Today’s NewsStand — March 10, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — March 10, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 10, 2020

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.

Iowa News       

Iowa’s rural health care crisis focus of forum discussion
From the high cost of insulin to the closing of maternity wards to workforce shortages of doctors and nurses, a rural health care crisis exists in Iowa. And it will only become worse if the Affordable Care Act is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Therefore, keeping the ACA is a top priority of four public interest groups who sponsored Rural Health Care Crisis: The State of Rural Health Care Access in Iowa forum Thursday at the Marshalltown Public Library. (Marshalltown Times-Republican)

Eastern Iowa hospitals temporarily implement visitor restrictions
Both Genesis Health Systems and UnityPoint Health – Trinity in the Quad Cities have implemented temporary visitor restrictions due to the continuing widespread influenza activity in the area, as well as in response to the global outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The health risks from cold and flu remain high, so these restrictions will help keep patients and staff safe. While the risk from the Coronavirus is currently low in the region, these restrictions serve as a preventative measure for that virus. (Our Quad Cities)

Cedar Rapids hospitals to limit patient visitors
Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids hope limiting patient visitors will help prevent the spread of seasonal influenza and other respiratory viruses. The hospitals released a joint statement. Starting Friday, visitors will be limited to two adults per patient room. Special circumstances apply to end-of-life or critically ill patients. The hospitals said children are allowed to visit for the time being. (KCRG)

National News

Chaos at hospitals due to shortage of coronavirus testing
As COVID-19 cases spike, the testing needed to help stem the spread of the disease remains below what is needed to address the growing crisis, with health care workers across the state reporting widespread failings in the response by local and federal government officials. Federal officials said nearly 1 million tests were expected to be available by the end of last week. But in California, one of the country’s hardest-hit regions with 60 cases, the total testing capacity was limited to only 7,400 through the weekend, according to the California Department of Public Health. (Los Angeles Times)

Congress punts hospital coronavirus payment decisions to agencies, states
Lawmakers decided to leave hospital reimbursement for their response to the COVID-19 outbreak to federal agencies and states in an $8.3 billion emergency aid package announced Wednesday. The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the funding bill on Wednesday, and the Senate could also vote as soon as Thursday to send the funding bill to President Donald Trump’s desk. The package provides $2.2 billion to support federal and local state health agencies, including $950 million for state and local governments to conduct testing and other response activities. (Modern Healthcare)

Colorado public option fight kicks off as hospitals push alternative
Colorado lawmakers unveiled legislation on Thursday that would create a privately administered public insurance option in the individual market, but hospitals are instead pushing an alternative policy. The Colorado Hospital Association opposes the public option program, which was developed by the state government and has been pushed by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis. Insurers and hospitals would be required to participate in the plan. (Modern Healthcare)

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