Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 22, 2021

Iowa news

Des Moines University’s new $4M telehealth center to create nearly 700 jobs

Des Moines University will use $4 million in grant and investment funds to open a new telehealth training center, which will create hundreds of new jobs. The university will receive $2 million in funding from the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and an additional $2 million in local investments. The new project is expected to create 678 jobs and will allow Des Moines University to buy equipment for the telehealth training center. The center will let students train with both simulated and live patients to better prepare for delivering care via telemedicine technologies. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

More than 146,000 Iowans have completed COVID-19 vaccinations

In the nearly 10 weeks since the first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Iowa, 146,050 people in the state had completed receiving both of the required doses as of Sunday morning, state records show. That was an increase of 2,384 people over the total reported a day earlier by Iowa public health officials. Iowa remains in Phase 1B of the rollout — focusing on people age 65 and over, first responders and schoolteachers among other priorities. (The Gazette)

Iowa doctors link pandemic to increase in teen suicide attempts

Iowa doctors say they’re seeing an alarming increase in teen suicide attempts. Dr. Ken Cheyne says the pandemic is largely to blame and action can be taken now to confront the issue. He says teens are missing out on the support they need and increasingly feeling alone. Dr. Cheyne says at the end of January, the Iowa Poison Control Center noticed a major increase in 11 to 14-year-old girls attempting to hurt themselves by ingesting medication. (KCCI)


National news

Medicare cuts payment to 774 hospitals over patient complications

The federal government has penalized 774 hospitals for having the highest rates of patient infections or other potentially avoidable medical complications. Those hospitals, which include some of the nation’s marquee medical centers, will lose 1% of their Medicare payments over 12 months. The penalties, based on patients who stayed in the hospitals anytime between mid-2017 and 2019, before the pandemic, are not related to covid-19. They were levied under a program created by the Affordable Care Act that uses the threat of losing Medicare money to motivate hospitals to protect patients from harm. (Kaiser Health News)

How the virtual care industry will evolve in 2021

In no area of our society has the pandemic caused more upheaval than in the health care industry. Hospitals and health systems have been forced to make difficult decisions about staffing and resources in response to the overwhelming number of virus patients, while doctors and patients have embraced virtual-care solutions in unprecedented numbers for COVID-19- and non-COVID-19-related issues alike. Providers are now seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients by virtual care solutions than they did before COVID-19, while the number of US consumers using telehealth grew from 11% in 2019 to 46% in 2020. (Healthcare Global)

Declines in hospital volume amid COVID-19, state by state

US hospitals saw patient volume for CMS-defined shoppable services drop an average of 35.2% in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, according to a new analysis from Hospital Pricing Specialists. For the analysis, Hospital Pricing Specialists reviewed volume data on 68 procedural terminology codes on the CMS-mandated list of shoppable services. The analysis, which sought to understand how patient volume was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, compared volume in the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Become a hospital advocate. Sign up for IHA Action Alerts.

Click here