Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
Some Iowa hospitals ramping up their efforts to treat COVID-19 victims will not survive the pandemic without an infusion of cash, the head of the professional association for those hospitals said. Moreover, an rural-urban split that puts rural hospitals at a disadvantage when attracting resources to treat patients will widen, Iowa Hospital Association President Kirk Norris said in an IowaWatch interview. (IowaWatch)
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are only treating a handful of COVID-19 patients in critical care this week, but leaders are bracing for an influx in the coming weeks by reducing elective surgeries and starting clinical trials on possible virus treatments. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)
As the number of identified coronavirus cases in Iowa continues to grow daily, key questions have emerged: How many Iowans will contract the virus? How many will die because of it? And can the state’s hospital system handle what’s coming? Data projections are beginning to offer clues. A projection is a forecast that uses current conditions. If those conditions change — for instance, if Iowa officials implement more or fewer social distancing measures in response to the virus, or if Iowans follow or flout the rules already established to stop its spread — so does the forecast. (Des Moines Register)
A day after the Eastern Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region denied accepting a letter from Muscatine County rescinding its request to leave the region, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) assigned Muscatine County back into the region for the coming fiscal year. According to an email from region CEO Lori Elam, DHS determined if Muscatine County left the region now, the services being provided would be threatened. (Quad-City Times)
Rural health care systems have, in recent history, been grossly overlooked and underfunded. Now that we are facing a global pandemic, they are scrambling to pick up the slack and are left trying to problem solve a day late and a dollar short. As of Jan. 1, 2020, the rural hospital closure crisis had claimed 120 facilities across the nation over the past 10 years according to a recent study released by the Chartis Group for Rural Health. The study found a sharp uptick in recent years in the number of rural hospital closures from 2017 (when rural hospital closures slowed somewhat to 10 total hospitals closing that year), to 2019, which proved to be the worst year for rural hospital closures, finding 19 hospitals closing their doors that year. (Forbes)
AHA and AVIA are reaching out to all AHA members with a new tool for rapid, critical support to deal with COVID-19. The nationwide roll out of the COVID-19 Digital Response Pulse to all 5,000 members of the AHA provides a free online tool that allows hospitals and health systems to immediately assess critical digital capabilities they will need to meet the challenges of COVID-19 over the weeks and months ahead, and links directly to further information about how members can access and implement the solutions they select. The COVID-19 Pulse shows members where they have gaps in these capabilities and offers specific steps that can be taken now to prevent the spread of the virus, allocate resources, care for the sick and protect clinicians. (Kankakee Daily Journal)
Doctors and nurses on the front lines of the U.S. coronavirus crisis pleaded on Friday for more protective gear and equipment to treat waves of patients expected to overwhelm hospitals as the number of known U.S. infections surpassed 100,000, with more than 1,500 dead. Physicians have called attention to a desperate need for additional ventilators, machines that help patients breathe and are widely needed for those suffering from COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the highly contagious novel coronavirus. (Union Leader)