The current surge of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 has continued its downward trend. The seven-day average of hospitalizations in the U.S. as of Feb. 22 was 53,987, down from 146,534 Jan. 20. Michigan hospitalizations for confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 included 1,282 adults and 45 children as of Feb. 25, down from the Jan. 20 totals of 4,554 adults and 130 children.
The MHA continues to keep members apprised of pandemic-related developments affecting hospitals through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. Important updates are outlined below.
Outpatient Therapeutics Alert Issued
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued Feb. 24 a Health Alert Network alert to providers regarding changes to COVID-19 outpatient therapeutics. Here are the two primary changes as defined by the MDHHS:
- The Priority Eligibility Criteria limitations have been removed due to increasing COVID-19 outpatient medication accessibility and decreasing disease activity.
- The revised standard prescribing forms for Paxlovid and molnupiravir are attached.
The alert explains that until recently, options for outpatient therapies for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 have often been in limited supply, necessitating prioritizing eligibility to those at higher risk. As current COVID-19 activity declines and with increasing medication supply, there is no longer a need for limiting eligibility beyond the requirements established by the Food and Drug Administration. In the event of future COVID-19 surges and/or reductions in supply, prioritization may need to be reestablished.
Facilities administering medications by an intravenous route may be limited in their capacity to provide therapy and may need to establish criteria to assure higher risk patients are treated first. Oral medications are available at all Meijer pharmacies and selected other non-Meijer pharmacies. Sites administering monoclonal antibody therapy can be found at www.michigan.gov/covidtherapy.
The fillable/printable standardized prescribing order forms have also been revised, removing eligibility criteria. Electronic prescriptions are preferred and should be revised to reflect these changes.
Additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic 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).