Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 15, 2021

Iowa news

Iowa cancels plan to select vendor for vaccine call center

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration informed bidders Friday it would not award a contract for an outside vendor to operate a call center to help residents set up coronavirus vaccine appointments. The Iowa Department of Public Health informed several companies that had submitted emergency bids for the contract last week that it would not select any of them and was “continuing to evaluate call center solutions.” The department’s notice did not elaborate but cited an administrative rule that allows for bidding processes to be cancelled when in the state’s interest. (Des Moines Register)

Mercy Iowa City to protest UI hospital proposal

Mercy Iowa City is protesting the University of Iowa Health Care’s proposal to build a new
$230 million hospital in North Liberty. Leaders from Mercy Iowa City presented remarks Friday during a conference call to share their beliefs that the proposed hospital is not a prudent use of taxpayer funds. According to a release from Mercy Iowa City, many area hospitals are opposed to Iowa taxpayers funding a hospital that would duplicate services in the region and unnecessarily compete with community hospitals. (The Corridor Business Journal)

CDC confirms 5 more cases of UK coronavirus variant in Iowa

Five more cases of a more transmissible version of the novel coronavirus, commonly known as the UK variant, have been confirmed in Iowa, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The variant, formally known as B.1.1.7, was first discovered in the United Kingdom. It spreads more easily than the version of the virus at the heart of the pandemic. Some experts warn it may be deadlier than the coronavirus that began spreading worldwide last year, but more scientific studies are needed to confirm this, according to the CDC. The CDC reported eight total cases in Iowa by last Thursday. The new update does not specify which counties the variant was detected in. (Des Moines Register)

National news

FDA agrees Moderna can increase the amount of vaccine in each vial

The Food and Drug Administration has informed the drugmaker Moderna that it can put up to 40% more coronavirus vaccine into each of its vials, a simple and potentially rapid way to bolster strained supplies, according to people familiar with the company’s operations. Although federal officials want Moderna to submit more data showing the switch would not compromise vaccine quality, the continuing discussions are a hopeful sign that the nation’s vaccine stock could increase faster than expected, simply by allowing the company to load up to 14 doses in each vial instead of 10. (New York Times)

How coronavirus vaccines will make their way from adults to children

As the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations among adults picks up, many parents are wondering when the vaccine will be deemed safe enough for children. Most new drugs and vaccines are tested first in adults to ensure they are safe and effective before moving on to children and other vulnerable groups, and while studies in children are now ongoing, the COVID-19 vaccines that are available have yet to be authorized for use in young children. (ABC News)

LifePoint in talks to acquire 30-hospital system

Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Health is in talks to buy Ardent Health Services, a 30-hospital network based in Nashville, Tenn.. The deal would create an entity worth $10 billion, including debt. It would value Ardent Health at more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the talks. LifePoint, which is owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, would purchase Ardent Health from Equity Group Investments, which became the owner of Ardent in 2015. Ardent Health operates acute care hospitals and clinics in growing urban and suburban areas in six states. LifePoint operates more than 80 hospitals in mainly rural communities. If the deal is reached, it would be a move by LifePoint to diversify into larger hospitals and clinics in densely populated areas. (Wall Street Journal)

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