Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|May 13, 2021

Iowa news

State health officials shift COVID-19 vaccine strategy as demand wanes

Iowa health officials say they’re shifting their strategy for distributing COVID-19 vaccines as demand for the shot continues to decline. The state accepted less than a third of its COVID-19 vaccine allocation from the federal government this week. Just two counties, Monona and Emmett, accepted their entire allocation. Ken Sharp, who directs the state health department’s acute disease prevention, emergency response and environmental health division, told the State Board of Health Wednesday that the agency is now advising vaccine providers to prioritize vaccinating people over wasting doses. (Iowa Public Radio)

Reynolds urges Iowans to ‘lean further into normal,’ return to work

Gov. Kim Reynolds encouraged Iowans to “lean further into normal” after a year of COVID-19 closures, restrictions and precautions. At a visit Wednesday to the Food Bank of Iowa, Reynolds said state employees who have been working remotely would be returning to their offices in upcoming weeks. She encouraged businesses to do the same. Iowa’s average daily COVID-19 cases are down 25% over the last two weeks, according to data from the New York Times, with an average of 295 new cases daily. (Business Journal)

The Veterans Healthcare System created a virtual system to treat veterans during the pandemic

COVID-19 has taken a toll on many things, especially mental health. Iowa being the home to many veterans presented more challenges to the community. Director of Mental Health, Dr. Mark Zerwic said he has noticed three trends develop within patients, due to the increased isolation: increase in PTSD and depression symptoms; coping strategies decreasing in effectiveness; and a rise in substance abuse. With in person services reduced, Dr. Zerwic said the department had to get creative to continue treating patients from home. (KWWL)


National news

What telehealth provisions are now permanent under Arizona’s new law? Five things to know

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed legislation to expand telehealth services and coverage statewide. House Bill 2454, signed by Gov. Ducey Wednesday, May 5, ensures patients can participate in telemedicine services and that physicians are equally reimbursed. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Role of government in health care: Has a ‘tipping point’ been reached?

With great interest, I read a newly released report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Purchaser Business Group on Health about how corporate executives view the role of government when controlling health costs. Let me just say, the findings are not a flattering compliment to the status quo. (David P. Lind Benchmark)

Hold the phone: Audio-only telehealth expanding in New York and other states, but national policies may lag

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a wave of telehealth policy changes nationwide at federal and state levels. Such changes have expanded access to health care and addressed underutilization in chronic disease management while minimizing the risk of exposure for patients seeking care. One such policy change has received widespread attention and support from industry stakeholders and lawmakers alike: expansion of telehealth to include audio-only telephonic communications. But the longevity of telehealth’s expansion to audio-only services remains uncertain as states and the federal government pursue revisions to pandemic-era policies and flexibilities. (The National Law Review)

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