Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|May 25, 2021

Iowa news

EMS bill finally sees passage

A bill that Lee County officials have wanted for years made it to the finish line at the last minute Wednesday night. Legislation that allows for a new local property levy to provide funding for emergency medical services was approved just before adjournment of the 2021 session. (Fort Madison Daily Democrat)

Pandemic raises pressure on rural health care

Since 2010, about 130 rural hospitals in the United States have closed. In Iowa, there are about 90 rural hospitals and about 20% of those are likely at risk, according to Bill Menner, executive director of the Iowa Rural Health Association. He adds some hospitals that remain open have eliminated some services, such as obstetrics. The result is that although Iowans may be having fewer babies, they also must drive further to have those babies in a birthing center. (Delaware County News Network)

Opinion: After pandemic, don’t let Congress stand in the way of further health care innovation

Over the past year, Iowans have graciously worn their masks, engaged in social distancing and weathered the COVID-19 storm. That patience and dedication may finally be paying off: The pandemic might soon be ending. According to the most recent data, new COVID-19 cases in the state have declined to just over 400 per day, down from the November 2020 high of more than 5,000. Iowa, it would seem, has the coronavirus on the ropes. And that’s a reality we couldn’t have achieved without America’s biopharmaceutical companies. After all, they provided the crucial difference-maker in the fight against the virus: vaccines. (Des Moines Register)

National news

Moderna says its vaccine is highly effective in adolescents

Moderna has said that its coronavirus vaccine, authorized only for use in adults, was powerfully effective in 12- to 17-year-olds, and that it planned to apply to the Food and Drug Administration in June for authorization to use the vaccine in adolescents. If approved, its vaccine would become the second COVID-19 vaccine available to US adolescents. Federal regulators authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this month for 12- to 15-year-olds. (The New York Times)

Opinion: COVID-19 masks save American lives. They still can (and should) post-pandemic.

As an emergency physician, there are many things I won’t miss when the COVID-19 pandemic is finally brought under control. I won’t miss having to wear full personal protective equipment for every hospital shift. I won’t miss having to tell a patient’s family they can’t visit their loved one in the emergency department. I won’t miss wondering whether I’m bringing the virus home to my family. Most of all, I won’t miss treating the rooms full of people, gasping for breath from this virus, hoping the few effective treatments available will save their lives. (NBC News)

Pandemic leads doctors to rethink unnecessary treatment

COVID-19 is opening the door for researchers to address a problem that has vexed the medical community for decades: the overtreatment and unnecessary treatment of patients. On one hand, the pandemic caused major health setbacks for non-COVID-19 patients who were forced to, or chose to, avoid tests and treatments for various illnesses. On the other hand, in cases in which no harm was done by delays or cancellations, medical experts can now reevaluate whether those procedures are truly necessary. (Kaiser Health News)

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