Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 1, 2021

Iowa news

MercyOne celebrates second year providing care as a unified health system

MercyOne, one of the largest health care systems in the state with more than 20,000 colleagues, including doctors and providers, celebrated its second birthday Monday, Feb. 1. This date marks the uniting of 420 care locations statewide and neighboring communities to come together to advance the health and well-being of all patients. Two years ago, MercyOne announced its new brand and unified approach as a key step in connecting its many points of care. The consolidated health system is designed to make it easier and more convenient for everyone to identify care locations and enhance statewide coordination of medical expertise and services and to ensure consistent patient care experiences across all MercyOne locations. (

Iowa Department of Health says limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines available for Phase 1B

The Iowa Department of Public Health says the supply of vaccine will be very limited as Phase 1B begins. Thursday, Jan. 21, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced changes to the priority population for receiving a Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccination. These changes included extending the eligibility age to 65 years and older and placed the priority populations who are vulnerable to high risk of exposure or severity of illness in order of priority. These populations are organized into tiers and those 65 years and older are eligible throughout the entire portion of Phase 1B and going forward. (KGAN)

‘Very frustrated’ Polk County officials address shortage of COVID-19 vaccines

Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly said county officials are frustrated by a shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses and changing state recommendations on who should get the vaccine. “We are very frustrated because we have had many of the process and procedures in place to vaccinate a large number of people, but we simply don’t have enough vaccines and health department staff is working around the clock to administer the small amount of vaccine that we have,” Connolly said. “We were surprised when the recommendation was made to open availability to people 65 plus without an increase in supply and we weren’t ready. And I’m apologizing for this but make no mistake, we take care of our seniors.” (KCCI)


National news

Biden takes first step toward bolstering Obamacare

President Joe Biden is taking the first step toward rebuilding Obamacare, ushering in a new era for the health care law after a decade of Republican attacks. The Biden administration has announced it’s throwing open the doors to the law’s enrollment site,, making it easier for the uninsured to get coverage during the pandemic. It is also planning to restore some Obamacare marketing funds that the Trump administration had gutted, and it will soon begin reviewing whether to revoke the previous administration’s changes seen as undermining the health law and Medicaid. (Politico)

Washington is awash in new and reintroduced telehealth bills

The telehealth bills are starting to pile up on Capitol Hill. In advance of the next session of Congress, lawmakers are scrambling to file new bills or resubmit old bills that aim to expand telehealth access and coverage through and beyond the coronavirus pandemic. At least three more bills have been filed over the past two weeks, each seeking to expand connected health access and coverage either during or beyond the coronavirus pandemic. (

Here’s how Biden could help fix the rural health care crisis

Rural hospitals have struggled with financial troubles for years. Over the past decade, more than 130 have closed, forcing residents to drive farther or delay needed care. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has many of them wondering whether rural health care systems will survive. Twenty percent of the US population lives in rural America, a region that fuels the country with food and energy. These Americans believe their health care needs have been overlooked or misunderstood by Washington for years. (In These Times)

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