Spectrum Health and HHS partner to expand access to monoclonal antibody therapy and treatment of COVID-19 patients
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 21, 2021 – Spectrum Health, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced today that it is expanding access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb) to reach more individuals, especially those in underserved and disadvantaged communities. In addition to treating patients at the Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital COVID-19 Infusion Clinic, mAb treatment will now be available at most Spectrum Health emergency departments for eligible patients seeking care.
On March 17, 2021, HHS announced it was investing $150 million to increase access to mAb therapy for high-risk patients in underserved and disadvantaged communities across the country. With support from KPMG LLP, HHS is developing new prototype models for expanding access to mAb treatment and leveraging an existing network of health care partners that have the experience and equipment necessary to provide the therapy. Spectrum Health is among the first health care partners to join this national effort to equitably expand access to monoclonal antibodies and has been a national leader in policy, education, and dissemination of this therapy.
“Spectrum Health is pleased to be part of this incredible collaboration to expand our monoclonal antibody program in West Michigan, particularly to our most vulnerable populations,” said Chad Tuttle, senior vice president, Spectrum Health West Michigan operations. “Also, by offering the treatment in our emergency departments, we can treat patients in our regional communities as they seek medical care in the early stages of COVID-19. This treatment may be life changing for our patients, and we want to make it as accessible as possible.”
Spectrum Health will be increasing efforts to inform underserved communities about this treatment option through grassroots community outreach. This builds on Spectrum Health’s established efforts throughout the pandemic to reach the underserved with information about COVID-19 prevention, treatment and vaccine availability. Physicians also will be armed with information to share with patients when they receive positive test results.
“People across the country continue to test positive for COVID-19, and many of them are still at great risk of severe hospitalization and even death from this virus,” said Dr. John Redd, chief medical officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We encourage anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to discuss with their healthcare provider if monoclonal antibody treatment is right for them. We are pleased to partner with leaders in the medical community, like Spectrum Health, to make this treatment more accessible.”
Monoclonal antibody therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use. The therapy has been shown to help high-risk COVID-19 patients avoid hospitalization and recover at home.
Spectrum Health opened its mAb clinic in December 2020 and has treated nearly 1,000 patients to date in the outpatient clinic. If administered within 10 days of onset of COVID-19 symptoms, the one-time therapy may decrease disease progression and reduce the risk of requiring hospitalization. The treatment is administered through intravenous infusion, delivering medication directly into a patient’s bloodstream.
Spectrum Health joins seven other provider organizations with 18 infusion sites sponsored by HHS as part of the federal effort to help end COVID-19 and improve health equity in underserved communities across the country, Infusion sites under this initiative have now been established in Grand Rapids, MI; Landover, MD; San Diego, CA; Detroit, MI; Barnstable County, MA; Houston, TX; Beckley, WV; and Worcester, MA.
How to Access mAb Treatment at Spectrum Health
All patients testing positive for COVID-19 who are interested in mAb treatment at Spectrum should call 616.391.0351 for expedited referral to the most appropriate Spectrum Health location for mAbs treatment. The FDA has expanded eligibility criteria making this treatment available for more patients.
About Crush COVID
A treatment for COVID-19 is here and is available in every state at hundreds of locations across the country. With the help of KPMG, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), state and local health departments, and local hospitals and health clinics, eligible patients will have increased access to mAb treatment in a growing number of underserved and disadvantaged communities through this initiative. Authorized by the FDA, monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb) is available to patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are considered at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. To learn more about eligibility, visit: Regeneron LOA 06032021 (fda.gov) and to find a treatment location near you, visit https://crushcovid.com
- REGEN-COV has not been approved, but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an EUA, to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death; and
- The emergency use of REGEN-COV is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use of drugs and biological products during the COVID-19 pandemic under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated or authorization revoked sooner.
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over 1 million members across the state of Michigan. People are at the heart of everything we do. Locally governed and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are focused on our mission: to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. Spectrum Health has a legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Through experience, innovation and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness.