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Michigan's 21st Century Healthcare News Source


WSU Doc Receives DMC Support, Expands HealthLink Program

Hayley Thompson, PhD, an associate professor of Oncology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and leader of the Population Studies and Disparities Research Program at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, has received a $99,984 award from the DMC Foundation to expand the Detroit HealthLink for Equity in Cancer Care to the Arab-American community in Dearborn.

Dr. Thompson earlier this year received funding for the Detroit HealthLink project, which focuses on the overall population in Wayne County. The two-year, community engagement funding award for $247,233 was funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Eugene Washington Engagement Award.

Dearborn is the second largest city in Wayne County, which is the second unhealthiest county in Michigan, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. The crisis in health is particularly evident in cancer surveillance statistics. The county’s rates of cancer incidence, late-stage diagnoses and cancer deaths are the highest in Michigan. Arab Americans, one of the largest groups, comprise about 5 percent of Wayne County’s population and 30 percent of Dearborn.


CMS Ratings Lower For Hospitals Serving Michigan’s Poor

The Economic Alliance for Michigan recently released a report showing that Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services star ratings are significantly lower for hospitals serving in Michigan’s impoverished areas, according to published reports.

In July, 2016, CMS issued star ratings for hospital quality. The ratings are measured using 64 of the more than 100 CMS monitored factors. Some of these factors help determine which hospitals may receive less federal money in 2017. In September 2016, Bloomberg News BNS published a report suggesting CMS star ratings skew lower for hospitals servicing poorer areas. EAM decided to investigate whether or not this phenomena was happening in Michigan.

When comparing socioeconomic factors of service areas between the average of all one-star hospitals versus the average of all five-star hospitals, the results indicate inequality. For example, the difference in household median income is $20,697 and there is a 28.3 percent difference in the level of poverty. The most staggering statistic was the difference within the percentage of people who identify themselves as African-Americans. The average of all one-star hospitals have 72.2 percent more African-American population in their immediate services areas than five-star hospitals.


Compliance Is Best First Step To Success Under MACRA

A month after CMS released its final rule, physicians continue to be puzzled by the provisions of the new law governing their Medicare reimbursement.

Despite reports that up to 50 percent of physicians are unaware of MACRA, let alone understand what it requires of them, the 2,400 pages of details in the final rule crafted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has put the program's details in writing, "But practices are still clamoring for information," Anders Gilberg, senior vice president of government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association, told HealthLeaders Media earlier this month.

For its 2016 annual conference earlier this month in San Francisco, MGMA created a track of concurrent sessions titled "Under the MACRAscope." All of the sessions had been filled to fire-regulation capacity, reported HealthLeaders Media, when Gilberg answered a few questions.

Click here for more. 


Beaumont Health Names CFO

John Kerndl was named chief financial officer and executive vice president for Beaumont Health, effective Dec. 12.

Kerndl is currently senior vice president and operations CFO for LifePoint Health in Brentwood, Tennessee. Kerndl previously served as CFO and regional vice president for hospitals in Arizona. Before that, he served in various roles at Community Health Systems in Illinois.

Kerndl has an MBA in finance and health care administration from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Georgia State University.

Kerndl is originally from Milwaukee and will be relocating to Michigan.


McLaren Macomb Appoints CMO

McLaren Macomb Medical Center in Mt. Clemens has a new chief medical officer in Dennis J. Cunningham, a former infectious disease physician.

Cunningham assumed his duties on Oct. 31. The position of CMO was made vacant after David Pinelli announced he was returning to practice.

Cunningham comes to McLaren Macomb after having most recently spent 14 years as an attending infectious diseases physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, the second-busiest children’s hospital in the country, where he also held various administrative roles. Additionally, he was an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at Ohio State University, where he began teaching in 2002.

“McLaren Macomb has demonstrated staying power in a competitive healthcare market while consistently delivering quality care and clinical outcomes,” Cunningham said. “It’s exciting to be part of a health care system and hospital that is both established and continuing to grow.”


Sparrow Unveils $20M Health Center

Sparrow Health System opened its new $20 million health center early this month, according to a report in the Lansing State Journal.

The three-story facility houses radiology, endoscopy and primary care services.
In coming months it will add a drive-thru pharmacy, geriatric center and outpatient rehabilitation, according to the report. The services are mostly being transferred from Sparrow's main campus and St. Lawrence campus.

"This is a prime example of how Sparrow is establishing new locations ... to deliver the best patient experiences when and where you need it," Tom Bres, senior vice president and chief administrative officer at Sparrow, told the Journal.

Sparrow has invested $285 million in the region over the last five years, including construction of a new cancer center and renovation of the dining area on its main campus.


Sparrow Invests $285M, Drives Economic Growth

A cluster of buildings has risen up over Michigan Avenue at Sparrow Health System's main campus. At the heart of this growing hub is Sparrow's $64 million, five-story cancer center, still under construction. The glass-fronted 132,000-square-foot building will house all of the health system's cancer treatments under one roof for the first time, according to a report in the Lansing State Journal.

Over on Grand River Avenue just west of U.S. 127 is the $20 million, three-story health center, which openned partially on Nov. 15 for primary care services.
They are the centerpiece of Sparrow's $285 million investment in the region over the past five years.

“We’ve outgrown the facilities we have,” said Dennis Swan, president and CEO of Sparrow Health System.

The number of patients Sparrow serves is rising. Sparrow Health System discharged roughly 36,700 last year, up 6% from 2012. And that's with hospital stays declining nationwide as more people choose clinics or community-based care.
Between 2008 and 2013, inpatient stays declined across the country by 7% from 38.2 million to 35.5 million according to the most recent statistics from compiled by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

“More people are choosing Sparrow,” said Tom Bres, senior vice president, chief administrative officer and CIO at Sparrow. “We are growing because access and care are our community’s needs."


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