Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Nov. 2

MHA Covid-19 update

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.

Opportunity Set for Hospitals to Discuss Vaccine Distribution with State

The MHA continues to interface with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on both COVID-19 and flu vaccine planning.

The MDHHS Immunizations Division and Michigan Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun, MD, have invited hospitals to discuss COVID-19 vaccine distribution. MHA members are encouraged to identify a chief medical officer, COVID-19 vaccine director and/or other staff member within their organization to participate in this conversation from 8 to 9 a.m. Nov. 13 via Zoom. The MHA will also provide hospitals with a summary and next steps following the meeting. For instructions to join the meeting, contact the MHA by Nov. 12.

The state is finalizing its COVID-19 stakeholder work group, and the MHA has worked to ensure that the association, a small/midsize hospital and a large health system are represented.

Members with vaccine-related questions should contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements Clarified

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a clarification to its Oct. 22 reporting requirements for providers that received Provider Relief Fund payments. Specifically, the Oct. 22 guidance stated that recipients must report their use of PRF payments by submitting the following information:

  1. Healthcare-related expenses attributable to COVID-19 that another source has not reimbursed and is not obligated to reimburse, which may include General and Administrative or healthcare-related operating expenses.
  2. PRF payment amounts not fully expended on healthcare-related expenses attributable to COVID-19 are then applied to patient care lost revenues, net of the healthcare-related expenses attributable to COVID-19 calculated under Step 1. Recipients may apply PRF payments toward lost revenue, up to the amount of the difference between their 2019 and 2020 actual patient care revenue.

As urged by the MHA and the American Hospital Association, the HHS now states that healthcare-related expenses will not be netted against patient care lost revenue in Step 2.

Members with questions on the reporting requirements may contact Jason Jorkasky at the MHA.

Progress Made on COVID-19-related Legislation

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill (HB) 6293 Nov. 5, allowing nonclinicians to order COVID-19 tests. The legislation largely codifies Executive Order 2020-104, which was invalidated by the Michigan Supreme Court ruling in October. The legislation extends the flexibility on ordering COVID-19 tests through June 30, 2021. To request a list of Executive Orders that have been codified in law or otherwise re-authorized by the administration, contact Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.

The Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill (SB) 1185, also known as the “pandemic health care immunity act,” Nov. 5. The governor signed identical language into law Oct. 28 (HB 6159), but Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) introduced SB 1185 to potentially expand the liability time period beyond March 9 through July 15, should additional protections be necessary. The MHA supports the legislation and will continue to monitor SB 1185.

Nov. 11 Webinar to Discuss COVID-19 ICU Best Practices

A webinar will be held from noon to 1 p.m. EST Nov. 11 to discuss best practices of the treatment and management of COVID-19 patients in preparation for a resurgence of the disease through the fall and winter. Hosted by the Mi-COVID19 registry continuous quality improvement initiative, the webinar will feature panelists from Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Medicine, MidMichigan Health and Spectrum Health. Online registration is required to participate.

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). Members with MHA-specific questions should contact the following MHA staff members: