News to Know – Week of Oct. 12, 2020

Updated Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Designation Forms may now be purchased online. Developed and approved by the Michigan State Medical Society, the State Bar of Michigan, the MHA and the Michigan Osteopathic Association, the form allows a patient to appoint a patient advocate to make healthcare decisions for them if they become incapacitated, and a short patient brochure accompanying each form provides additional details about the new Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care law. Tax-exempt organizations that include their sales tax exemption certificate during the online checkout process will not be charged sales tax. 

Partnership for Michigan’s Health Urges Michigan to Mask Up to Protect State

MHA News Release

As COVID-19 Cases Increase, Healthcare Leaders Encourage Vigilance

The Partnership for Michigan’s Health, comprised of the state’s leading healthcare groups – the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA), the Michigan Osteopathic Association (MOA) and the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS), today urge Michigan residents to increase their vigilance against COVID-19 and to maintain responsible distancing and face-covering practices as case numbers increase across the state.

The state yesterday announced 446 new cases of COVID-19. There have also been notable increases in case numbers in many rural parts of the state with limited numbers of intensive care unit (ICU) beds.

“Hospitals across Michigan are growing increasingly concerned about high COVID-19 case numbers and people letting their guard down about physical distancing and wearing face coverings,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “We don’t want to return to circumstances where hospitals are overwhelmed, services are shut down and kids can’t return to school. This is serious, but preventable. Please wear a mask and avoid large gatherings to protect yourself and others. We can enjoy the summer while being responsible.”

At its peak this spring, Michigan hospital ICUs in southeast Michigan were at or near capacity and thousands of healthcare workers found themselves at risk of infection either at work or at home. Since then, days on hand of personal protective equipment have increased from two to three days to more than three weeks. This spring also brought the shutdown of nonessential medical services, which have been able to resume to a large degree, and the closure of many segments of the economy and in-person learning for schools. The MHA, MSMS and MOA urge the public to continue following physical distancing and mask wearing guidance to ensure continued protection of healthcare workers and vulnerable populations, and access to all healthcare services for all patients.

“Michigan has been a leader in containing this virus and protecting residents throughout the pandemic,” said MOA President Jeffrey Postlewaite, DO, FACOOG. “Michigan’s osteopathic physicians encourage residents across the state to protect their health and the health of their loved ones by wearing a mask when you’re outside your home and to continue physically distancing when possible. These temporary measures will save lives and allow Michigan to remain on a safe path to reopening our economy and our schools.”

According to several U.S. and international studies, face coverings can significantly reduce COVID-19 spread and death rates. At the same time, multiple health and academic institutions have recently reiterated that face coverings do not reduce oxygen levels nor increase carbon dioxide levels and are safe to wear for most individuals.

“COVID-19 is still very much a threat here in Michigan and around the country, and the best chance we have to prevent its spread is to continue practicing good social distancing habits,” said MSMS President S. Bobby Mukkamala, MD. “Please, wear a mask in public, practice good handwashing habits and have a safe summer.”