Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|April 7, 2021

Iowa news

Bill to change mental health funding passes Senate

The Senate passed a wide-ranging bill Tuesday evening that would change how the state funds mental health services, accelerate tax cuts and reduce tax breaks for preserved forest land. Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs, said Senate File 587 was “the first substantive piece of legislation” he had seen in either chamber addressing mental health funding. The bill would fund mental health services through state appropriations, rather than county property taxes. Republican lawmakers have said the mental health funding changes would lead to more money in the system. Dawson said a state-funded system would also eliminate disparities between different areas. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Child Life creates a home within the Stead Family Children’s Hospital

For kids and teenagers staying in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, the world narrows. Many patients cannot venture from the hospital for more than a short walk outside, if their treatment allows them to leave their floor at all. The pandemic has shrunk 17-year-old Shane Mullnix’s world to just his hospital room. He occasionally has the opportunity to go on a walk around the floor, but the only sun he’s getting comes from the large windows in his room. That window served as a backdrop during a Zoom interview with The Daily Iowan, casting Shane and his mother, Tina Mullnix, into shadow. They sat on a couch together, Shane’s face bare and Tina’s covered by a disposable mask. (The Daily Iowan)

UnityPoint Allen Hospital staff weighs in on pandemic one year

It’s been more than a year since the coronavirus came to Iowa. However, the virus is still being fought by frontline health care workers. Chief Nursing Officer Sarah Brown says her departments have been working together strategically to battle back COVID-19. “I don’t think any of us knew the impact COVID-19 was going to have on today’s society,” Brown says. Brown says there’s been times over the year where education was needed for those who didn’t take virus mitigation seriously. (KWWL)

National news

Scientists race to develop next generation of COVID-19 vaccines

The three COVID-19 vaccines available in the US are safe and effective and were made in record time. But they aren’t ideal. An ideal vaccine — besides being safe and effective — would have a few other desirable characteristics, says Deborah Fuller, a vaccine researcher at the University of Washington. Such a vaccine would be “administered in a single shot, be room temperature stable, work in all demographics and, even pushed beyond that, ideally be self-administered,” she says. Now, researchers are racing to develop the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines, using a variety of innovative technologies to produce more convenient and more potent options. Some of the new vaccines are already being tested in volunteers and could even be available for distribution in the next year. (National Public Radio)

Half of new COVID cases are in just 5 states; 80% of teachers, childcare workers are vaccinated.

Nearly half of new coronavirus infections nationwide are in just five states — a situation that is putting pressure on the federal government to consider changing how it distributes vaccines by sending more doses to hot spots. New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey together reported 44% of the nation’s new COVID-19 infections, or nearly 197,500 new cases, in the latest available seven-day period, according to state health agency data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Total US infections during the same week numbered more than 452,000. (USA Today)

Hospital adjusted expenses per inpatient day across 50 states

Kaiser Family Foundation has provided adjusted expenses per inpatient day in 2019, by hospital ownership type, in all 50 states and Washington, DC. These figures, which are based on information from the 2019 American Hospital Association Annual Survey, include all operating and nonoperating expenses for registered U.S. community hospitals, defined as public, nonfederal, short-term general and other hospitals. The figures are an estimate of the expenses incurred in a day of inpatient care and have been adjusted higher to reflect an estimate of the volume of outpatient services, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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