MHA Monday Report Sept. 21, 2020

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MHA COVID-19 UpdateCombating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Sept. 14

The MHA continues to keep members apprised of developments affecting Michigan hospitals during the pandemic through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. …

Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule Rescinded, Protecting Significant Funding

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Sept. 14 it will rescind the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (MFAR), which threatened to cut hundreds of millions of dollars of Medicaid funding in Michigan alone. …

Michigan capitol buildingState Budget Process Continues

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican legislative leaders announced Sept. 14 that they have agreed to a framework for the fiscal year 2021 budget. Details have not yet been released, but the MHA expects that funding …

Gabe Schneider testifies on behalf of Munson Healthcare in support of SB 1055.Michigan Legislature Focuses on Healthcare-related Bills

The Michigan Legislature addressed multiple pieces of legislation that impact hospitals during the week of Sept. 14. In the House Health Policy Committee, further testimony was taken on the Certificate of Need (CON) legislation that …

Michigan Harvest Gathering logoMHA Issues Call for Michigan Harvest Gathering Project Leaders

The Michigan Harvest Gathering (MHG), a one-of-a-kind emergency food program supported by Michigan hospitals, the Food Bank Council of Michigan’s member food banks and more than 3,000 community agencies, will virtually kick off Oct. 20. …

Webinar Helps Leaders and Sustainability Officers Ensure Facilities Are Safe, Efficient

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the MHA is hosting a webinar to assist healthcare leaders in ensuring their facilities are as clean, safe and well equipped as possible for patient care. Having facilities continuously in …

4Ms FrameworkMHA Keystone Center Efforts Support Falls Prevention Awareness Week

Falls Prevention Awareness Week is observed annually by the National Council on Aging, and this year’s commemoration takes place Sept. 21 to 25. The observance highlights the importance of preventing falls by using available resources …

Paul KeckleyThe Keckley Report

Health Literacy Needs a Fresh Look

“Public fatigue about Covid-19 news is problematic. Mixed messaging from elected officials about masks, social distancing and testing has confused the public. News coverage has been equally inconsistent …

Ideally, consumers depend on their physicians for the information they need, but practically it’s impossible. The public’s low level of health literacy is the issue.”

Paul Keckley. Sept. 14, 2020

News to Know

  • As the MHA recently reported, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a final rule to update the Medicare fee-for-service inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) for fiscal year 2021, which begins Oct. 1.
  • Nov. 3 is Election Day, and the MHA’s MI Vote Matters campaign has materials available for members’ use to encourage their communities to exercise their right to vote and to support healthcare priorities.

Michigan Legislature Focuses on Healthcare-related Bills

Gabe Schneider

The Michigan Legislature addressed multiple pieces of legislation that impact hospitals during the week of Sept. 14.

In the House Health Policy Committee, further testimony was taken on the Certificate of Need (CON) legislation that was passed in the Senate. The package include Senate Bills (SBs) 669, 671, 672, 673 and 674, which are being driven by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington). The MHA is opposed to SBs 669 and 674 as written but continues to work with VanderWall on potential substitute language. A committee vote on the remaining CON bills is expected in the coming weeks. The committee also voted unanimously to report House Bill (HB) 5929, which would allow Canadian health professionals with similar licenses to work in Michigan. The MHA supports the bill, which would be particularly beneficial to attract nurses or physician specialists to hospitals located in rural areas or near the Canadian border.

In the House Judiciary Committee, multiple bills to provide limited liability for healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic were reported to the House floor. HB 6159, introduced by Rep. Roger Hauck (R-Union Township), would codify Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order that provides protections from liability during the declared states of emergency and disaster related to the pandemic. The committee simultaneously reported HBs 6030, 6031 and 6032, which provide more general COVID-19-related liability protections for all businesses. The MHA supports that package, as well as HB 6159, and will continue to keep members updated on their progress.

Gabe Schneider testifies on behalf of Munson Healthcare in support of SB 1055.Testimony was taken in the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee on SB 1055, which would allow community colleges to offer four-year baccalaureate nursing degrees. The MHA submitted a memo in support of the legislation and Gabe Schneider, founder and principal of Northern Strategies 360, provided testimony on behalf of Munson Healthcare. Schneider informed the committee of the potential benefits for rural hospitals and local communities that currently do not have a four-year college or university available for students pursuing a career in healthcare. SB 1055 was introduced by Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton), chairman of the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee, and is expected to be voted on in the coming weeks.

The House Regulatory Reform Committee approved the Senate package on nicotine vaporizers and reported it to the House Ways and Means Committee. Those bills establish a licensure and compliance check system for tobacco and vaporizer retailers, determine the taxation for vapor products and provide for penalties for violating the new regulatory system. Several changes were made to the bills, including removing language that allowed for certain flavored vapes, placing the onus for compliance checks on local law enforcement and removing some of the protections for vaporizer advertisements. The MHA has actively participated in an alliance of organizations committed to protecting youth from nicotine addiction, which opposes the bills. Members with questions should contact Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.

The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee addressed legislation similar to HB 5929, which would allow for Canadian healthcare licenses to be considered valid in Michigan. SB 1021 was introduced by Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) and was reported to the Senate floor with the MHA’s support. The committee also took testimony on SB 1094, which would prohibit nursing homes from admitting COVID-19-positive patients and establish regional facilities for patients who no longer require hospital care. SB 1094 was introduced by Sen. Pete Lucido (R-Shelby Township) and is an attempt to change COVID-19 nursing home policy after the governor vetoed SB 956. The MHA has not taken a position on SB 1094.

Members with questions on healthcare legislation should contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

MHA Monday Report June 22, 2020

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Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of June 15

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order (EO) 2020-117 June 18 to extend Michigan’s state of emergency due to COVID-19 through July 16. The MHA continues to keep members apprised of developments during the pandemic …

Legislation to Regulate Electronic Cigarettes Moves to House Committee

The Michigan Senate voted June 17 to support Senate Bills 781-786, a package of bills to amend the regulation of electronic cigarettes. The proposed legislation would establish a regulatory scheme for the sale of electronic cigarettes, provide for …

News Reporters Join Call Announcing “Big Changes Ahead”

The MHA conducted a media call June 15 to announce the launch of its statewide “Big Changes Ahead” public education campaign and website, The campaign is designed to make Michiganders aware of the medical coverage options …

Regional Safety Sessions to Focus on Maternal Hypertension, Implementing Safety Bundles​

Approximately three in five pregnancy-related deaths can be prevented, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To address this matter, hospital teams across Michigan are focusing on combating factors contributing to maternal …

Recording Available: Overcoming Challenges for COVID-19 Survivors Webinar​

The June 10 iteration of the bimonthly MHA Workplace Safety Safe Patient Handling and Mobility webinar series focused on overcoming challenges for COVID-19 patient survivors. … Survey Report Describes COVID-19 Impact on Compensation, Benefits, an endorsed business partner of the MHA and a leading software provider of cloud-based compensation data, software and analytics, released new survey data that shows 66% of employers either reduced their workforce or negatively impacted employee pay…

Headline Roundup: COVID-19 Financial Challenges for Hospitals​

Read and listen to coverage about the MHA, including recent interviews with Ruthanne Sudderth, senior vice president, public affairs & communications, on Interlochen Public Radio and WWMT-TV.

The Keckley Report

The Independent Practice of Medicine: Pipe Dream or Realistic Aim for Physicians

“Last weekend, Susan Bailey, M.D., an allergist and immunologist from Fort Worth, Texas, was sworn in as the 175th President of the American Medical Association (AMA) at its virtual House of Delegates meeting. In her acceptance remarks, she vowed to advocate for protection of the independent private practice of medicine and financial support for clinicians. …

“Dr. Bailey’s sentiment is widely shared among clinicians. But is it realistic?”

Paul Keckley. June 15, 2020

News to Know

Important healthcare news for the week of June 22:

  • State licenses for health facilities, agencies and substance use disorder services programs expire July 31, and the 2020-2021 renewal cycle is open through the eLicense portal.