State Funding for Rural Health Care 

The Background

Recognizing the importance of protecting rural health care access, the Michigan Legislature has set aside money from the State General Fund for Michigan’s rural hospitals and those hospitals that deliver babies. Munson Healthcare is also supporting a new funding pool to support our Critical Access Hospitals and other such hospitals around the state. With a new governor and many new faces in the legislature, it will be important to educate our lawmakers about the difference this additional funding makes for Munson Healthcare as deliberations over Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 funding takes place early this year.

The Impact

The amount received by several Munson Healthcare hospitals from the Small and Rural Hospital Pool and OB Stabilization Fund equals their entire annual operating margin. For Fiscal Year 2018, this totaled over $5 million dollars of state support for rural health care. In addition, there are four Critical Access Hospitals in the Munson Healthcare System (Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital, Charlevoix Hospital, and Mackinac Straits Health System). With rural hospitals around the nation closing at a faster rate between 2013 and 2017 than in the previous five-year period, state support for rural hospitals is critical for their continued operation.

Call To Action

None at this time. However, stay tuned because the legislature will take up the FY2020 budget later this spring.