Combating the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of March 16

Posted on March 21, 2020

MHA COVID-19 UPDATEAs the state, country and world grapple with the COVID-19 crisis, readers will note that the MHA Monday Report contains fewer articles than usual. Once the danger of the disease has been mitigated, the newsletter will again provide information from across the association.

MHA members have been continually updated on what has been happening in the state, and they continue to be champions in the fight against the pandemic. Members can reference copies of the emailed member messages online, and updates and resources are available on the MHA COVID-19 webpage.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued several executive orders related to the pandemic during the week of March 16, many of which directly concern the state’s healthcare system. Recent orders affecting healthcare relate to temporary restrictions on nonessential medical and dental procedures; a ban on dine-in service at bars, restaurants and other establishments; emergency Certificate of Need relief that allows providers to add capacity; a temporary lift of the seasonal weight restrictions on roads to ensure critical supplies can be delivered; and the creation of disaster relief child care centers for families of essential workers/first responders.

The MHA has been in contact with the Michigan congressional delegation, who have committed to efforts to speed the process of obtaining necessary patient-care supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare providers across the state. The MHA is also exploring other potential avenues for increasing the availability of these supplies. In addition, the Executive Committee of the MHA Board of Trustees held a conference call March 20 with U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow regarding the severe financial impact of the crisis on hospitals, as well as the need for supplies and PPE.

The association also is attuned to the efforts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The CMS announced two new codes for providers’ and laboratories’ use in billing insurers for COVID-19 testing. The MDHHS provided information related to testing priorities, processes, the hotline for providers’ use to request or report testing, and the development of an emergency network of labs to handle increased testing.

The MHA Unemployment Compensation Program has been working with member human resources teams to address the increase in unemployment claim activity. One of the governor’s recent executive orders made changes to the state’s unemployment compensation program, including temporarily extending benefits from 20 to 26 weeks for eligible individuals. For more information, contact the MHA Unemployment Compensation Program.

In partnership with the nursing home trade associations Health Care Association of Michigan and LeadingAge Michigan, the MHA is working on developing a form to be used in transferring patients from hospitals to long-term-care facilities. Once the state adopts the agreed-upon form, expected within the next week, the form will be shared with hospitals and long-term-care facilities for use in improving those transitions.

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 cases of COVID-19 in their facilities and communities.

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:


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  • Combating the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of March 16

Tags: MDHHS, Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, executive order

Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Member News, Top Issues - Healthcare

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