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

Oakland County to test 15K residents of senior facilities for coronavirus

Oakland County to test 15K residents of senior facilities for coronavirus

April 30, 2020 | Robin Erb

Following trends nationwide, nearly half of all deaths from COVID-19 are in nursing homes in Oakland County. Now, first responders are going into senior centers to test residents and staff in an effort to get ahead of the pandemic.

With weeks to plan, Grand Rapids learns from Detroit’s coronavirus surge

With weeks to plan, Grand Rapids learns from Detroit’s coronavirus surge

April 30, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

West Michigan hospitals say they are ready as a spike in COVID-19 cases hit the region. Hospital executives are implementing techniques picked up from Chicago and Detroit to improve the odds faced by desperately-ill patients.

Michigan doctor near death among first to get coronavirus plasma treatment

Michigan doctor near death among first to get coronavirus plasma treatment

April 28, 2020 | Robin Erb

He received convalescent plasma at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, one of 14 patients there receiving the experimental treatment. Early returns are promising but it’s far too early to know if it actually works.

Gov. Whitmer urged coronavirus tests for all key workers. Don’t bank on it

Gov. Whitmer urged coronavirus tests for all key workers. Don’t bank on it

April 28, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Brie Zeltner

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said last week that all of Michigan’s essential workers should get tested, even those without symptoms. That’s easier said than done, as many hospitals and test sites say they still lack capacity to test workers with no symptoms.

With fewer non-coronavirus emergencies, Michigan hospital cuts ER docs’ pay

With fewer non-coronavirus emergencies, Michigan hospital cuts ER docs’ pay

April 27, 2020 | Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

Beaumont Health ER doctors handling heart attacks, other illnesses and pediatric cases will take pay cuts or temporary leaves of absence as the coronavirus continues to pound at Beaumont’s bottom line. 

Michigan poison control calls jump after Trump’s disinfectant remarks

Michigan poison control calls jump after Trump’s disinfectant remarks

April 27, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Between Friday and Sunday, there were 65 calls to the Michigan Poison Center about exposure to household cleaning products, including 16 calls about bleach and nine calls about disinfectants, according to data from the center. That was up about 86 percent from the prior weekend and 55 percent over the same span last year.

Michigan coronavirus medical deaths at 16, more than some hospitals say

Michigan coronavirus medical deaths at 16, more than some hospitals say

April 27, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on nurses, doctors and other health care workers. Health systems aren’t always eager to publicly acknowledge those who died.  

Coronavirus empties pediatrician offices in Michigan, decreases vaccinations

Coronavirus empties pediatrician offices in Michigan, decreases vaccinations

April 26, 2020 | Robin Erb

Parents are avoiding health care settings for fear of coronavirus. But doing so, doctors say, puts a child’s health at risk with missed vaccinations, untended anxiety problems or life-threatening diseases that can develop undetected.

Coronavirus cases rising again in Michigan. That may not be bad news.

Coronavirus cases rising again in Michigan. That may not be bad news.

April 24, 2020 | Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson, Brie Zeltner

For much of April, coronavirus cases dropped consistently in Michigan. They are jumping upward again in the past few days as cases spread outstate. But experts also attribute the rise to more testing.

Coronavirus surges in Grand Rapids area, bucking trends in rest of Michigan

Coronavirus surges in Grand Rapids area, bucking trends in rest of Michigan

April 24, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

A spike of virus cases among homeless people helps push Kent County’s daily coronavirus cases to levels equal to those seen in metro Detroit. Officials in the west Michigan county say a peak could be three weeks away.

You can now see how many coronavirus patients are in each Michigan hospital

You can now see how many coronavirus patients are in each Michigan hospital

April 24, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

You can now look up the number of COVID-19 patients at a particular hospital or health system, as well as the total capacity of beds being used, and the number of days of personal protective equipment left on hand.

Rural Michigan hospitals gutted by coronavirus, even those without cases

Rural Michigan hospitals gutted by coronavirus, even those without cases

April 23, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

A halt on elective surgeries cripples rural hospitals with few or no coronavirus patients.

A doctor, a miracle baby, and the fight to save dying coronavirus patients

A doctor, a miracle baby, and the fight to save dying coronavirus patients

April 23, 2020 | Robin Erb

More than 40 years ago, a dying newborn and a doctor who ended up at the University of Michigan helped set the course for technology that today may be the last chance at survival for some COVID-19 patients.

After her patients died alone, Detroit doctor raises money for tablets

After her patients died alone, Detroit doctor raises money for tablets

April 23, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

Dr. Luda Khait-Vlisides had to look through her patient’s phone to find his daughter’s number, so she could tell her her father had died. 

Detroit’s Henry Ford joins coronavirus red ink, furloughs 2,800 workers

Detroit’s Henry Ford joins coronavirus red ink, furloughs 2,800 workers

April 22, 2020 | Robin Erb, Kelly House

The Detroit-based hospital system is the latest in a string of medical providers to announce deep staff cuts as the coronavirus pandemic dries up revenue streams.

Why Michigan hospitals are laying off workers as they battle coronavirus

Why Michigan hospitals are laying off workers as they battle coronavirus

April 22, 2020 | Brie Zeltner

Hospitals are overwhelmed by a flood of COVID-19 patients. But in the U.S. health care system, that’s not where hospitals make their profits.

Detroit hospital vows quality care but won’t discuss coronavirus issues

Detroit hospital vows quality care but won’t discuss coronavirus issues

April 22, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

DMC CEO Audrey Gregory said the Detroit-based system has invested meaningfully in medical education and hospital facilities. She would not talk about controversies that made headlines during the coronavirus surge.

Beaumont CEO says he's taking a 70% pay cut as layoffs sweep through administrative staff

Beaumont CEO says he's taking a 70% pay cut as layoffs sweep through administrative staff

April 21, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

With Michigan's largest hospital system "financially hemorrhaging" and under a cloud of uncertainty for at least the next two years, the CEO of Beaumont Health says he's taking a 70 percent cut to his base pay and is forgoing any bonuses.

Michigan to identify nursing homes infected by the coronavirus

Michigan to identify nursing homes infected by the coronavirus

April 21, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan will follow roughly 18 other states in publicly identifying nursing homes and long-term care facilities stricken by the virus. Watchdog groups say that is critical information for residents and their families. 

Beaumont to lay off 2,475, eliminate 450 Michigan jobs due to coronavirus

Beaumont to lay off 2,475, eliminate 450 Michigan jobs due to coronavirus

April 21, 2020 | Robin Erb

Beaumont Health, the state’s largest health system, blamed the dramatic cuts on losses incurred during the pandemic, which forced it to cut revenue-generating procedures to handle the surge. CEO temporarily cuts his own pay 70 percent.

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