Combating the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of April 6
Posted on April 11, 2020
As Michigan fights the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the MHA continued to collaborate with state and federal officials in support of Michigan hospitals and public health during the week of April 6. MHA members received daily updates on those efforts, and other updates and resources are available on the MHA COVID-19 webpage.
State of Emergency, Stay Home, Stay Safe Order Extended
The Michigan Legislature voted April 7 to extend Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency declaration for the state to April 30. All executive orders (EOs) issued related to COVID-19 will have to be reissued individually with new expiration dates.
Among those EOs, the governor announced April 9 the extension of Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order to April 30, which was originally scheduled to expire April 13. The MHA expects the governor to reissue all COVID-19-related Executive Orders (EOs) so that they expire on/after April 30.
Another EO that is expected to be extended is EO 2020-17, which restricts “non-essential” medical procedures. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have halted or delayed many procedures, services, surgeries and more to ensure that staff, personal protective equipment (PPE) and resources were available for COVID-19 care. An extension would mean that some patients would be waiting for non-urgent care for more than a month, and the MHA reminds hospitals and healthcare providers that clinicians can deem a service or procedure medically necessary if it impacts the health and safety of a patient. Read more in the frequently asked questions.
TCF Regional Care Center
The TCF Regional Care Center (TCF RCC) in Detroit began accepting patients April 10. The TCF RCC is a partnership between the state and Henry Ford Health System, McLaren Health Care, Beaumont Health and the Detroit Medical Center, and its lead administrators include:
- Lynn Torossian: TCF RCC lead administrator; most recently served as president and CEO of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
- Daniel Medrano: TCF RCC lead on day-to-day operations; currently serves as corporate vice president of facilities management of McLaren Health Care.
- Jenny Atas: TCF RCC lead on medical services; Dr. Atas is the regional care coordinator for Region 2 South Trauma Network, serving Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, including the city of Detroit.
This facility is not open to the public, instead it will accept transfers from other hospitals of COVID-19 patients who do not require critical care or ventilation.
CARES Act, State Funding
The MHA has been working with state and federal partners for weeks to secure critical funding for the unexpected and already enormous costs to Michigan hospitals as they prepare for and respond to COVID-19.
On the federal level, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began distributing $30 billion of the $100 billion in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to hospitals across the nation April 10. These payments will be based on historical 2019 Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements. The MHA is analyzing how this methodology will impact Michigan hospitals and health systems and will provide more information to members.
Michigan’s U.S. House of Representatives members sent a bipartisan, joint letter April 10 urging Congress to include a forgiveness provision for federal hospital funding in all future COVID-19 relief packages. The MHA is extremely pleased with the strong and prompt support from Michigan’s congressional delegation on this matter and issued a news release recognizing the strong support of our delegation.
On the state level, $25 million in funding will be immediately distributed to Michigan hospitals. The funding is allocated from the $50 million the Legislature approved in March in response to COVID-19.
The association thanks state and federal officials for their ongoing partnership with Michigan hospitals, which serve as the front-line in the state’s pandemic response.
Updated Testing Guidance
The state announced April 7 updated testing prioritization and processes for suspected COVID-19 patients. The prioritization update should help clarify what types of healthcare personnel should be considered for testing. In addition, the update states that hospitals no longer have to seek Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) approval or submit a Person Under Investigation, or PUI, form for tests they conduct with most labs across the state. The MHA thanks its partners at MDHHS for its ongoing collaboration to reduce administrative barriers and time required for testing.
Additional information about all of these topics is available to members on the MHA Community Site and 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:
Advocacy and regulatory issues: Laura Appel
Safety and quality: Brittany Bogan
Communications and media: Ruthanne Sudderth
Emergency preparedness: Rob Wood
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Member News, Top Issues - Healthcare