Mary Free Bed expands patient capacity to reduce strain on hospitals

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West Michigan general acute care hospitals are seeing a significant surge of patients with COVID-19, and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital officials are adding temporary beds to help reduce the strain. Courtesy Mary Free Bed

Mary Free Bed is working to help local hospitals by expanding its rehabilitation patient capacity.

West Michigan general acute care hospitals are seeing a significant surge of patients with COVID-19, and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital officials are adding temporary beds to help reduce the strain.

“We’re in regular contact with our colleagues at West Michigan hospitals, and we’re happy to provide this assistance,” Mary Free Bed CEO Kent Riddle said. “This is truly a community effort to ensure residents receive all the types of care they need.”

The current temporary bed expansion is part of an original request made to the state of Michigan in April during the first COVID-19 surge for 83 additional beds. This fall, Mary Free Bed took revisions to that plan back to state officials and currently is focusing on 33 additional beds.

The state approved the additional beds, and the first 14 are operational. When needed, a second phase of 19 more beds will be put into operation.

These beds are for patients who need rehabilitation for the wide range of conditions and diagnoses Mary Free Bed typically treats. By taking these patients, it frees up beds and makes staff available for the growing number of COVID-19 patients needing care at general acute care hospitals.

The Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Network includes 38 hospitals in Michigan and Indiana. Mary Free Bed manages rehabilitation care for 351 inpatient beds with an extensive outpatient system.

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