Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 10, 2021

Iowa news

COVID-19 vaccine providers rely on truthful Iowans as eligibility expands
COVID-19 vaccine providers will have to trust Iowans declaring underlying health conditions to make vaccine appointments. Monday marked the first day Iowans under age 64 with certain underlying health conditions could receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As pharmacies across the state begin vaccinating the newly qualified group, many will rely on Iowans not to lie about having a qualifying condition. Ann Cochran, a health navigator with the Dallas County Health Department, said patients in her county will be asked what qualifying illness they have, and vaccine providers will be left to hope the patient is honest. Sumpter Pharmacy in Adel also will rely on the honesty of Iowans because it would be difficult to check patients’ health backgrounds. (KCCI)

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says 1 million Iowans will soon be COVID-vaccinated

One year after Iowa saw its first confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday the state is on track to vaccinate 1 million Iowans this week. Reynolds announced the first cases March 8. Since then, there have been more than 360,000 positive tests for coronavirus in the state and more than 5,500 Iowans have died from COVID-19. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa legislators seek tort reform

Iowa legislators are considering three bills related to tort liability and negligence. The bills limit recovery for noneconomic damages for personal injury or death in civil action cases to $1 million, for commercial motor vehicle owners and operators in case of an employee’s negligence, punitive or exemplary damages and in medical malpractice. The current law on damages for medical malpractice includes a “pretty broad” soft cap. Recent cases have caused concerns about medical malpractice insurance rates increasing, making it difficult to recruit physicians, especially specialists, to work in Iowa. Medical practices are closing, and doctors are not providing high risk services, and instead are ordering additional tests to practice “defensive medicine.” (

National news

Two major telehealth orgs team up to expand virtual care training

The American Telemedicine Association and the American Board of Telehealth have announced that they are partnering to expand access to training and education for virtual care. The partnership comes on the heels of the board’s recently launched CORE Concepts in Telehealth Certificate, which consists of seven telemedicine-focused training models. (Healthcare IT News)

Hospitals urge lawmakers to prohibit certain health insurance pharmacy policies

The American Hospital Association is calling on policymakers to curtail some pharmacy policies health insurers use to manage prescription drug distribution to members. According to the hospital association, a number of large private payers are using techniques called “white bagging” and “brown bagging” to manage how drugs are used in patient care. Through white bagging, the association says private payers don’t allow providers to procure and manage a drug for their patients, but rather require a third-party specialty pharmacy to dispense the drug to the provider. Brown bagging is similar to white bagging, but the specialty pharmacy sends the drug directly to the patient, who brings it to their provider. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

The pandemic one year in: Providers struggle with loss of revenue

Although TV footage has shown hospitals overflowing with patients since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US last March, the coffers of many hospitals and other health care providers are far from overflowing. In fact, they are running dry because millions of Americans didn’t get medical care last year and are continuing to put it off this year. “Folks actively avoided going to the emergency department,” says Aaron Wesolowski, vice president of policy research, analytics and strategy for the American Hospital Association. (Managed Healthcare Executive)

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