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

Michigan needs big boost in coronavirus testing to reopen economy

Michigan needs big boost in coronavirus testing to reopen economy

April 21, 2020 | Brie Zeltner , Robin Erb

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is under enormous pressure to loosen an economic lockdown by May 1. But by any national standard, the state must significantly improve COVID-19 testing to safely reopen for business.

MSU nursing student trades class time for 12-hour shifts on coronavirus ICU

MSU nursing student trades class time for 12-hour shifts on coronavirus ICU

April 20, 2020 | Kelly House

Johnny Choi was logging two shifts a month as an extern at Novi’s Ascension Providence Hospital before the pandemic hit. Now, the 22-year-old nursing student is pulling long hours in a COVID-19 intensive care unit.

Michigan residents worry about going hungry as COVID layoffs surge, poll finds

Michigan residents worry about going hungry as COVID layoffs surge, poll finds

April 20, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

More than 1 in 4 Michigan residents are worried about being able to put food on their table, and more than half of all laid-off or furloughed workers are unsure how they’ll feed their families, according to a new statewide poll conducted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last moments, small joys: Saving lives in Michigan coronavirus surge

Last moments, small joys: Saving lives in Michigan coronavirus surge

April 19, 2020 | Bridge, Detroit Free Press & Michigan Radio

Risking their health, these nurses, physicians and therapists face long hours, excruciating pressure and moments of heartbreaking intimacy with patients and families. They share some lessons learned.

Michigan may be past coronavirus peak, but cases grow outstate

Michigan may be past coronavirus peak, but cases grow outstate

April 18, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

The coronavirus is moving across the state at different rates, relaxing its grip on metro Detroit but infections are still rising in parts of the state as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer eyes the reopening of the economy.

The promise, and limits, of coronavirus antibody tests to reopen Michigan

The promise, and limits, of coronavirus antibody tests to reopen Michigan

April 18, 2020 | Brie Zeltner

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other governors are relying on serological testing to help inform when they can safely lift or loosen state  stay-at-home orders. Bridge explains what researchers still don’t know.  

Amid coronavirus deaths, Michigan hospital chaplains struggle to carry on

Amid coronavirus deaths, Michigan hospital chaplains struggle to carry on

April 18, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Chaplains fight a daily battle against despair as they minister to patients, family and staff.

Seniors dying from coronavirus. Michigan still won’t name nursing homes

Seniors dying from coronavirus. Michigan still won’t name nursing homes

April 17, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

At least 17 states now list nursing homes infected by COVID-19. Michigan, where hundreds of nursing home residents have died, is not among them.

Back to work, but not to normal: life in Michigan when coronavirus ebbs

Back to work, but not to normal: life in Michigan when coronavirus ebbs

April 17, 2020 | Kelly House, Mike Wilkinson

You can go to work, but prepare to have your temperature taken at the door. You can visit your family, but not the bar. Baseball season may never start. A peek into your future when Michigan’s stay-home order ends.

Will U.S. drug supplies meet demand if Michigan hospitals see second surge?

Will U.S. drug supplies meet demand if Michigan hospitals see second surge?

April 17, 2020 | Will Callan, Michigan Radio

The drug shortage has hit Michigan unevenly. Hospitals are relatively comfortable now with their supply of drugs, but are concerned about another sharp rise in patients. In southeast Michigan, the shortage is already showing itself.

Wary of hospitals during coronavirus, some Michigan moms turn to midwives

Wary of hospitals during coronavirus, some Michigan moms turn to midwives

April 17, 2020 | Robin Erb

Midwives, mostly paid out of pocket, say they could serve more women and better respond to a long-term pandemic if insurance companies would cover home deliveries.

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.

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