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Health Care

As the weather cools and winter approaches, health professionals warn about complacency and encourage residents and businesses to remain vigilant in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kent County Health Department officials are reporting a recent decline in the number of COVID-19 tests being scheduled and administered at its testing sites, which are now operating below capacity.

Alegislative effort to curtail surprise medical billing in Michigan has gained attention from national health care organizations shifting their focus to states amid stalled efforts federally.

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Athena Award was created in 1989 to recognize professional excellence, community service and assistance to women for helping attain professional leadership skills. This year’s winner is Tasha Blackmon, who has served three years as president and CEO of Grand Rapids-based Cherry Health, the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in Michigan that provides care in underserved areas.

KALAMAZOO — Bronson Healthcare Group plans to develop a new inpatient psychiatric center in Battle Creek by 2022 that would more than double its licensed inpatient beds for behavioral health care.

Health Alliance Plan’s entry into the West Michigan market comes amid a broader strategic push to grow and become a larger statewide player for employee health benefits.

Even with the economic downturn, uncertainty and high unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers still need to look strategically at employee health care benefits to retain and attract talent.

GRAND RAPIDS — Strong earnings for Priority Health — combined with millions of dollars in state and federal aid — enabled Spectrum Health to remain in the black for the first half of 2020 despite operating losses at its hospitals.

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health today named Dr. Hossain Marandi as president of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan intends to give more than 180,000 individual policyholders a 30-percent credit on their health premiums this fall.

The COVID-19 pandemic created what Kelly Hirko calls a “massive shift” in health care.

GRAND RAPIDS — The $160 million federal contract to produce a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s ready elevates Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Inc. into what Tom Ross calls the “big leagues.”

An employee health screening program that includes dozens of Kent County businesses is helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community and keep key statistics at a relatively low and steady rate, health experts said today.

ALLEGAN — Perrigo Co. plc intends to buy three skin care and hair loss brands from French pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

GRAND RAPIDS — A Grand Rapids pharmaceutical producer has landed a major $160 million federal contract to produce a new COVID-19 vaccine once it’s ready and available.

Perrigo Co. plc grew sales more than 6 percent in the second quarter as earlier high demand eased for some medications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Michigan, Priority Health turned to predictive analytics to identify which members were at the highest risk.

KALAMAZOO — Stryker Corp.’s sales declined sharply in the second quarter, as restrictions in the U.S. and globally during COVID-19 pandemic caused delays and deferrals of medical procedures, leading to a rare quarterly loss.

Michigan hospitals took a $1.1 billion financial hit this spring from the COVID-19 pandemic, a cost that continues to grow.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids African American Health Institute has launched a search for a new executive director.

Health plans in Michigan should post strong earnings for 2020 despite poor results in the first quarter from investment losses after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advanced Cardiac & Vascular Centers for Amputation Prevention PLC has opened an office in Las Vegas, Nev., the practice’s fourth location and first outside of Michigan.

When it enters the West Michigan commercial health insurance market in 2021, the state’s third largest health plan will offer both large group and small group policies. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent mandate for Michigan health care workers is already in practice at many hospitals and health systems to eliminate cultural biases that can affect care.

Since announcing plans late last year to integrate cancer care, Mercy Health and Metro Health-University of Michigan Health have steadily proceeded on how exactly the Cancer Network of West Michigan will operate despite a slowdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 BATTLE CREEK — As someone who has served on a hospital board for more than a decade, Erick Stewart is keenly aware of the financial challenges associated with these health care organizations.

A coalition of Michigan business and health care leaders recently warned that the state is at a “dangerous tipping point” in the COVID-19 pandemic and “at risk of losing ground it has sacrificed for months to gain” as the number of new cases again rose each day. As of July 16, Michigan had 71,842 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a daily increase of 645 cases.

Health insurers across Michigan have proposed small average rate adjustments for 2021 policy renewals for both small employers and individuals.

GRAND RAPIDS — Priority Health President and CEO Joan Budden plans to retire at the end of 2020 after 12 years with the health plan, the last five as its chief executive.

As the state mandates face coverings for indoor public places and large outdoor gatherings, a coalition of health care organizations in Michigan urges residents to raise “their vigilance against COVID-19,” maintain distance from one another and to wear a mask.

A coalition of business and health care leaders across the state today warned Michigan is at a “dangerous tipping point” in the COVID-19 pandemic and “at risk of losing ground it has sacrificed for months to gain.” The group cited increases in new daily cases in the last month after two months of steady decline. They include a record 610 new cases Wednesday, and more than 1,400 between July 2 and 4.

MUSKEGON — SEIU Healthcare Michigan will represent all registered nurses at Mercy Health in Muskegon.

Bills to curb surprise medical billing in Michigan move forward in Lansing without the backing of physicians, who worry the proposed changes in state law would put them at a disadvantage when negotiating future reimbursement contracts with health insurance carriers.

potential partnership with Henry Ford Health System could follow a similar playbook that Michigan State University wrote over the last decade in building up a medical education and research hub in Grand Rapids.

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting emerging market needs gave opportunity to two Grand Rapids-area health care technology companies.

Spectrum Health’s Zeeland Community Hospital has again been named among the top 100 hospitals in the U.S., according to an annual ranking by Fortune/IBM Watson Health.

Priority Health plans to waive all copays, deductibles and coinsurance for COVID-19 treatment and medically necessary testing through 2020, as well as expand its zero cost-share for virtual physician visits, including behavioral health.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a package of bills expanding access to telemedicine, codifying into law provisions of an earlier executive order.

A new deal with commercial health insurance carrier Cigna Corp. gives Priority Health a broader care network across the U.S. to use when pitching potential national accounts.

The premium credits Priority Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan are providing small employers this summer stem from lower medical claims after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Perrigo Co. plc has sold its generic prescription drug business to United Kingdom-based Rosemont Pharmaceuticals Ltd for $195 million in cash.

The Lansing trade association for hospitals across Michigan urges vehicle owners to opt for the highest level of medical coverage under a revised no-fault auto insurance law that takes effect July 1.

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health, the largest care provider in Western Michigan, has committed at least $100 million over the next decade to address racial and ethnic disparities and improve equity in health care.

GRAND RAPIDS — Forest View Hospital named a long-time behavioral health care executive as its new CEO.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network will continue to waive copays and other cost sharing for treating for COVID-19 through the end of 2020.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, primary care physicians and specialists at Metro Health-University of Michigan Health typically saw about 2,250 patients each day.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan reports a surge in the number of physicians now offering telehealth visits for patients.

GRAND RAPIDS — Priority Health’s first quarter net loss in its HMO business stems from what’s described as a “quirky” accounting adjustment required under state regulations.