Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
Iowa’s mental health services seeks two leaders instead of one to replace outgoing administrator
The division in the Department of Human Services that handles mental health services in Iowa is splitting its leadership position in two. The Mental Health and Disability Services Division is seeking to hire two administrators to replace the one longtime division administrator who will retire in the coming weeks, a move that department officials say will ensure adequate focus on the expanding mental health services in Iowa. (The Gazette)
Iowa City doctor seeking more time with patients opens ‘concierge’ practice
Throughout his 29 years as an internal medicine doctor in Iowa City, Dr. Richard Larew felt the pressure building. There were demands to see more patients, meaning he couldn’t spend as much time with each patient as he wished. Larew left hospital practice earlier this year to go into private practice and open Larew Internal Medicine. He’s using an alternative care model called “concierge medicine” that allows him more time with fewer patients – for a fee. In exchange for an annual retainer, Larew limits his patient count, allowing him time for extended visits and agreeing to be available to patients at any time for any medical concern. (The Gazette)
The Legislature and governor claim mental health is important. Will they act?
As former legislators from both parties, we had a front-row seat to the multi-year debate about how to reorganize and improve the adult mental health system in Iowa. That debate culminated in a bill that passed in 2012 and took effect in 2014. It fundamentally restructured what had been a 99-county system into 14 regions and established core services across the state, funded by the mental health property tax levy and Medicaid. (Des Moines Register)
Current flu shot ‘not a very good match’ for most common strain, an NIH director says
According to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this season’s influenza vaccine is “not a very good match” for the B/Victoria strain of the flu, which is the most common strain of the season, CNN reports. Anthony S. Fauci, MD, told CNN that although the flu vaccine is “not an awful match,” it’s not a good match – the vaccine is a 58% match for B/Victoria, CDC data shows. This means there is a 58% chance the vaccine will be matched to the strain and protect against the flu. (Becker’s Hospital Review)
Clinic is taking cues from retail to open the ‘digital front door’ for patients
As patients take increasingly more control over their own healthcare, Carilion Clinic is helping them do so by allowing the retail industry’s consumer-first ethos to drive the Roanoke, Va.-based health system’s digital strategy. Carilion Clinic facilitates digital information-sharing not just by offering a comprehensive online portal where patients can schedule appointments and fill out forms, but with more strategic offerings, such as a library of videos in the portal tailored to each patient’s condition. The videos help patients better understand their diagnoses and guide them through preparation for and recovery from medical procedures. (Becker’s Hospital Review)
Twenty-three rural Colorado hospitals could close under public option, report suggests
Eighty-three percent of hospitals in Colorado would see lower reimbursement under a proposed public insurance option, according to research released by a lobbying group representing hospitals and insurers. Potential financial constraints could put 23 rural hospitals at higher risk of closure. While hospital groups like Colorado’s Health Care Future and the Colorado Hospital Association have largely opposed the bill, proponents argue the proposal could lower health care costs and increase insurance options for consumers. (Becker’s Hospital Review)