MRH’s Resident Chef Earns Credentials

Marlette Regional Hospital would like to recognize the achievement of its resident Chef, Bryan Gawlas, for receiving his Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) and Certified Food Protection Professional...

McKenzie Health System Offers Electronic Payment Option

We are happy to announce that we have added electronic payment services to our website, www.mckenziehealth.org . This provides our patients with self-service access to view and pay their outstanding...

Winner of the free gift for scheduling a Mammogram in October at the Harbor Beach Community Hospital

Harbor Beach Community Hospital had a contest in the month of October for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The lucky winner was Cindy Sopczynski of Harbor Beach who won a tote filled with lots...

Brown City Business Supports United Hospice Service

A relatively new business to the Brown City community and Thumb Area, Polk Salad Annie’s, recently made their third donation to United Hospice Service of Marlette Regional Hospital. Polk Salad...

Covenant HealthCare Honors Those Who Served

For Employees and Volunteers: Veterans Day Flag Raising, November 10 In honor of Veterans Day, Covenant will recognize employees and volunteers who not only work to care for our patients, but also...

HCECM Meeting Calendar

HCECM provides its meeting calendar through June of 2018. For more information, click here

Family Practices in Marlette & Brown City Support Local Athletes

At the recent Pink Out for Cancer Clash football game, representatives from Marlette Regional Hospital’s family healthcare offices in Brown City and Marlette presented donations to Marlette and...

30th Annual McKenzie Health System Event Raises over $20,000

Autumn Benefit supports McKenzie Development Fund Enabling McKenzie Health System to further support rural healthcare, the 30 th Annual McKenzie Health System Autumn Benefit raised over $20,000. The...

McKenzie Health System Celebrates Local Community on National Rural Health Day 2017

Recognizing the power of its local roots and community members, McKenzie Health System is proud to join the National Organization of States Offices of Rural Health in celebration and recognition on...

Adult Grief Support Groups Offered in Marlette & Brown City

For widows, widowers, or singles that have lost a loved one through death within the last 24 months, an 8-part grief support group is available in Marlette and Brown City. Facilitated by United...

McKenzie Health System Receives Sweet Donation

Sweet Impressions Salon owner, Melissa Brown, and Alexandra Koehler, raised over $250 through the sale of pink hair extensions to her customers during the month of October (National Breast Cancer...

McKenzie Health System Takes Wellness on the Road with Community Q&A on Dec. 1

McKenzie Health System’s first-ever Wellness Road Show is bringing health and wellness to the local community on December 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Countryside Free Methodist Church. The forum is...

Caregiving is an Around the Clock Responsibility

November is National Family Caregivers Month! This month, VA takes time to honor and thank the family caregivers who provide vital support and care to our Veterans. There are an estimated 5.5 million...

Learn about Tai Chi, Water Aerobics and Fitness for Life at the November Healthy Lifestyle

“We hope people will join us on Monday, November 27, at 5:30 p.m., in the Dining Room of McKenzie Health System, 120 Delaware St., for the last Healthy Lifestyle Workshop of 2017!”...

McLaren Bay Look Good Feel Better

Look Good … Feel Better is a non-medical, brand-neutral public service program that teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of...

Healthcare Provider BLS Classes

November 21 - 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Register at 810-648-6127 $45 per class, FREE for McKenzie employees Additional classes and times available by calling 810-648-3092.

MHS Healthy Lifestyle Workshop

November 27 - 5:30 pm Location: McKenzie Health System Dining Room, 120 Delaware Street, Sandusky "Tai Chi, Water Aerobics & Fitness for Life " Guest Speaker: Sandra Martin, RN, Wendy McBride...

MHS Wellness Road Show

McKenzie Health System’s first-ever Wellness Road Show is bringing health and wellness to the local community on December 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Countryside Free Methodist Church. The forum is...

MRH Tree of Shining Love Ceremony

SAVE THE DATE: 2017 Tree of Shining Love Ceremony ~ Sunday, December 3 rd , 2017 at 1 p.m. ~ Seton Lobby at MRH.

McLaren Amputee Support Group (Copy)

For individuals with an amputation and their families and friends. The Amputee Support Group was formed to provide support and information for individuals with an amputation. Family members are...

The Hospital Council of East Central Michigan works to maintain relations with state and federal legislators, organizations and others in the region whose activities affect the health services of our community hospitals and encourages their support by providing opportunities to learn about issues that impact members' ability to improve the health of the population. HCECM also works with other advocacy groups to help keep member hospitals informed of all legislative matters affecting their services.


Protect Funding for Member Hospitals

Critical Access Hospitals and rural hospitals face many unique challenges that can impact the health of the population. So these hospitals can maintain financial viability and continue to operate and serve the needs of their communities, HCECM member hospitals work with legislators and advocacy organizations to secure state and federal funding that helps overcome these challenges. 

In June 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that low-volume payment adjustments and the Medicare-dependent Hospital (MDH) program were extended which will help our regional hospitals. Ambulance add-on payments for rural operators were also extended.

The Michigan Legislature also restored funding for the small and rural hospital pool and graduate medical education program, created a new small and rural hospital obstetrics stabilization fund and approved a provider tax-funded disproportionate share hospital pool expansion to address the HICA revenue shortfall.

CRNA Physician Supervision Opt-out

Under current federal law, CRNAs must be supervised by a physician. However, in 2001 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provided an opportunity for states to "opt out" or be exempted from the federal supervision requirements for CRNAs. HCECM hospital members have been working with regional legislators to try to get Michigan to opt out of the requirement.

Some of the problems of requiring CRNA supervision can include:

  • Increases cost of healthcare and financial burdens on hospital unnecessarily for many reasons
  • Creates staffing and access issues in rural areas
  • Increases wait time per patient, which is not cost effective
  • Has not been proven to improve care to patient

Supervision of Hospital Therapeutic Services

In 2009, CMS mandated that "a supervising physician be physically present in the department at all times when Medicare beneficiaries receive outpatient therapeutic services." It further complicated matters by stating that this was a clarification from a 2001 ruling.

For Critical Access, small and rural hospitals, this mandate:

  • Creates unnecessary time and financial burdens
  • Increases costs of healthcare
  • Increases risk for unwarranted enforcement actions
  • Increases risk for opportunistic whistleblowers to claim a hospital did not follow this at some point in the past 13 years

CMS made some positive changes; however, more needs to be done to reduce the burdens on CAHs and rural hospitals. According to the American Hospital Association, many CAHs and small rural hospitals will have no choice but to limit their hours of operation or close certain programs due to their inability to meet the requirements of direct supervision.

EHRs and Meaningful Use

HCECM hospital members are at various stages of participating in EHR and Meaningful Use incentive programs. The rules and guidance are complicated, burdensome and require significant resources, especially for Critical Access and rural hospitals. HCECM and its hospital members are working with other advocacy organizations to encourage CMS to clarify requirements and lessen the burdens for participation.

96-hour Physician Certification Requirement for CAHs

According to the American Hospital Association, "CMS has recently indicated that it will begin enforcing a condition of payment for CAHs that requires a physician to certify that a beneficiary may reasonably be expected to be discharged or transferred to a hospital within 96 hours after admission to the CAH. If enforced, CAHs would be forced to eliminate these '96-hour plus' services, and the resulting financial pressure on CAHs would severely affect their ability to operate and care for beneficiaries in rural communities."

HCECM and its hospital members have been working with other advocacy organizations to urge the CMS to remove this requirement as a payment condition. A few examples of how this could impact patients include:

  • A patient with pneumonia who experiences a setback and needs more time to recover could be negatively impacted by transferring him/her to a tertiary center.
  • A woman who gives birth by C-section or is in labor for 24 hours or more before the C-section could easily exceed the 96-hour rule.
  • A patient with pancreatitis, often caused by alcohol abuse, could benefit more by staying close to a support system of community/family.
  • A patient who undergoes bowel surgery often needs more time to recover.
  • A patient who experiences a ruptured appendix resulting in peritonitis will likely need more time to receive treatment and recover.

Transitions in Care

HCECM is currently working with volunteers from numerous hospitals, agencies and organizations to address transportation challenges for regional residents in need of medical care. A major problem for people with medical issues is to have access to affordable and reliable transportation. Many are unable to make appointments, keep appointments or even make it to a facility when immediate medical help is needed.

A key priority of HCECM is to also work with others to foster effective care transitions through a hospital information process that provides a standardized system that supports the transfer of clinical and care planning information to the multidisciplinary providers continuing care of post acute care inpatients after discharge. 

DOJ, HHS Call for Action to Address Abuse of Older Americans

HHS Awards $83.4 Million to Train New Primary Care Providers

RHRC Report: Support for Rural Recruitment and Practice Among U. S. Nurse Practitioner Education Programs

Policy to Allow RHC to Contract with Non-physician Practitioners Under Certain Conditions - Issued May 2, 2014

 CMS Revisions - Issued May 12, 2014


AHA Advocacy

 AHA Small & Rural Hospitals Advocacy Paper 2013

NRHA Fiscal Year 2015 Appropriation Request

Rural Policy Research Institute

NRHA Save Rural Hospitals Action Kit

2015 Rural Health Policy Institute Requests

NRHA Legislative and Regulatory Agenda

Protect Rural Patients and Providers

Sequestration Impact on States

315 Mulholland Street
Bay City, Michigan 48708
Office: (989) 891-8810
Fax: (989) 891-8161


© 2012-2017 Hospital Council of East Central Michigan