MHA representatives appearing in published stories include CEO Brian Peters, Executive Vice President Laura Appel, Senior Director of Government & Political Affairs Elizabeth Kutter and Senior Director of Communications John Karasinski.
Below is a collection of headline from around the state.
The MHA received media coverage the week of May 8 regarding nurse staffing legislation, healthcare worker shortages, the ending of the COVID-19 public health emergency and more. A joint media statement was published May 11 by the MHA and the Michigan Organization for Nursing Leadership (MONL) immediately following a press conference announcing legislation that would mandate nursing staffing ratios. The statement referenced the potential for the proposed bills to severely harm hospitals and access to important services for patients, if the bills become law.
MHA representatives appearing in published stories include CEO Brian Peters, Executive Vice President Laura Appel and Senior Vice President Sam Watson. MONL President Kim Meeker, RN, BSN, MBA, also appears in a collection of stories on the nurse staffing legislation. Below is a collection of headlines from around the state.
Public Sector Consultants and Health Management Associates are partnering with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to gather the perspectives of people impacted by the direct care worker (DCW) and behavioral health workforce shortages. Through regional focus groups with DCWs, behavioral health professionals, employers and consumers, the project aims to identify direct care and behavioral health workforce needs, examine the impact of workforce shortages and develop potential solutions to overcome these challenges. Both employers and behavioral health professionals are encouraged to participate.
MHA members interested in attending a regional focus group are encouraged to register. Members with questions should contact Lauren LaPine at the MHA.
Gov. Whitmer signed House Bill 4016 today, appropriating $75 million for the recruitment, retention and training of hospitals workers. This funding will directly benefit hospital workers and play an important role in helping to support hospitals experiencing a generational workforce shortage.
According to a recent survey of hospitals conducted by the MHA, there are more than 27,000 job openings in hospitals throughout Michigan, including nearly 8,500 nursing job opportunities. Other areas with a high need include technicians with more than 4,500 job openings, clinical assistants with 3,000 openings and 1,700 openings for operational support in areas such as environmental services and food service.
Hospital staffing levels determine patient capacity within facilities. Michigan has lost a high of about 1,700 staffed hospital beds since 2020 because of workforce shortages. Filling these job openings would increase statewide inpatient hospital capacity, expand service availability and assist in the transition of care outside of a hospital.
“Maintaining the sustainability of our healthcare workforce is a universal priority for all Michigan hospitals and health systems,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We appreciate the work from the Michigan Legislature and Gov. Whitmer in passing this funding that will support hospital workers and help solve staffing shortages that persist throughout healthcare.”
House Bill 4016 was introduced by Rep. Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) and passed the Michigan Senate Feb. 28 and the Michigan House of Representatives March 1 with bipartisan support.
Those interested in a healthcare career should visit the careers webpage of their local hospital or health system.
The MHA and rural hospital leaders visited Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Feb. 7-9 to advocate for specific rural healthcare policies as part of the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Rural Health Policy Institute event.
During the trip, the MHA and members met with Michigan’s congressional delegation and staff to discuss rural health issues facing Michigan hospitals. Topics included protection of the 340B drug pricing program, the new Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation, rural workforce shortages and reimbursement issues. Also participating in the visit were representatives from the Michigan Center for Rural Health.
Michigan legislation modernized the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in 2022, eliminating the state requirement that a CRNA must work under direct physician supervision. CRNAs enhance the ability to deliver care in a multitude of scenarios, particularly in rural areas where anesthesia services may be limited. …
Critical access hospitals (CAHs) that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments must follow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (CoPs). The CMS Critical Access Hospital Manual has seen multiple changes to regulations and interpretive guidelines. …
The latest edition of Trustee Insights, the monthly digital package from the American Hospital Association (AHA), is now available. The Dec. issue includes an article noting the uptick in hospital and health system mergers and affiliations and defining expectations for board members in a multitiered governance system. …
“At its December 8-9 meeting, MedPAC considered future funding for hospitals and physicians along with other sectors in healthcare. The 17-member commission will vote on its recommendations at its meeting January 12-13 after staff makes some changes based on commissioner feedback and then submit its official recommendations to Congress in March for FY2024…
The lag indicators used by MedPAC to evaluate Medicare utilization and payments for physician and hospital services are accurate. However, they’re of decreasing relevance to the future of Medicare’s formula for paying providers.”
Due to the holidays, Monday Report will not be published Dec. 26 and Jan. 3. Monday Report will resume its normal schedule Jan. 9. Member alerts and MHA newsroom articles will continue to be published during that time to provide relevant updates to the MHA membership, as necessary.
WOOD TV8 published a story Dec. 12 on the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 183, which includes language allowing rural emergency hospital (REH) licensure in Michigan. The bill passed Dec. 6 with overwhelming support in both the State House and Senate following collaboration between the MHA, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Whitmer administration on making the necessary changes in state statute to allow for the new federal designation. …
The Legislature took their final votes for the 2021-2022 legislative session during the week of Dec. 5. Given the results of the election, very few bills passed during the legislative lame-duck session compared to a typical year. …
The MHA conducted a virtual press conference Dec. 6 to discuss the economic and staffing challenges impacting hospitals across the state to generate awareness with lawmakers of these issues and the potential impact on access to timely, high-quality healthcare for Michiganders. …
The MHA visited Capitol Hill in Washington DC last week to emphasize year-end priorities to Michigan’s congressional delegation. The MHA and several hospital representatives met with House members and with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow to deliver the message that pending Medicare cuts are unsustainable and unacceptable. …
On Dec. 6th, the legislation needed for hospitals to begin converting to Rural Emergency Hospitals (REH) in Michigan was sent to the Governor’s desk for final approval. Due to the limited session days left, the language to allow for REH licensure in Michigan were officially included in Senate Bill (SB) 183. …
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a proposed rule to modify the prior authorization process for certain payers. The proposal would require payers to: Include a specific reason when denying a request. Publicly report certain prior authorization metrics. …
Understanding the workforce’s values, preferences, triggers and character traits is essential to developing relationships that create a healthy organization. This may sound basic, but many organizations continue to miss the mark. …
“U.S. healthcare has moved into a vicious cycle marked by intensified competition and noticeable acrimony between major players. Growing tension between major health insurers and health systems is illustrative.
Virtuosity to insurers is predicated on the core belief that keeping providers honest and care affordable and their domain; its vicious pursuit is to attribute unsustainable health costs to hospital inefficiency and price gauging.
The virtuous cycle for hospitals is premised on community health and provision of services to those unable to pay; the vicious cycle is the unwelcome intrusion of insurers and private investors who put profit above all else by paying them less so they can keep more. …”
Medtel was approved for associate membership in Nov. 2022. Medtel was founded in 2016 with a mission to improve surgical care experiences and outcomes for patients and providers by developing and delivering technology solutions. …
The MHA received media coverage the week of Dec. 5 following a virtual press conference Dec. 6 on the financial and staffing challenges impacting hospital viability, as well as topics including hospital capital improvements, mergers and acquisitions and respiratory illness hospital admissions driven by RSV and COVID-19. …
The MHA conducted a virtual press conference Dec. 6 to discuss the economic and staffing challenges impacting hospitals across the state to generate awareness with lawmakers of these issues and the potential impact on access to timely, high-quality healthcare for Michiganders.
The event occurred while children’s hospitals continue to operate near capacity levels as they continue to care for a surge of children suffering from respiratory illnesses amid staffing shortages. Speakers also referenced how the loss of 1,700 staffed adult inpatient hospital beds across the state has led to longer wait times in the emergency department, reduced services and more difficulty transferring patients. Lastly, the point was made that no other industry is prevented from responding to inflationary pressures and growing expenses to the degree that healthcare is.
T. Anthony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer, University of Michigan Health System.
JJ Hodshire, president and chief executive officer, Hillsdale Hospital.
Dan Hurley, chief executive officer, Michigan Association of State Universities.
Brian Peters, chief executive officer, Michigan Health & Hospital Association.
Susan Smith, executive director, Economic Development Partnership of Hillsdale County.
Rudolph P. Valentini, chief medical officer at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, group chief medical officer at Detroit Medical Center.
Michigan’s hospitals are facing a funding crisis, putting communities and families across the state at risk of losing access to high-quality, timely healthcare. Health systems, business and university leaders are urging policymakers to address the crisis to avoid further reduction of available beds and access to care and healthcare services.
Michigan has lost a high of 1,700 staffed hospital beds since 2020 due to lack of staffing. This creates a cascade of problems, from longer wait times in the emergency department, reduced services, particularly in rural areas, and more difficulty transferring patients to the appropriate care setting. Respiratory illnesses are also surging, making problems worse.
“Recently, we have seen a surge in cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu and COVID. This puts an additional pressure on emergency departments and our already-strained inpatient bed capacity across Michigan, impacting care statewide. Without funding to address staffing shortages, we run the risk of compromising our ability to provide the same level of exceptional care that we’re accustomed to across the state,” said T. Anthony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer, University of Michigan Health System and Michigan Health & Hospital Association board chair.
A 2021 Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that nearly 30% of healthcare workers are considering leaving their profession altogether. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for 1.1 million new registered nurses nationwide by 2030, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates two out of every five active physicians nationwide will be 65 or older within the next 10 years, and the nation faces a projected shortage of more than 3.2 million lower-wage healthcare workers such as medical assistants, home health aides and nursing assistants, according to a Mercer report.
“The overall health and prosperity of Michigan is inextricably tied to the state’s investment in its healthcare and higher education enterprises,” saidDaniel Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “Michigan’s public universities, together with our hospital and other healthcare partners, look forward to working with state leaders to ensure a future healthcare workforce that is capable of providing the highest levels of quality care for all Michiganders.”
The healthcare workforce shortage — combined with an aging population, a rise in chronic diseases and behavioral health conditions and advancements in medical care delivery — all contribute to an immediate need for resources that will allow hospitals to continue to provide the care residents need and deserve.
Despite staffing losses attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare directly employed nearly 572,000 Michigan residents in 2020, continuing to make it the largest private-sector employer in the state. The 2022 Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report found that direct healthcare workers in Michigan earned $44.2 billion in wages, salaries and benefits, with indirect, healthcare-supported workers earning about $28 billion wages, salaries and benefits.
“With healthcare being the largest private-sector employer, a healthy Michigan economy is directly linked to a properly funded healthcare system,” said Susan Smith, executive director, Economic Development Partnership of Hillsdale County. “Without access to healthcare services to support our communities, ranging from obstetrical units to trauma centers, we cannot remain economically competitive, attract or retain talent, or support placemaking for young families and care for everyone at all stages of life.”
Michigan officials have made recent short-term investments to address the hospital staffing crisis, but additional funding remains unappropriated that if used as intended, can improve hospital capacity and service lines. Michigan also needs a long-term funding solution to address stagnant reimbursement that has yet to respond to inflationary pressures to improve the retention of existing healthcare workers and recruit future workers to ensure that residents continue to have access to healthcare services.
Learn how you can help your local hospital or health system by visiting MiCareMatters.org.
“Hospitals have an immediate need for resources to continue to provide the services residents need and deserve – like ambulances available for lifesaving care,” said JJ Hodshire, president and chief executive officer, Hillsdale Hospital. “As a rural hospital, we excel at being innovative to make the best use of our resources, particularly staff. However, we can only stretch resources for so long. Everyone can agree that access to lifesaving emergency medical care is a basic need for Michiganders and residents should be able to receive specialized care no matter where they live.”
“My colleagues in pediatric units across the state have spent the past month responding to one of the worst respiratory illness surges I can remember as a physician and the biggest challenge to our ability to care for more children was our lack of available staff,” said Dr. Rudolph P. Valentini, chief medical officer, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and group chief medical offer at Detroit Medical Center. “We can’t afford to have another surge of sick, hospitalized children before something is done to improve the health of our hospitals and health systems.”
“Michigan residents deserve quality, accessible healthcare services and without hospital resources to adequately provide that care, Michigan hospitals have and will continue to face difficult decisions about what services they can offer,” said Brian Peters, chief executive officer, Michigan Health & Hospital Association.”