Health, Politics

Maryland hospitals to establish community-based monoclonal antibody infusion programs, offer in-home infusions to fight surge



ANNAPOLIS, MD—As the state surpassed 1,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Friday, Governor Larry Hogan announced a series of actions to ensure hospitals are prepared for current and future surges due to the convergence of the flu, and the Delta and Omicron variants.

“Maryland has begun to see an uptick in our key health metrics, and we are increasingly concerned by the sharp rise in hospitalizations, which have doubled over the last three weeks,” said Governor Hogan. “State health officials are taking these additional actions as we continue to use every tool at our disposal to help Maryland hospitals have the resources they need to respond to this and future hospital surges.”

Enhanced statewide preparedness for the COVID-19 and Omicron variant surge includes the following:

Hospitals Directed to Update Emergency Plans, Maximize Use of Regional Hospitals and Alternate Care Sites

The Maryland Department of Health is directing hospitals to update their existing emergency plans by December 15 and immediately take steps to maximize hospital bed capacity.

Actions:

  • Implement practices to balance patient admissions, and “level load” the number of COVID-19 inpatients versus the number of non-COVID-19 inpatients;
  • Maximize available staffed medical-surgical and ICU bed capacity; and
  • Balance patient capacity by maximizing the use of all regional hospitals and alternate care sites;

State health officials have also directed hospitals to establish community based monoclonal antibody (mAb) infusion programs, including the capability to do in-home infusions. These activities will be funded by Health Service Cost Review Commission grants announced earlier this year. Downstream mAb infusions in the community can prevent Marylanders from ending up in the hospital and are in the hospitals’ best interest to make these programs successful.



Providers are strongly encouraged to offer monoclonal antibody infusions to COVID-positive patients. More information on this treatment is available at https://covidlink.maryland.gov.

Enhance Healthcare Staffing

State health officials are urging the Maryland Board of Physicians, Maryland Board of Pharmacy, and Maryland Board of Nursing to take the necessary steps to:

  • Permit the temporary licensure of recently retired licensees; and
  • Simplify or eliminate the administrative burdens for interstate compact or out-of-state health care practitioners to practice in Maryland.

In addition, the governor has announced that emergency legislation will be introduced next month to provide hospital systems with more tools to help address staffing shortages.

Photo via Pixabay

Facebook Comments