Combating the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Posted on March 06, 2020
The MHA is working closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other state and federal agencies and organizations to ensure members and other healthcare providers have the necessary information, resources and tools to prepare for the potential of Michigan residents contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
An MHA webpage dedicated to COVID-19 is being updated in real time to assist members with preparedness efforts. It includes a downloadable communications and preparedness toolkit that contains talking points, sample social media posts, tips for hardening the health system, frequently asked questions and more.
The association is participating in weekly calls and/or webinars with the MDHHS and the AHA, and information from those communications will be shared via the COVID-19 webpage and/or email. In a March 5 webinar, the MDHHS provided guidance on how to identify a case of COVID-19, the proper procedure to test and manage COVID-19 patients, how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and access to up-to-date resources. The department has made slides and a recording of the webinar available on the MI-TRAIN webpage; a password-protected account must be created to access these materials. Updated information from these and other agency communications will be shared weekly in the Monday Report.
During the week of March 2, actions to mitigate and manage COVID-19 have been taken by the association and at the state and federal levels. The MHA created an internal committee to monitor developments in the COVID-19 outbreak and ensure a continued high level of member communication, service, and staff health and safety.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer established four task forces to help combat the spread of COVID-19. These groups will focus on state operations, health and human services, education, and the economy and workforce. Also at the state level, the MDHHS has launched a campaign to raise awareness of appropriate hand washing techniques.
President Donald Trump signed an $8.3 billion COVID-19 spending package March 6 to address the prevention and spread of the disease. Included in the package is $2.2 billion to the CDC to support prevention, preparedness and response efforts, with $14.5 million being distributed from the CDC to Michigan. In addition, more than $3 billion will be provided to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to purchase necessary treatment and medical supplies, as well as providing funding for grants for the construction, alteration or renovation of nonfederally owned facilities. Lastly, the legislation allows the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary to waive certain Medicare telehealth restrictions.
In addition to the resources provided on the MHA COVID-19 webpage, questions on COVID-19 and infectious disease response strategies may be directed to the MDHHS Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC). Members with MHA-specific questions should contact the following MHA staff members:
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Member News, Top Issues - Healthcare