State Rep. Graham Filler, of DeWitt, is urging the governor’s administration for more data pertaining to the coronavirus situation in Michigan hospitals.
Officials from Beaumont Health, one of the state’s largest health systems, recently announced significant issues within its facilities resulting from a lack of communication about bed availability at nearby hospitals. Filler said the information exists and is available to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services but has not been disclosed to the hospitals that desperately need the information.
“I’m married to a physician, and I know the stress health care professionals are under at this time. On top of everything they are doing, they should not be forced to beg the state’s health department for vital information that can save lives and help treat patients in need,” said Filler, who serves on the House Health Policy Committee. “The governor’s administration must step it up and work with the health care industry.”
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.
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 nearly 19,000 as of April 8, causing a dramatic shift in resources and creating a significant strain on Michigan’s healthcare providers. Filler said there is more the state can do to help, but the Legislature needs more data to properly respond to the pandemic.
“We cannot implement necessary changes without relevant and timely data about what and where resources are needed most,” Filler said. “The people of Michigan deserve answers.”
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.