently approved extension by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of Michigan Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage for 12 months after pregnancy.

Bridge published May 11 a story on the healthcare industry’s reaction to the June 1 implementation date of the implicit bias training requirement. MHA CEO Brian Peters is quoted in the article expressing the positive reaction from hospitals on the requirement and their commitment to eliminate health disparities.

“There’s been no push back,” said Peters. “Everyone realizes this is the right thing to do.”

State of Reform also published May 10 an article on the increase in coverage for postpartum mothers from 60 days after birth to a full year in Michigan. Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, spoke with State of Reform on the importance of this coverage extension towards addressing maternal mortality and racial disparities.

“It feels counterintuitive to why healthcare coverage for women would end 60 days after they gave birth,” said Appel. “You would in no way expect coverage to end so quickly.”

Appel Addresses Specialty Integrated Plans with State of Reform

Laura Appel

Laura AppelState of Reform published an article May 2 that reviewed a panel discussion from the 2022 Michigan State of Reform Health Policy Conference on bills in the Michigan Legislature that would create specialty integrated plans to cover specialty behavioral health benefits. Participating on the panel was Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA.

Appel expressed the MHA’s supportive position on Senate Bills 597 and 598 due to the need to integrate and reform behavioral health in Michigan, while also mentioning the role workforce sustainability has in that process.

“Here’s the thing about our current system, there are hundreds of people who don’t have a provider to worry about losing,” said Appel. “Our shortage of behavioral health professionals is dire. When a person is in crisis, any change is frightening, but the system is just not adequate right now.”

Chris Mitchell Discusses Hospital Financial & Operational Health

Chris Mitchell

MHA Executive Vice President Chris Mitchell speaking with FOX 47 News.Chris Mitchell, executive vice president, advocacy & public affairs, MHA, discussed the financial and staffing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan with State of Reform, FOX 47 News and WILX News 10 during the week of July 12.

State of Reform published an article July 14 where Mitchell discusses the impacts of decreased revenues from delaying care and nonemergency medical procedures and the increased demand for staff as hospitals operate near capacity and experience higher amounts of health professionals leaving the workforce. Mitchell also discusses potential policy solutions to improve staffing challenges and concerns about the spread of the Delta variant.

“We have seen that with the help of our state and federal partners, our hospitals were able to effectively manage the worst pandemic of our lifetime,” said Mitchell. “I truly believe that as long as we continue to work together and work with our partners and the federal government, that we can get through anything together.”

The FOX 47 News story aired the evening of July 15 with Mitchell discussing the healthcare workforce shortage that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. The WILX News 10 segment covered the same topic the following day. 

"If you look at really each of the three surges when they ended, there’s really been an exodus of healthcare workers who are either taking their retirement or going to work in other fields just as a direct result of burnout," said Mitchell to FOX 47 News. 

State of Reform: MHA highlights health bills that recently moved before summer break

Adam Carlson

MHA Vice President Adam CarlsonState of Reform published an article July 2 reviewing introduced legislation at the state level that impacts hospitals and health systems, including bills that would streamline prior authorization, modernize the scope of practices for certified registered nurse anesthetists and provide more medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in emergency departments.

The article quotes Adam Carlson, vice president, advocacy, MHA, on a variety of the issues, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the behavioral health crisis and staffing challenges.

“Obviously there is more work to be done, but I feel like we are in a very good place right now as it relates to health care,” said Carlson. “We are very appreciative of everything the legislature has done to improve healthcare in Michigan.”

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State of Reform: MHA Behavioral Health Priorities are Fully Funded in House Budget Proposal

Adam Carlson

State of Reform published an article May 19 on both chambers of the Michigan Legislature advancing budget proposals for both the current and upcoming fiscal year that fully fund hospital priorities, including a focus on behavioral health.

Adam Carlson, vice president, advocacy, MHAThe article quotes Adam Carlson, vice president, advocacy, MHA, on details of House Bill 4420. Included in the budget bill is $125 million to add more pediatric psychiatric patient beds in hospitals, improves behavioral health access in the Michigan emergency departments and adds more appropriate settings for inpatient behavioral health care.

“Given the anecdotal reports we are hearing about the increasing demand for behavioral health services and the increasing severity of these situations, we are hopeful that we can alleviate these pressures, fight back against them and provide better behavioral health care so people are getting the treatment they need,” said Carlson.

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Chris Mitchell Discusses Legislative Priorities with State of Reform

Chris Mitchell

MHA Executive Vice President Chris MitchellState of Reform published a story March 10 with Chris Mitchell, executive vice president, advocacy & public affairs, discussing the MHA’s priorities for the current Michigan legislative session.

The story reviews several key funding areas that are historically included in the state budget, including support for graduate medical education, rural and critical access hospitals and the Healthy Michigan plan. Mitchell also advocated for the continued use of increased outpatient Medicaid reimbursement rates for all hospitals, which was new for the fiscal year 2020 budget.

“We want the continued investment in graduate medical education program (GME),” said Mitchell. “What we’ve learned from the pandemic is we cannot have enough caregivers in the pipeline. So, continuing to fund the GME program remains a top priority for us.”

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