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

Gretchen Whitmer asks to stop Michigan Medicaid work rules; 80,000 at risk

Gretchen Whitmer asks to stop Michigan Medicaid work rules; 80,000 at risk

February 25, 2020 | Robin Erb

80,000 Michiganders who must report to work — or prove to the state why they can’t — have until Saturday to file reports, according to the governor’s office. The state GOP stands behind the work rules. 

For weary Michigan seniors, a retirement in name only

For weary Michigan seniors, a retirement in name only

February 24, 2020 | Robin Erb

Kicking back is not an option for a growing number of residents over 60, who increasingly find themselves caring for very old parents or very young grandchildren. “We’re getting old and we’re not dying.”

More Michigan grandparents are raising grandkids. Two bills may help them.

More Michigan grandparents are raising grandkids. Two bills may help them.

February 24, 2020 | Robin Erb

An estimated 120,000 Michiganders age 60 or older are taking on the round-the-clock job of parenting children or teens, double rates of a generation ago. Help may finally be on the way.

Michigan Senate moves to deregulate health care

Michigan Senate moves to deregulate health care

February 20, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Bills approved Thursday would make it easier to add new psychiatric beds and build hospitals. The measure dropped language impacting rural hospitals and some outpatient heart procedures.

Bernie Sanders calls Detroit shutoffs an ‘outrage,’ as city seeks more help

Bernie Sanders calls Detroit shutoffs an ‘outrage,’ as city seeks more help

February 19, 2020 | Joel Kurth

Citing a Bridge Magazine article, Sanders calls water shutoffs a ‘moral outrage.’ City officials say they want to expand relief efforts for thousands of impoverished residents with no running water.

Detroit wants to expand water help. Here’s how to avoid disconnections.

Detroit wants to expand water help. Here’s how to avoid disconnections.

February 17, 2020 | Joel Kurth

Detroit officials want to double the amount of help available for low-income customers facing water shutoffs. Most programs help those who aren't yet disconnected.

I hate to complain, but I haven’t had water in a year. A Detroit story.

I hate to complain, but I haven’t had water in a year. A Detroit story.

February 17, 2020 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson

After two years of decline, Detroit water shutoffs jumped 44 percent last year, as the city stopped water to 1 in 9 homes. Most stayed off a month or more, and nearly 10,000 homes still don’t have service.

Michigan debates future of kratom, an herbal remedy linked to 9 state deaths

Michigan debates future of kratom, an herbal remedy linked to 9 state deaths

February 14, 2020 | Robin Erb

Made from a tree in Southeast Asia, kratom is promoted for pain relief and as an energy booster. Some say it helps kick opioid addiction. But health officials warn of another, more dangerous side.

Sheriff’s plea on mentally ill prisoner reveals gap in Michigan treatment

Sheriff’s plea on mentally ill prisoner reveals gap in Michigan treatment

February 12, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

An Upper Peninsula sheriff went to Facebook to get state help for a delusional man in his jail. His post highlights severe shortages in the state for violent or severely mentally ill people caught up in the criminal justice system.

5th Michigan person being tested for coronavirus had traveled to China

5th Michigan person being tested for coronavirus had traveled to China

February 8, 2020 | Robin Erb

The Oakland County resident had a travel history to China, said a state health department spokeswoman, who added that the person was not stopped or screened at Detroit Metro airport. 

The first line of defense against coronavirus: Try soap, not a mask

The first line of defense against coronavirus: Try soap, not a mask

February 7, 2020 | Robin Erb

As health officials marshal resources to contain a new  coronavirus, which hasn't hit Michigan, there are simple steps anyone can take to reduce risks. You don’t need special equipment. 

For new Michigan moms with postpartum depression, where to turn for help

For new Michigan moms with postpartum depression, where to turn for help

February 7, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Postpartum depression afflicts about one in seven moms. Diagnosis and treatment lag, especially among low-income, African-American and Latino mothers. Here’s a primer on where to turn.

Treating mothers’ trauma as a way to prevent youth violence

Treating mothers’ trauma as a way to prevent youth violence

February 7, 2020 | J. Brian Charles

SURE Moms focuses on an area less often targeted by anti-violence efforts. It tries to lower juvenile crime and recidivism by providing counseling and support to the mothers of kids linked to much of the area’s violence. It’s not about what happens on the street, but what happens in the home.

As Michigan braces for coronavirus, H1N1 quietly makes a comeback

As Michigan braces for coronavirus, H1N1 quietly makes a comeback

February 6, 2020 | Robin Erb

A small lab at the University of Michigan is one of five U.S. sites that monitor influenza viruses to gauge vaccine effectiveness. The lab also is monitoring coronavirus developments as part of a federal effort.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s health budget is heavy on prevention

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s health budget is heavy on prevention

February 6, 2020 | Robin Erb

Addressing everyday social determinants today — from food security to postpartum care to youngsters’ teeth — will save more in the long run, says Michigan’s Health and Human Services director.

A steady job can give you health coverage, but can health coverage help you work?

A steady job can give you health coverage, but can health coverage help you work?

February 3, 2020 | Robin Erb

Researchers say those covered by Michigan’s expanded Medicaid plan saw a 6 percent boost in jobs and school in a single year, outpacing job growth in general population.

Michigan Legislature weighs dropping high school health, gym requirements

Michigan Legislature weighs dropping high school health, gym requirements

February 3, 2020 | Robin Erb

Republicans say reducing graduation requirements gives flexibility to students who want to work after high school. Critics say health and gym are critical as teen levels of anxiety, STDs and obesity rise.

3 coronavirus tests ruled 'negative' in Michigan; new case investigated

3 coronavirus tests ruled 'negative' in Michigan; new case investigated

January 27, 2020 | Robin Erb

A widespread flu virus in the state poses more of a threat right now, but health officials remain vigilant for cases of coronavirus in Michigan.

Three possible Michigan cases of deadly coronavirus being tested

Three possible Michigan cases of deadly coronavirus being tested

January 24, 2020 | Riley Beggin

State health officials say two people in Washtenaw County and one in Macomb have  “mild” symptoms of the illness, but that a diagnosis remains days away.

A Michigan family goes to Canada for insulin. Will a drug import law help?

A Michigan family goes to Canada for insulin. Will a drug import law help?

January 23, 2020 | Robin Erb

Bills in Lansing would legalize the sale of discounted Canadian drugs to Michigan. But the measures face a host of obstacles, not least from Canadians worried about protecting their own supplies.

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