Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|June 30, 2021

Iowa news

92% of Iowa nursing homes had at least one resident test positive for COVID-19

Since the coronavirus came to Iowa, COVID-19 struck nearly every nursing home in the state and thousands of elderly residents, a review of federal data shows. Fewer than 10% of nursing homes, 33 of Iowa’s 431 such facilities, have reported no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among their residents, and only three reported zero confirmed cases among either residents and staff. Where the disease did strike, it often devastated the fragile population. (Des Moines Register)

Baumert reflects on 40 years with Jennie Edmundson Hospital

Today, June 30, Steve Baumert will walk into Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital one last time as president and CEO. Baumert came to the hospital in 1981 and worked his way up through a variety of administrative roles before taking over in 2007. Baumert’s first job was at the Omaha Veterans Affairs hospital, where he worked for three years as a physical therapist before taking the assistant director of physical therapy job at Jennie Edmundson in 1981. (The Daily Nonpareil)

Quad-City hospital networks not yet requiring employees to be vaccinated

Quad-Cities hospitals are reporting higher-than-average vaccination rates among employees, but major health networks in the area are still holding off on requiring workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Hospitals nationwide are grappling with whether and when to mandate a COVID-19 vaccine for employees as ground zero for COVID-19 patients. Legally, vaccine mandates in hospitals, whose workers have faced the brunt of the pandemic, have held up in court. And more entities such as hospitals and universities are moving to require it, even under an emergency-use authorization. (Quad-City Times)

National news

Supreme Court upholds site-neutral pay cuts

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal challenging HHS’ site-neutral payment policy, allowing reimbursement cuts to move forward. In its final Outpatient Prospective Payment System rule of 2019, CMS made payments for clinic visits site neutral by reducing the payment rate for evaluation and management services provided at off-campus, provider-based departments. In an attempt to overturn the rule, the American Hospital Association and dozens of hospitals sued CMS, arguing that it exceeded its authority when it finalized the cuts in the rule. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Hospitals decry extending Medicare cuts to pay for infrastructure bill

Not only did hospitals not get the money they sought in President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure package, they could actually see Medicare payment cuts under the proposal. Under the framework Biden announced alongside Democratic and Republican senators at the White House last week, Medicare reimbursement reductions would help cover the legislation’s $1.2 trillion cost. The plan would reduce Medicare payments to hospitals and other providers by 2% through at least 2031. (Modern Healthcare)

Hospitals employed nearly half of physicians by January 2021

Hospitals employed 49.3% of physicians by January 2021, up 5% from January 2019, according to an updated study from the nonprofit Physicians Advocacy Institute and Avalere. For the study, researchers examined data about physician practice acquisition and hospital and health system ownership from Jan. 1, 2019, to Jan. 1, 2021. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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