Midland home healthcare business adjusts to COVID-19

Great Lakes Home Care Unlimited, is a home healthcare business which began in Midland. It has since expanded to open branches to serve people in both Central, and Northern Michigan.  This local family business is owned and operated by the Laming family.  

Head of Marketing and Sales Matthew Laming, said that their business has had to make several adjustments to their normal routine, as COVID-19 restrictions were important to them. 

While not ordered to shut down like other local businesses, the business faced its own challenges.  In its case, it was how to provide safe care for their clients who needed it, while protecting themselves and the clients from COVID-19. 

Laming, who has been at the business since June 2018 said: “The business has been hurt by some aspects of this global pandemic, which I guess is really a common thing for small businesses in the area.  Although, we were not ordered to shut down when Gov. (Gretchen) Whitmer began the stay home stay safe order. We are considered essential business, just like healthcare.”

Courtesy of Great Lakes Home Care

Great Lakes Home Care has had to make several adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Employee Isaiah Saladine said the business had several client call services off.  These services that were cut included in house care for people, both medical, and non-medical care.  This led to hours being cut for many employees.  As well as adding restrictions on who can enter their offices, and how many people can be there. However, business did not completely stop.  

“We still have our caregivers going to the places they are needed if services are still being requested by the client,” said Saladine.  “The goal is to give enough hours to our caregivers to make up for the lost clients during this.” 

The business states on its website that they provide both non-medical care, as well as skilled medical care.  With this, they could encounter patients that are more vulnerable to COVID-19, meaning safety procedures are incredibly important, which was stated by both employees.  Taking proper precautions on keeping staff and clients safe had to be the top priority for the business, said Laming and Saladine. 

“We’ve asked our many caregivers to wear masks, especially if it makes the client feel safer,” said Saladine. “Also, the caregivers answer questions when they clock in about whether or not they were in contact with someone with COVID-19.  If they did, they take 14 days off.

Severe impact predicted in Michigan if new health care bill passes

Capital News Service
LANSING — About 2.5 million Michiganders could lose health care coverage under the Republican-proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, according to the Michigan League for Public Policy. The study comes on the heels of a Congressional Budget Office projection that the recently introduced American Health Care Act(AHCA)  would cause 24 million people to lose their insurance over 10 years, while reducing the federal deficit by about $337 billion. The Republican proposal jeopardizes the Healthy Michigan Plan, the Michigan Medicaid expansion that has insured 650,000 residents under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The ACA would be repealed and replaced with the AHCA. “As far as the Healthy Michigan Plan, one of the biggest concerns as proposed by the AHCA is that it essentially ends the program in 2020,” Emily Schwarzkopf, a policy analyst for the League for Public Policy, said.

Physician assistants could expand access to health care

Capital News Service
LANSING — Patients would gain greater access to health care if lawmakers approve a bill that would let physician assistants practice with less supervision and make it easier for some of them to prescribe drugs. The measure would make Michigan the first state to offer that level of autonomy. The idea is to help physician assistants better reach and serve patients, said Michael DeGrow, executive director for the Michigan Academy of Physician Assistants. The legislation will make it easier for them to practice in many different counties. For example, if you’re homebound with a chronic condition in rural Northern Michigan, multiple visits to outpatient health care may not be possible.

Despite insurance, people skip doctor visits due to cost

Capital News Service
LANSING — More Michiganders have health insurance but still skip doctor visits and blame it on cost. In 2015, nearly 13 percent of Michiganders said they hadn’t been to the doctor in the past 12 months because of the cost, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, which conducts the Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System every year. That’s too many, said  Robert Jackson, president of the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians. “The whole thing is disturbing,” he said, because more visits to a primary care physician lead to lower costs and better health in the long run. Most e people who skip doctor visits because of cost have no health insurance (30 percent) or are on the Healthy Michigan plan (27.9 percent), according to statistics provided by Jennifer Eisner, a public information officer at the department.

Diversity in health care coming too slowly for some

Capital News Service
LANSING – Health experts urging more diversity in Michigan’s health care workforce may see graduation statistics from local universities as good news. In the 2013-2014 academic year, more than a quarter of medical school graduates from Wayne State University and the University of Michigan – 27 percent and 36 percent respectively – were minorities, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Set. In that same year, according to the data, minority students constituted 37 percent of the graduating class at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, up 68 percent from its preceding graduating class. “Our goal is to increase the students that come from these areas around our city to be able to train and then serve in the communities in which they come from,” said De’Andrea Matthews, the director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Wayne State University School of Medicine. “And that’s necessary to reduce health disparities that impact our overall health.”
Matthews stresses the importance of outreach and recruitment activities with not just students at the K-12 level, but also for undergraduate students across the country.

Push underway to expand telehealth services

Capital News Service
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More long-term care options pushed

Capital News Service
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School clinics stay open despite budget cuts

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Capital News Service
LANSING— Thanks to a school clinic, Jasmine Magalski doesn’t have to leave school every Wednesday to get her allergy shots. The clinic at Alcona Elementary is one of 69 school clinics that lost state aid with the latest budget cuts. It and the others remain open, but with 10 percent less state aid, said Kyle Gerrant, supervisor of coordinated school health and safety programs at the Department of Education. Magalski’s mother, Chelsea Travis, is thankful. “She is able to get treatment without leaving school instead of treatments taking time away from her education, and I think that is really important,” Travis said.