Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
Iowa City’s Mercy Hospital is closing inpatient care due to financial problems and most patients needing outpatient care. Getting rid completely of inpatient care takes away a resource many patients with mental health issues need. People who are suicidal, aggressive, threatening, using substances, or experiencing psychosis need inpatient care for stabilization. Even if inpatient care isn’t the most needed service, there are people in Iowa City who need it. Where are they going to once Mercy closes it? The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics are overwhelmed with psychiatric patients. (The Daily Iowan)
More than 200 Mercy Medical Center employees will be placed on furloughs or leave, a decision reflecting the significant financial headwinds the Cedar Rapids hospital — and other health systems nationwide — face from the COVID-19 pandemic. The personnel decision was part of Mercy Medical officials’ efforts to ensure that the system’s financial strength continues “now and into the future,” according to a statement Friday to The Gazette confirming the staffing changes. (The Gazette)
US News and World Report evaluated 123 hospitals in Iowa. Eight meet high US News and World Report standards and are ranked in the state. US News and World Report also ranked hospitals in the Des Moines metro area. The No. 1 hospital in Iowa is the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. (US News and World Report)
Although telehealth use has increased in response to COVID-19 and patient satisfaction also has improved with the service, access barriers still exist for patients, including those at high risk, according to J.D. Power. (dbusiness.com)
Behind only the economy, health care was the second-most-important issue highlighted by respondents to the DTN/The Progressive Farmer poll conducted last month by Zogby Analytics. Forty-eight percent of participants in the survey said health care is a major issue for them in the upcoming election. Most respondents to the Zogby poll favor repealing the Affordable Care Act. Those wanting to repeal carried a 7-percentage-point advantage over those who oppose repealing it (43% to 36%). More respondents to the poll also did not think the act has improved their ability to purchase health insurance. (DTN The Progressive Farmer)
It’s not as if office visits were ever that great. Nobody in their right mind has any love for long waiting times, paper gowns or chilly exam rooms where you can’t even get cellphone reception. Yet when the COVID-19 outbreak abruptly interrupted my own medical plans this year, I dreaded the thought of moving the process over to telemedicine. I anticipated adding to my already considerable Zoom fatigue, feeling rushed and depersonalized. What I found instead was a whole new way approach health care — one that might bring more humanity into the process, for patients and doctors alike. (Salon)