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

What COVID-19 test is best? Who pays in Michigan? What you need to know.

What COVID-19 test is best? Who pays in Michigan? What you need to know.

July 22, 2020 | Robin Erb

Testing criteria has changed. So have the options. But which test is most reliable? Bridge has sorted out answers to some frequently asked questions. 

Here’s what Michigan nursing homes that escaped coronavirus did right

Here’s what Michigan nursing homes that escaped coronavirus did right

July 20, 2020 | Patricia Anstett

Nursing facilities across much of Michigan were devastated by COVID-19, but roughly 200 homes have dodged the virus. Their strategies can help public health experts develop best practices for the next outbreak.

Michigan coronavirus cases rise. Here’s why we are not Texas or Florida.

Michigan coronavirus cases rise. Here’s why we are not Texas or Florida.

July 17, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Case increases in Michigan bear watching but the state is not yet experiencing the explosion seen in the South and West. Here are the metrics public health experts follow to mark the virus’ arc in Michigan.

A Michigan guide to wearing masks, or not, during coronavirus

A Michigan guide to wearing masks, or not, during coronavirus

July 15, 2020 | Robin Erb

Do masks work? Do disability or medical privacy laws allow me to enter a store without one? Michigan researchers, doctors and a lawyer weigh in on the much-debated mask mandate.

As Michigan COVID cases soar, infected residents won’t cooperate with tracers

As Michigan COVID cases soar, infected residents won’t cooperate with tracers

July 15, 2020 | Riley Beggin

State officials say a third of people contacted by tracers are refusing to say who they’ve potentially exposed, helping fuel a recent jump in coronavirus cases that has Michigan health officials worried.

Violence erupts in Michigan over state mask mandate ‘powder keg’

Violence erupts in Michigan over state mask mandate ‘powder keg’

July 14, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ron French, Jonathan Oosting

Tensions are boiling over as confrontations increase over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's mask rule designed to contain COVID-19 becomes “the number one anxiety-producing pain point for retailers right now.”

Across Michigan, coronavirus contact tracers face lies, anger and silence

Across Michigan, coronavirus contact tracers face lies, anger and silence

July 12, 2020 | Robin Erb

Disheartened by images of raucous crowds ignoring safety measures, some health officials wonder if contact tracing — long a trusted tactic in controlling infectious diseases — may be losing its usefulness.

Huge drop in Michigan vaccinations scares experts during coronavirus

Huge drop in Michigan vaccinations scares experts during coronavirus

July 8, 2020 | Ted Roelofs, Ron French

Michigan vaccinations in May were down 46 percent, raising health concerns about the flu and other illnesses. More troubling: rates for children 9 to 18 were down 66 percent, casting doubt on whether they will be allowed to enroll in school in the fall.

Michigan’s newest headache: Young adults are driving coronavirus growth

Michigan’s newest headache: Young adults are driving coronavirus growth

July 7, 2020 | Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson

 Industries that serve the vulnerable see risky behaviors among young workers, but say they’re limited on what they can do.

Computer pad can help Michigan seniors use telehealth during coronavirus

Computer pad can help Michigan seniors use telehealth during coronavirus

July 6, 2020 | Robin Erb

Metro Detroit seniors are embracing online doctor visits using a customized tablet that makes technology less intimidating. It could prove a model for seniors increasingly dependent on telehealth to visit doctors.

Michigan hospital: Our coronavirus test gives results in minutes, not days

Michigan hospital: Our coronavirus test gives results in minutes, not days

July 6, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Researchers at Beaumont Health say they are using technology they first developed to detect the zika virus. The test, which has yet to win FDA approval, is reliable, inexpensive and easier to administer, researchers say.

Hold on, they begged. In Michigan, a gun and loophole helped him let go.

Hold on, they begged. In Michigan, a gun and loophole helped him let go.

July 6, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

The coronavirus pandemic made it hard to see therapists but easy to buy a gun. Now, a Michigan family is grieving and searching for answers after their son’s suicide.

Michigan study: Hydroxychloroquine saved lives among coronavirus patients

Michigan study: Hydroxychloroquine saved lives among coronavirus patients

July 2, 2020 | Robin Erb, Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

The drug’s effects had been called into question after a series of studies and controversies since it was promoted by President Trump. A study at Henry Ford Health System found lower death rates when the drug is given early. 

Large jump in Michigan deaths outside hospitals as coronavirus raged

Large jump in Michigan deaths outside hospitals as coronavirus raged

July 2, 2020 | Robin Erb

Fear of contracting the virus at hospitals appears to have kept many patients from seeking care, including a large number of people suffering strokes or heart attacks. 

Michigan hospitals hardest hit by coronavirus get $850M, say they need more

Michigan hospitals hardest hit by coronavirus get $850M, say they need more

July 1, 2020 | Robin Erb, Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Even with federal relief funds intended for providers slammed by COVID-19 patients, some hospitals say they are still shedding jobs to balance their books during the outbreak.    

Trinity Health Michigan lays off, furloughs another 1,000 employees

Trinity Health Michigan lays off, furloughs another 1,000 employees

June 30, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Layoffs and schedule reductions for 1,000 full-time workers or their equivalents will begin this week and continue through the end of July at Trinity Health Michigan, which includes the St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health. 

The painful truth: A wife with questions gets answers from a nurse who saw her husband die

The painful truth: A wife with questions gets answers from a nurse who saw her husband die

June 28, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

The pain of not knowing what happened to her husband after she dropped him off at a Detroit Hospital, torments Denise Chandler. A former nurse helps.

Are Michigan gyms safe during coronavirus? A study in Norway suggests yes.

Are Michigan gyms safe during coronavirus? A study in Norway suggests yes.

June 26, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

A government study in May involving five indoor gyms in Oslo found that gym members practicing modest safety precautions did not increase the spread of COVID-19. Skeptics say they would like to see broader studies before accepting the findings.

Coronavirus outbreaks tied to migrant farm workers in Michigan

Coronavirus outbreaks tied to migrant farm workers in Michigan

June 25, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting

COVID-19 is flaring up statewide among migrant workers. Experts say close quarters, crops that won’t wait, mistrust are perfect growing conditions for outbreaks.

Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid

Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid

June 24, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, Robin Erb

A new report highlights disparities in how federal coronavirus relief money was distributed, suggesting Michigan hospitals were shorted.

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