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Bullock announces plan to boost capacity at hospitals

Posted at 8:27 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 23:28:53-04

Press release from Gov. Steve Bullock's office

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced Monday measures to ensure the state can swiftly acquire the hospital space and medical supplies needed to rapidly respond to a potential surge in COVID-19 cases.

While it’s paramount that Montanans stay vigilant with social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid burdening our health care system, we must also prepare for a potential surge in critically ill patients and ensure there is hospital space and supplies to respond,” Bullock said in a news release. “Today’s actions ensure we can focus on providing urgently needed quality care without delay.”

Bullock’s directive on acquiring hospital space and medical supplies addresses recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advising state and local authorities to plan for a surge of critically ill patients, including identifying and securing additional space to care for patients and the procurement of medical supplies.

The directive issued by Bullock will temporarily waive the bidding process to quickly procure or distribute emergency supplies or contract for additional space to care for patients.

Additionally, the Directive waives strict compliance with reporting requirements around the transfer of certain patients in order to connect patients with the medical care they require quickly and to discharge recovering patients back to their home communities without delay.

It will also streamline the process for releasing patients and discharging them back to their home communities without delay as they recover, which will free up beds and equipment for new patients. The Directive also reduces administrative the paperwork burden for health care providers.