Michigan Health Watch

In-depth reporting on the intersection between public policy and important health topics ‒ such as insurance coverage, hospital admissions, opioid abuse, access to care, medical research and the business of health care ‒ that impact nearly every Michigan resident. 

Articles

Detroit hospitals resuming surgeries, procedures after weeks of red ink

Detroit hospitals resuming surgeries, procedures after weeks of red ink

April 16, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Henry Ford Health System, DMC and others say they are expanding surgeries and other procedures that had been halted for weeks during the coronavirus crisis.

As Michigan fights coronavirus, hospitals gush money and workers lose jobs

As Michigan fights coronavirus, hospitals gush money and workers lose jobs

April 16, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, Robin Erb, Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

From metropolitan health systems to independent rural hospitals, hospital budgets are taking big financial hits as surgeries and other money making medical procedures are put on hold.

McLaren Medical to furlough many of its 500 doctors, health practitioners

McLaren Medical to furlough many of its 500 doctors, health practitioners

April 15, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press

The CEO said the pandemic has significantly affected operations but did not say how many employees would face shortened hours.

Oakland County scouts ice rinks for potential storage of coronavirus remains

Oakland County scouts ice rinks for potential storage of coronavirus remains

April 15, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press

Oakland County is scouting ice rinks to store bodies during the coronavirus pandemic if its morgue runs out of space, county officials said Wednesday.

Detroit Medical Center to furlough 480 employees during coronavirus crisis

Detroit Medical Center to furlough 480 employees during coronavirus crisis

April 15, 2020 | Robin Erb

The eight-hospital system, like others, blames the cancellation of more lucrative non-emergency procedures during the COVID-19 surge for its cash-flow problems. It did not say what workers are affected.

Beaumont sidelines one hospital site as coronavirus surge stalls

Beaumont sidelines one hospital site as coronavirus surge stalls

April 14, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, Robin Erb

That slowing of coronavirus cases has prompted the state's largest hospital system to reassess staffing and space.

Michigan nurses getting fat pay raises or pink slips in coronavirus crisis

Michigan nurses getting fat pay raises or pink slips in coronavirus crisis

April 14, 2020 | Kelly House

As hospitals in COVID-19 hotspots are in a bidding war for critical care nurses while laying off others, experts say a mismatch of labor needs and supply during the pandemic has serious consequences.

Michigan Medicine: 22,000 coronavirus surgical masks from feds don’t work

Michigan Medicine: 22,000 coronavirus surgical masks from feds don’t work

April 14, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, Robin Erb

The Ann Arbor-based health system said 2,000 of the masks were distributed to health workers but were found to be unusable, so they are not using any of them. This follows similar mask complaints from Alabama and Oregon.

Macomb County hospital to lay off nurses unrelated to coronavirus care

Macomb County hospital to lay off nurses unrelated to coronavirus care

April 14, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Dwindling surgeries at McLaren Macomb blamed for layoffs of nurses as the coronavirus impacts the finances of hospital systems around Michigan.

Detroit-area hospitals need refrigerated trucks for the coronavirus dead

Detroit-area hospitals need refrigerated trucks for the coronavirus dead

April 13, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press

These metro Detroit hospitals, hard hit by a surge of coronavirus patients, are now storing the bodies of the dead in refrigerated trucks.

Michigan has highest U.S. coronavirus death rate, ranks low in testing

Michigan has highest U.S. coronavirus death rate, ranks low in testing

April 13, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

One month into the pandemic,  charts tell a disturbing story: Deaths comprise 6 percent of all COVID-19 cases, while the state has the lowest per-capita rate of testing in the nation.

Testing immunity to coronavirus may help Michigan open for business sooner

Testing immunity to coronavirus may help Michigan open for business sooner

April 13, 2020 | Robin Erb

Serologic studies are being launched in at least three hospital systems to identify those with immunity to COVID-19 after surviving the virus. Such data can inform business openings and patient treatment. 

Coronavirus moves Michigan doctor visits online, for good and bad

Coronavirus moves Michigan doctor visits online, for good and bad

April 12, 2020 | Robin Erb, Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press

Insurers have loosened restrictions and boosted benefits to extend telemedicine as never before.

Ascension doctor becomes 7th Michigan health care worker to die of coronavirus

Ascension doctor becomes 7th Michigan health care worker to die of coronavirus

April 10, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press

 Dr. Chris Firlit, a senior resident and father of three, was a member of the Wayne State University’s class of 2018. ‘His dedication to assisting patients during this pandemic drives home the seriousness of this virus,’ a dean says.

Detroit Medical Center laying off 60 amid coronavirus; McLaren eyes furloughs

Detroit Medical Center laying off 60 amid coronavirus; McLaren eyes furloughs

April 10, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, Robin Erb

As the coronavirus decimates hospital revenues, the Detroit Medical Center notifies 60 lab assistants and more they are being laid off, while McLaren is exploring cost-cutting measures and furloughs.

Trump’s coronavirus ‘miracle drug’ has believers. Here's what you should know.

Trump’s coronavirus ‘miracle drug’ has believers. Here's what you should know.

April 10, 2020 | Brie Zeltner

A Michigan lawmaker from Detroit credits the president for urging patients to consider hydroxychloroquine and other experimental treatments for COVID-19. As the virus spreads death and anxiety, here’s what we know and don’t know about the risks.

Detroit doctor predicts coronavirus peak in ‘few days' amid hopeful signs

Detroit doctor predicts coronavirus peak in ‘few days' amid hopeful signs

April 9, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, Kelly House

Fewer COVID-19 patients are entering the Henry Ford and Michigan Medicine health systems and, at Henry Ford, more people are coming off ventilators than are going on.

Detroit man survives 18 days on ventilator. ‘Can I come home now?’

Detroit man survives 18 days on ventilator. ‘Can I come home now?’

April 9, 2020 | Ron French

Anthony Moses was Beaumont Health in Farmington Hills’ first coronavirus patient, and when he was forced on a ventilator his prognosis looked dim. His survival is a gift to his family, but also to weary doctors who have seen enough of death.

Michigan nursing homes, where information on coronavirus goes to die

Michigan nursing homes, where information on coronavirus goes to die

April 9, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan will not release the names of nursing homes where there are COVID-19 infections, nor will the City of Detroit or Wayne County, citing privacy concerns. Other states are moving toward identifying infected nursing homes.

Coronavirus hits Michigan hospitals, but where are all the other patients?

Coronavirus hits Michigan hospitals, but where are all the other patients?

April 8, 2020 | Ashley Wong, Kelly House

Emergency rooms and urgent care clinics say they are seeing a drop in visitors. Are people safe and snug at home? Or is fear of getting the coronavirus keeping them from seeking critical treatment for heart or other problems?

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