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DATA: Average daily hospital usage rates across Michigan show where there could be bed shortages amid COVID-19 crisis

2018 data shows 2/3 of Metro Detroit hospital beds were filled on a typical day

Hospitals are preparing for increases in patients as the Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread.
Hospitals are preparing for increases in patients as the Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread. (VILevi)

Data showing average daily hospital use across Michigan suggests Metro Detroit hospitals are consistently the most used medical centers in the state, and possibly at risk of running into a shortage of beds as COVID-19 cases increase in the coming days and weeks.

Numbers compiled by the Associated Press show roughly two out ever three general hospital beds in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties were full on a daily basis in 2018. Intensive care beds for the three counties were about 60% full.

Kent County, which includes Grand Rapids, had the highest average daily use of general beds at 75%, while 71% of intensive car beds were full. Neighboring Kalamazoo County saw a 113% use of daily intensive care beds, a number that exceeds 100% because hospitals can count two people in one bed if someone leaves in the morning and another patient arrives later the same day.

Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula had an 80% usage of intensive care beds, according to the data.

Counties on the map without data did not have a medical center in 2018.

While this data compiled by the Associated Press is not entirely indicative of the current situation hospitals are facing, it is the most recent view available through public data, and knowing what the capacities of these hospitals were in 2018 can give an idea of what these communities are up against.

The numbers were collected from annual cost reports filed by healthcare providers participating in the Medicare and/or Medicaid program. The reports are compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services within their Healthcare Cost Report Information System.

Along with hospital usage rates, the map also shows the percent of county populations over 60 years old. People over 60 are more at risk of dying from COVID-19.