Coronavirus March 30: 14 notes from physicians, hospitals

Here are 14 notes from hospitals, health systems and physicians on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Editor's note: This list is based on the number of COVID-19 cases reported per state. Please email Mackenzie Garrity at mgarrity@beckershealthcare.com or Kelly Gooch at kgooch@beckershealthcare.com with any announcements from your system related to COVID-19. 

New York

1. New York City-based NewYork-Presbyterian has updated its visitor policy to allow birthing partners for obstetric patients. The health system said the change allows one birthing partner or support person to be with obstetric patients during birth.

2. New York City-based NYU Langone Health has added 1,300 physicians and other care providers to its telemedicine platform. The change comes as about 500 new virtual appointments are added daily to the health system's platform.

3. Dunkirk-based Brooks-TLC Hospital System has established an incident command team to implement plans related to COVID-19 response, according to Observer Today. The team meets several times daily to update hospital operations, coordinate local and state information and develop a plan for a surge of admissions.

4. New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System has prohibited all visitors systemwide. The new limits took effect March 28 and apply to visitors to the emergency departments, inpatient units (including postpartum), ambulatory sites and other facilities. There are policy exceptions for certain “healthy” visitors, including one healthy visitor for patients giving birth.

New Jersey 

5. Hackensack (N.J.) Meridian Health updated its visitor policy for its labor and delivery unit, allowing one visitor who must remain in the patient room the entire time, and whose temperature will be taken every six hours. Visitors whose temperatures exceed 100 degrees will be escorted from the facility. 

California 

6. Chris Van Gorder, CEO of San Diego-based Scripps Health, is urging state legislators and healthcare officials across the country to release stronger stay-at-home orders. If officials don't take action, Scripps expects to be overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients in “a matter of weeks” he said.

Michigan

7. A leaked letter outlines Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System's policy on how to ration care if the health system runs out of ventilators and intensive care unit beds, NPR affiliate Michigan Radio reports. The letter was leaked online March 26. Henry Ford told Michigan Radio the policy, which is inactive, is part of the health system's emergency response planning.

Massachusetts

8. At Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, the virtual care team led by Lee Schwamm, MD, has been working to develop new telehealth options. Patients who have access to smartphones, tablets or laptops can join a virtual visit by clicking a link that will be sent to them before the telehealth visit. 

9. Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston has created a COVID-19 response fund. The donations will aid the front-line health workers. 

10. Worcester-based UMass Memorial Medical Center is offering ambulatory telehealth video visits. Patients are asked to schedule an appointment before logging into the telehealth platform. 

Washington 

11. Renton-based Providence St. Joseph Health has launched an online COVID-19 assessment tool. The “chat” assessment is designed to assess patients’ risk to COVID-19 and connect them with a provider if necessary. 

South Carolina

12. Greenville-based Prisma Health, Maryland-based Bon Secours Health System hospitals in South Carolina and Anderson-based AnMed Health suspended billing for COVID-19 patients. The Greenville News reported that the hospitals won't bill COVID-19 patients before finalizing payments with insurers, labs and government programs.

Ohio

13. Cincinnati-based Mercy Health system will continue billing insurance for COVID-19 cases but will hold patient statements until finalization of billing details, according to The Blade.

Minnesota 

14. Nurses at Minneapolis-based M Health Fairview voted "no confidence" in hospital management's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses claim the hospital is violating safety and staffing protections. 

 

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