Today’s NewsStand — May 28, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — May 28, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|May 27, 2020

Iowa news

COVID-19 has clinical and financial implications for Iowa hospitals

Rightfully, most attention now is on the front-line care Iowa hospitals are providing for patients stricken with COVID-19. Yet, it’s the financial repercussions of this pandemic that may be more threatening to the future of Iowa hospitals. Collectively, Iowa hospitals could lose more than $1.4 billion through September, according to financial modeling by CliftonLarsonAllen, a well-known audit and consulting firm. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

Iowa nursing homes face shortfall in Medicaid reimbursement

The head of the trade association for long-term care facilities in Iowa says 52% of nursing home operating income is dependent on Medicaid payments. Brent Willett , President and CEO of the Iowa Health Care Association, says due to Medicaid reimbursement rates, there’s a shortfall. “The Medicaid system was designed never for facilities to make a dollar on Medicaid. It was designed to cover the cost of an Iowan receiving care, so that facility could do that,” Willet says. “Currently our state share shortfall of Medicaid is about $32 million.” (RadioIowa)

A stressful time, a stressful birth and a hospital policy that prioritizes safety first

Feeling some unusual cramping in the final trimester of her first pregnancy, Lindsay Azarbod tried several times to be seen at a UnityPoint Health clinic to make sure that all was OK. She was 34 weeks pregnant. Her last check-up with her OB-GYN had been postponed for two weeks because of the coronavirus. (Des Moines Register)

National news

Vaccines are integral part of chronic disease management

Chronic care management has, at its core, the goal of reducing the risk of disease progression and the risk of complications. Effective and efficient management of chronic medical conditions are key components of population health and reducing healthcare costs overall. Many medical conditions increase the risk of severe disease from infections, including vaccine preventable diseases. And, conversely, infections can exacerbate chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, COPD and asthma. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

USDA makes changes to increase use of telehealth

The US Department of Agriculture has announced service changes to increase the use of telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture Bette Brand recently released a summary of those changes, which will have a significant impact on health care in rural areas. The measures include allowing rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to serve as “distant site” providers, increasing the types of services that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can deliver via telehealth and allowing certain telehealth services to be delivered to Medicare recipients by phone. (Pahrump Valley Times)

Telehealth might fill a healthcare gap, but providers still face a big revenue hole

As physician practices and hospital systems see a dramatic decrease in the number of patients entering their offices — if those offices are open at all — many have resorted to telemedicine to keep billings coming in. But reimbursements by insurance companies to see patients remotely can’t replace the billions of dollars healthcare providers have lost during the coronavirus pandemic thus far. (BisNow)

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