Urge Congress to Support Hospitals by Enacting Key Priorities in Lame-duck Session

The American Hospital Association (AHA) recently released an action alert to impress upon lawmakers the immediate need to support hospitals and health systems. It is important the last session days of the year are used as an opportunity to advance key priorities at the federal level. The AHA has already urged congressional leaders to include a number of important provisions in a year-end legislative package to ensure that hospitals and health systems can continue their mission of caring for the communities they serve.

Lawmakers need to hear how managing the aftermath and aftershocks of the biggest public health crisis in a century has left hospitals and health systems facing significant financial and workforce challenges that are jeopardizing access to care for patients. Members are asked to contact their legislators today and continue to make the case why additional support and resources are needed.

Lawmakers should be urged to:

  • Prevent any further damaging cuts to health programs, including stopping the forthcoming 4% Statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) sequester.
  • Establish a temporary per diem payment targeted to hospitals to address the issue of hospitals not being able to discharge patients to post-acute care or behavioral facilities because of staffing shortages.
  • Extend or make permanent the low-volume adjustment and the Medicare-dependent hospital programs — critical rural programs that are due to expire on Dec. 16.
  • Make permanent the expansion of telehealth services and extend the hospital-at-home program.

Participate in AHA Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill: Members are asked to inform the MHA if they will be in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 6 and would like to be included in the schedule for visits with members of Congress.

Contact Laura Appel at the MHA for more details.

The Great Resignation and Employee Retention Challenges

NextJob

         By Tammy A. Mullin, chief marketing officer at NextJob, an MHA Endorsed Business Partner                                                      

NextJobAll the talk these days is about “The Great Resignation.” The healthcare industry has lost anywhere from 20% to 30% of its workforce over 2020 and 2021, with more than a third of employees considering leaving their current positions and 60% currently rethinking their career. The sector ranks third in industries experiencing significant labor shortages at 9%, beat out by only accommodations and food services and leisure and hospitality. MHA members are scrambling to fill positions as well as keep existing employees engaged.

While most employers are focused on higher pay and enhanced benefits as a top strategy to attract and retain talent, it turns out that’s not what drives employee satisfaction and engagement. A 2021 study from Indeed, The Work Happiness Report, revealed some interesting data regarding what matters most to employees. Pay ranks 12th on the list of what makes people happy at work.

The top drivers of workplace happiness — feeling energized, a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose — are well within the reach of organizations whose existence is generally tied to a clear mission. The key is in providing clarity on the organization’s vision, mission, impact and employees’ contributions to each, as well as helping workers navigate their relationships with coworkers and into roles they love and where they will thrive.

To help its customers better engage with coworkers and build a better sense of belonging, MHA Endorsed Business Partner NextJob is hosting a webinar on “Workplace Communication Skills” at noon ET July 18. MHA members are invited to register and share information about the webinar with their employee base. In addition, an on-demand recording and presentation slides are available to MHA members free of charge from a webinar on The Great Resignation and Strategies to Maintain Workforce that NextJob presented May 11.

NextJob is available to answer questions and further explore MHA members’ interest in its career development services to help engage and retain employees during these difficult times.

MHA members not only receive discounted pricing on NextJob services; for a limited time, members will also receive their first career development or outplacement package free of charge. 

To learn more, contact Paul Dzurec, senior account executive, NextJob, at (860) 933-8424. For more information about the EBP program, visit the program’s webpage.

Governor Signs Healthcare Bills, New Licensing Bill Introduced

capitol building

capitol buildingThe Legislature acted on several healthcare-related bills during the week of May 16. The governor signed several bills into law to plan for new funding from the national opioid settlement and to allow for certain out-of-state prescriptions. In the House, testimony was taken on legislation to create a new alternate licensure process for paramedics in Michigan.

The governor signed three bills that will help guide Michigan’s use of new funding from the $26 billion national opioid settlement. Senate Bills (SBs) 993, 994 and 995 create a new restricted fund for the state to house the settlement dollars, establish a new advisory commission appointed by the Legislature and governor to oversee spending, and prohibit future civil lawsuits related to claims covered by this fund. The MHA is currently identifying treatment and prevention priorities for feedback to the advisory commission.

The governor also signed an MHA-supported bill related to the filling of out-of-state prescriptions. SB 166, introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), allows pharmacies to fill noncontrolled substance prescriptions written by licensed, out-of-state physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses. The Legislature gave the bill immediate effect, allowing pharmacies to begin filling these prescriptions May 19.

In the House Workforce, Trade, and Talent Committee, initial testimony was taken on a bill to establish an alternate licensure process for paramedics in Michigan. House Bill (HB) 6086, introduced by Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R-Richmond), would require the state to develop a new Michigan-specific certification course, separate from the currently required course from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. The MHA is opposed to HB 6086, which could have implications for a paramedic’s ability to work in multiple states. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certification is currently used in 48 states and is required for all newly licensed paramedics in Michigan. No votes were held on the bill and the MHA will keep members apprised if further action is taken.

Questions on these issues or other state legislation related to healthcare can be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.

MHA Monday Report April 4, 2022

MHA Monday Report

capitol buildingGovernor Signs Broadband Funding Bill

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a $4.7 billion supplemental appropriations bill into law March 30. Senate Bill 565, introduced by Sen. Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo), will provide supplemental appropriations to implement a statewide broadband program. …


New Website to Help Providers Boost Childhood Vaccination

Healthcare providers have unique opportunities to increase the number of children who are up to date with childhood vaccinations to keep them safe from a multitude of diseases. Motivated by that fact, the I Vaccinate initiative has launched a new provider toolkit website to …


Cybersecurity Cannot Be Overlooked

During a time of major workforce shortages and operational challenges, staff who have the expertise to oversee cybersecurity are mostly reacting to threats instead of proactively managing risks from employees, technology, processes and third-party vendors. …


Strengthening Nursing Workforce Using Virtual Tools

Nursing leaders are continuously thinking about the nursing workforce. Once a nursing student lands on the unit floor, nurse educators must mentor them to handle such patient care challenges as why a patient might be frustrated or barriers he or she will encounter as they are caring for patients. …


MHA Rounds Report - Brian Peters, MHA CEOMHA CEO Report — Change to Our Behavioral Health System Can’t Wait

MHA CEO Brian Peters focuses on Michigan’s behavioral health system and shares MHA-recommended solutions.


Paul KeckleyThe Keckley Report

President Biden’s FY2022 Budget: The Numbers Don’t Add Up

“Amidst media attention to Russia’s month-long invasion of the Ukraine, the emergence of the new BA-2 Omicron variant and inflation which has sent consumer sentiment to an 11-year low, attention shifts to the 74-page White House Fiscal Year 2022 Budget …

“What’s also notable about this budget is the importance of healthcare in the federal budget: federal funding for Medicare and Medicaid are forecast to grow faster than overall Federal receipts.”

Paul Keckley, March 28, 2022


MHA in the News

The MHA received media coverage since March 25 on hospital and nursing workforce challenges and legislation that assists independent hospitals.