Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
Scammers are targeting older Iowans and those with serious long-term health conditions who appear to have a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. Fraudsters try to bill Medicare for fake or sham tests and “treatments” related to the coronavirus, and are targeting individuals to illegally obtain money or Medicare numbers. (Quad City Times)
Mental health is one of the biggest issues Polk County leaders are worried about as COVID-19 continues to spread across Iowa. The Polk County Board of Supervisors wants residents to know that being aware of mental wellness is just as important as being aware of COVID-19. Supervisor Angela Connolly believes that anxiety will “spike” due to COVID-19 concerns. (WeAreIowa.com)
In these times of facing the pandemic of COVID-19, there is a message that the state’s health care workers and I wish to share: We stand with you. We’re making sure we have every tool in our toolkit to fight this thing together. From my vantage point, there is a lot of room for hope. (Des Moines Register)
Although initial reports suggest that most children and teens are not at high risk of dying from COVID-19, the pandemic is threatening their health in other ways. Children’s hospitals are facing the same supply shortages and testing backlogs that have been hampering adult hospitals nationally. Many are running out of protective masks and gowns, and without widespread testing, pediatric doctors can’t know for certain how many of their patients are infected with the virus, making it difficult to control its spread. (NBCNews.com)
Of all the ways the coronavirus pandemic has undermined the conventions of normal life, perhaps none is as cruel as the separation of seriously ill patients and their loved ones, now mandated at hospitals around the world. Hospitals in all 50 states and dozens of countries are barring visitors. Lobbies are bare, visitor parking lots empty, flower deliveries stopped. The number of accessible entry points has been reduced, and security guards and staff are posted at those that remain to turn away patients’ relatives and friends. (The New York Times)
Dec. 4, 2019, the American Hospital Association and several hospital associations and hospitals filed suit against the Secretary of Health and Human Services to challenge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ final rule on price transparency. The final rule, among other things, requires hospitals to publicly disclose “payer-specific negotiated charges,” meaning the specific rates that a hospital has negotiated for all items and services with each third party payer. In their motion for summary judgment, the plaintiffs argued that the final rule was unlawful because it exceeds CMS’s statutory authority in the Public Health Service Act by effectively re-defining “standard charges” to include “payer-specific negotiated charges,” violates the First Amendment by mandating compelling disclosure of highly confidential pricing data in a way that fails to advance a substantial government interest and does not achieve the goal of transparency in health care pricing. (JD Supra)