Combating the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19
Posted on March 15, 2020
Note: This article was updated March 15 with new information from the state.
Michigan hospitals and health systems are monitoring developments related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) very closely and are working diligently with state and federal agencies to appropriately respond to COVID-19 cases in Michigan. A current summary of the situation in the state is available on the state of Michigan's website.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pronounced a state of emergency in Michigan March 10, which allows the state to maximize its resources to manage an outbreak and accelerate coordination and communication among stakeholders. The governor’s office has also released interim recommendations for community mitigation strategies.
The MHA COVID-19 webpage is updated daily with information for hospitals and healthcare providers, and additional resources are available on the MHA Community site, including copies of emails sent to members from the MHA. Additionally, questions on COVID-19 and infectious disease response strategies may be directed to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Community Health Emergency Coordination Center.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an Executive Order March 14 that restricts visitors in healthcare facilities, including hospitals. Effective immediately, all healthcare facilities and residential care facilities must prohibit any visitors, with the following exceptions:
- Visitors necessary for the provision of medical care for a patient.
- Visitors who support of activities of daily living for a patient.
- Visitors who must exercise of power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for a patient.
- Parents, foster parents or guardians of patients who are 21 years of age or under.
- Visitors to a patient who is in serious or critical condition or in hospice care.
- Those who are visiting under exigent circumstances.
- Visitors performing official governmental functions.
No later than 9 a.m. Monday, March 16, facilities must assess all persons entering their facilities who are not under the care of the facility for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors. Healthcare facilities must deny entry to any individual with symptoms or risk factors.
Michigan is expecting to receive about $15 million of an $8.3 billion spending package that Congress approved to support the COVID-19 response. However, it appears allocation of that funding to hospitals will be minimal, so it is critical that hospitals tell Congress about their most pressing needs. Hospitals are urged to use a hospital action alert the MHA has developed to tell lawmakers about the need for their assistance in covering such things as personal protection equipment, funding for additional staff and work hours, expanded capacity and more.
Many insurers in Michigan have announced coverage of COVID-19 testing (and in some cases, treatment) at no or reduced cost to patients. A summary of these announcements is available on the America’s Health Insurance Plans website. The governor also announced that Medicaid will cover testing and treatment, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued coverage guidance for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D beneficiaries.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance for managing healthcare personnel with potential exposure to patients with the virus. This guidance includes alternative personal protective equipment recommendations in consideration of current supply chain shortages.
Updated information will continue to be published in Monday Report and members will receive emailed communication as often as necessary to ensure they are equipped to respond to potential cases of COVID-19 in their facilities and communities.
The MHA thanks the MDHHS , the American Hospital Association, the CDC, other state and federal agencies and organizations, and the Whitmer administration, state lawmakers and federal lawmakers for their partnership in addressing this public health emergency.
Members with MHA-specific questions should contact the following MHA staff members:
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Top Issues - Healthcare