Corewell Health made improvements in the second half to reduce the reliance on high-cost travel nursing agencies to fill staff shortages, he said, noting the health systems also made gains in productivity and critical staffing levels. Corewell Health has about 7,000 open positions across the state.
The health system still uses temporary nurses to close the gap, even as the pandemic moderated and it attracted longer-term talent, Cox said.
“Things are definitely not back to pre-pandemic levels, but they’re headed in the right direction,” he said.
To address the nursing shortage, Corewell Health last spring committed $19 million toward increasing the talent pipeline for nurses who earn their degree at Grand Valley State University. Under the scholar program, the health system is supporting up to 500 additional students over six years at the GVSU Kirkhof College of Nursing.
In forming the partnership with GVSU, Corewell “came up with a solution that’s going to help provide more nurses in Michigan,” Cox said.
Priority Health had $5.88 billion in premium revenue in 2022 and recorded $56 million in operating income, for a 0.9-percent margin.
Cox noted in the financial statement that Priority Health’s operating income was $77.6 million less than originally planned for 2022. Medical claims trends for Priority Health “were high during the first quarter related to a COVID-19 surge, improved in the second and third quarters, and increased again in the fourth quarter due to respiratory illness and influenza,” Cox wrote in the report. Pharmacy trends for Medicare members were also high, he added.