Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|April 21, 2021

Iowa news

How close are Johnston area hospitals to capacity?

The US has reached what health officials have called a “complicated stage” of the COVID-19 pandemic, with cases and hospitalizations increasing in some parts of the country despite the quickening pace of vaccination. Nationally, the seven-day average of new cases, which had fallen steadily from its peak of nearly 250,000 in January, is rising again. Over the week ending April 14, new cases averaged 69,577 — 8.1% higher than during the previous week, when the seven-day average stood at 64,340. More than 31.2 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported since the pandemic began. (

Black Iowans need better mental health resources

The past year has been traumatic enough for communities of color nationwide. In general, we are lacking as a country in mental health services, especially for the Black populations. Black adults in the US are more than 10% more likely to experience mental health challenges than white adults, yet they are more than 10% less likely to receive treatment. Across the board, Iowa has been flailing to provide adequate mental health services. There is an incredibly steep shortage in the number of available beds for mental health crisis, with only 2 beds per 100,000 Iowans available. (The Daily Iowan)

House again votes for reimbursement parity for virtual mental health services

For a second time this year, the Iowa House has voted to require insurance companies to provide equal reimbursement rates for in-person and virtual mental health services. The insurance industry opposes the move and it stalled in the Senate. House members voted to attached their proposal to a bill that calls for a study of how to better track how many inpatient psychiatric beds are available in Iowa hospitals. Representative Eddie Andrews of Johnston says the study be done by year’s end, so legislators can implement any proposed changes in 2022. (Radio Iowa)

National news

Tech use among older adults skyrockets during pandemic

In a year with a global pandemic significantly limiting social interaction, technology became more important than ever, especially for older adults. New research from AARP found that more older adults (44%) view tech more positively as a way stay connected than they did before COVID-19. In addition, 4 out of 5 adults age 50+ rely on technology to stay connected and in touch with family and friends. Yet, the report also found that the greater adoption and reliance on technology is uneven, as 15% of adults 50+ do not have access to any type of internet, and 60% say the cost of high-speed internet is a problem. (HTV10)

UPMC research finds federal policy to reduce sepsis deaths mostly ineffective

UPMC has announced that the first large-scale, multihospital evaluation of an “all or none” federal policy intended to improve outcomes in sepsis patients found that the guidelines are a wash. According to an analysis by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine clinician-scientists of nearly a dozen hospitals in one academic health system, on average the policy neither helped nor hurt despite significant investments in their implementation. The findings, reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, indicate ways the guidelines, known as Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: Management Bundle, or “SEP-1,” could be built on and potentially improved. (The Journal of Healthcare Contracting)

Biden to push for more vaccinations as administration reaches 200 million-dose milestone

President Joe Biden said his administration will increase COVID-19 vaccinations as his administration reaches the goal of administering 200 million shots in his first 100 days in office. That milestone, which Biden doubled in March when it became clear that vaccinations were on pace to meet the goal, translates into about half of US adults having received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, while about a third are fully vaccinated. (NBC News)

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