State Rep. Ann Bollin, R-Brighton Township, is demanding greater transparency from the state as it pertains to the coronavirus situation in Michigan hospitals.
Beaumont Health, one of the state’s largest health systems, has been experiencing significant issues resulting from a lack of communication about bed availability at nearby hospitals, according to a recent statement from the CEO. The information is available to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, but has not been disseminated to the hospitals that need the information.
“What we are hearing from representatives at Beaumont Health is frankly unacceptable. They should not be in a situation where they are begging for more information from the state in order to care for people in need and their patients should not be forced to wait in the parking lot to receive critical medical care,” Bollin said. “This is not the time for bureaucracy. In no other industry would leaders collect information but choose not to share it for the greater good.”
Last week, House lawmakers sent a letter to Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun requesting more information relevant to the state of coronavirus in Michigan. The letter urged the administration to work with the Legislature and release further and more detailed information related to coronavirus in the state.
“Data collection is paramount in order to respond to this crisis – for both medical professionals, and the Legislature,” Bollin said. “Without proper data, it’s impossible to determine where or what resources are needed. More detailed information is needed before making sweeping orders that impact businesses, workers and families across the state.”
The letter requests the following information:
- Bed capacity and availability numbers by hospital
- Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 by hospital
- Average length of stay for COVID-19-patients in hospitals
- Aggregate data on the age and health conditions of patients prior to contracting COVID-19
- Number of medical ventilators by hospital
- General information related to personal protective equipment supplies by hospital
Confirmed COVID-19 cases have reached more than 17,000 as of April 6, 2020, causing a dramatic shift in resources and creating a significant strain on Michigan’s healthcare providers. Bollin said there is more the state can do to help, but until more data is made available, the Legislature cannot make informed decisions.
Michigan ranks third behind the two highest-impacted states, New York and New Jersey, which report 131,000 and 41,000 cases respectively. To date, the Michigan Legislature has approved a total of $150 million for COVID-19 response, including $50 million for immediate needs such as virus monitoring and testing, $50 million for critical health care providers to expand capacity for coronavirus response, and $50 million to keep in reserve for when necessary.