Rising Hospital Caseloads

January 09, 2023

Omicron put nearly 3,500 Marylanders in your hospital beds on one day—January 11, 2022. Around that time, 15 Maryland hospitals made the extraordinary decision to adopt crisis standards of care.

Now, some MHA members are again considering special measures as high numbers of hospital admissions strain facilities and personnel.

COVID hospitalizations are spiking, though not as sharply as last year—a consequence of holiday gatherings and the new, highly transmissible XBB.1.5 variant. Most hospitals are more than 90% full. With almost 900 COVID inpatients reported last Friday, there are signs Maryland may peak at or above 1,200 in the next week.

Please tell us if your hospital is facing burdens that would prompt you to move to contingency or crisis standards of care.

We know you and your teams have been through this before and are prepared to continue saving lives through the new surge. To support our members, MHA also is releasing public messaging to encourage Marylanders to seek emergency department care only in true medical emergencies. We’ve compiled several resources:

Physician leaders—Gabe Kelen of Johns Hopkins Medicine; David Marcozzi of the University of Maryland Medical System; Jason Marx, formerly of UMMS and now with UPMC; and Allen Kachalia of Johns Hopkins Medicine—recently compiled objective measures to help hospitals and health systems manage future pandemics. In this NEJM Catalyst commentary , they share criteria and associated triggers to help acute care health organizations manage around crisis standards of care.

We are here for you as you work through these fresh challenges and will keep you informed, as we always do.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO 

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