Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Aug. 3
Posted on August 07, 2020
The MHA continues to keep members apprised of developments affecting Michigan hospitals during the pandemic through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. Important updates are outlined below.
Presidential Executive Orders Impact Rural Healthcare, Telemedicine, Supply Chain
President Donald Trump recently issued two executive orders (EOs) that are expected to positively impact hospitals and other healthcare providers as they continue to fight COVID-19.
An executive order issued Aug. 3 aims to improve rural healthcare and extend some of the temporary regulatory flexibilities for telehealth. It directs the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review several temporary COVID-19-related policy changes to determine which of those measures should be continued beyond the public health emergency. In addition, the EO instructs the HHS Secretary to announce a new model to test innovative payment mechanisms to improve the financial stability of rural healthcare providers and to develop a strategy to improve physical communications infrastructure in rural areas to facilitate better healthcare services.
The president also signed Aug. 6 an EO to increase domestic production of medical supplies to avoid future shortages. This order aims to ensure the nation has ample medical supplies, medications and equipment to respond to pandemics and other crises and threats while combating the trafficking of counterfeit versions of these supplies via e-commerce. It also eases restrictions on domestic manufacturers, streamlines regulations and supports continuous and advanced manufacturers. In addition, it sets up measures for the HHS to identify vulnerabilities in the medical supply chain.
The MHA will keep members apprised of developments related to these EOs that will impact Michigan hospitals and health systems.
Michigan Continues Work to Increase PPE Stockpiles
In the most recent call the MHA hosted for hospital supply chain contacts, participants discussed procurement issues related to COVID-19, federal information on personal protective equipment (PPE) logistics, a program to procure Honeywell respirators and the state stockpile. The state shared that it is continuing to work to procure PPE to maintain a supply of 90 days of key PPE items on hand. The MHA will keep members informed of these efforts. Members with questions may contact Rob Wood at the MHA.
Governors Announce Bipartisan Interstate Compact for Antigen Tests
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined the governors of Maryland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio and Virginia Aug. 4 in announcing a major bipartisan interstate compact with the Rockefeller Foundation to expand the use of rapid point-of-care antigen tests to slow the spread of COVID-19 and continue safely reopening their respective states. Together, the states aim to show private manufacturers that there is significant demand to increase the production of tests that deliver results in 15-20 minutes. With the agreement, the states are in discussions with Becton Dickinson and Quidel — the U.S. manufacturers of antigen tests that have already been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration — to purchase 500,000 tests per state, for a total of 3 million tests. This purchasing agreement will provide a unique platform to purchase tests and supplies in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. In addition, the states will coordinate on policies and protocols regarding rapid antigen testing technology. The MHA will keep members apprised as this effort continues.
Cybersecurity Alert Fatigue Webinar Offered Aug. 27
COVID-19 has made many hospitals and health systems especially vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks as a constant flow of new information, vendors and other opportunities for infiltration come into their networks. The MHA and several of its members are active members of the Michigan Healthcare Security Operations Center, which is offering a 45-minute webinar at 11 a.m. Aug. 27 on cybersecurity alert fatigue. Members may register to participate in the webinar shortly before it begins.
In this webinar, the hosts will discuss how alert fatigue incorrectly results in normalizing danger across multiple industries and share lessons to combat it. They will also highlight how lessons from healthcare organizations can be imparted to improve internal cybersecurity teams. This webinar focuses on solutions that can be implemented by any organization – regardless of which tools or platforms are in place. Members with questions about this event or cybersecurity may contact Mike Nowak at the MHA.
Additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic is available to members on the MHA Community Site and the MHA COVID-19 webpage. Questions on COVID-19 and infectious disease response strategies may be directed to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC). Members with MHA-specific questions should contact the following MHA staff members:
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Member News, Top Issues - Healthcare