Lost insurance in COVID-19 crisis? Act quickly to get ACA coverage. Already uninsured? In 38 states, including ours, it’s complicated.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has joined with governors from 11 other states to  urge the federal government to reopen the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace  in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the 38 states that use the federally facilitated marketplace, including Michigan, only the federal government can open the marketplace to provide for a new open enrollment period. Those who lose health insurance following a job loss have 60 days to apply for this coverage. However, individuals who lose their jobs, but do not already have health insurance, are not able to participate in this special enrollment period. Read more.  
COVID-19 rapid response brief: Safe, temporary shelter for homeless populations during the pandemic

In this analysis for county-level commissioners, we outline some of the strategies state and local governments are deploying to provide alternate shelter spaces and isolation areas for homeless populations who are particularly at-risk for both contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus.
Strategies include leasing vacant hotel rooms, repurposing public facilities like convention halls and recreation centers, and utilizing temporarily vacant dormitories and office space. The purpose of this document is to provide information on where these strategies have been implemented, how they have been implemented, and some of the health implications to consider. Read more.
Michigan Health Endowment Fund releases national directory of recommended evaluation partners, including CHRT

“Evaluation can be a powerful tool to inform decision-making and ensure that scarce resources are used effectively,” writes the Michigan Health Endowment Fund in  a recently released directory of evaluation partners  that includes the Center for Health and Research Transformation. The document lists 27 consulting firms–in Michigan, California, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC–that the fund recommends to provide evaluation services to health-oriented organizations.  Read more.  
What we're reading

Integrating social services and health, Health Affairs, Apr. 2020
What local health departments need to know about CARES Act funding and policy opportunities for COVID-19 response.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT) staff members have been conducting rapid response research for Michigan policy leaders who are working proactively to protect vulnerable communities across the state. In this analysis for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, we explore funding and policy opportunities that will be useful to local health departments working to stem the spread of COVID-19. The Michigan Association for Local Public Health has shared this information with local health departments across the state. Read more.  
COVID-19 rapid response brief: Best practices for protecting populations in nursing homes and long-term care settings

In this analysis for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, we explore best practices for supporting populations in long-term care settings. Nursing homes across the country have been under federal orders to protect their especially vulnerable residents for weeks now, but outbreaks continue to occur. In Michigan, nursing home facilities around the Detroit area have been particularly impacted. The prevalence of COVID-19 in nursing homes suggests that bans on visits, infection control procedures, and the provision of additional resources have either arrived too late or have not been sufficient. Many states are looking for new solutions. Read more.
COVID-19 rapid response brief: Meeting the behavioral health needs of Michigan's prison population

Approximately one in every five prisoners in the U.S. has a diagnosed serious mental illness (SMI) and many of these individuals have a co-occurring substance use disorder (SUD) as well. While in jail, these individuals often receive important behavioral health services, such as therapy, medication, and other supports that are crucial to their recovery and rehabilitation. Over the last several weeks, however, COVID-19 has disrupted many of these treatment activities in jails across the country. Read more.
CHRT in the news

Podcast: African Americans bearing the brunt of U.S. COVID-19 pandemic, Marianne Udow-Phillips and Vernice Davis Antony, Powering Up with Anne Doyle, Apr. 17, 2020

CHRT’s Cover Michigan Survey illuminates health care access challenges in Detroit for HuffPo, Type Investigations by Patricia Anstett, Jonathan Cohn, Tom Perkins, and Anna Clark, Huffington Post and Type Investigations, Apr. 17, 2020

Shortage of Medical supplies for addressing COVID-19 is a challenge by Elaine Reyes, China Global TV Network, Mar. 13, 2020