Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 14, 2022

Iowa news

5 charts show how Iowa’s second year of the COVID pandemic compared to its first

March 8 marked two years since the first cases of COVID-19 in Iowa were announced to the public. Since then, more than 750,000 Iowans have contracted the disease, and more than 9,000 have died from it. And much like new variants have changed the predominant strain of coronavirus over the past year and forced health experts to adjust, the pandemic itself has changed plenty since the outset. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa marks second anniversary of COVID-19

Last Tuesday marked the second anniversary since the novel coronavirus arrived in Iowa, bringing the state into the pandemic that caused repercussions still being felt to this day. COVID-19 has touched the lives of tens of thousands of Iowans since its arrival in March 2020. According to the latest data from the state public health department, more than 9,000 Iowans have died because of COVID-19 and thousands more infected patients have been in critical condition in hospitals statewide. The first COVID-19 cases in Iowa were announced by Gov. Kim Reynolds on March 8, 2020, and were linked to an group of Iowans who had traveled to Egypt in late February 2020. (The Gazette)

Iowans’ support for non-COVID vaccine requirements in schools erodes, Iowa Poll finds

Support for strict vaccination requirements for schoolchildren has fallen in Iowa, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows. Just 34% of Iowa adults now say children should be required to receive standard shots unless they have a provider-signed statement showing they have a medical reason not to be vaccinated, the poll shows. That’s down from 59% who supported such a requirement in 2015, when the Iowa Poll asked a similar question about childhood vaccinations. (Des Moines Register)

National news

There’s a big caveat in the telehealth expansion that Congress just passed

Congress passed its 2022 omnibus spending bill, expanding coverage of telehealth services under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — a big win for telehealth companies and the more than 130 million patients who rely on socialized medicine. But some experts warn that as more telehealth services become covered by insurers, the government may lose interest in health care initiatives that get patients the most care for their dollar. (Fast Company)

Merck antiviral used more than expected

Physicians have been prescribing Merck’s COVID-19 antiviral at higher-than-expected rates amid shortages of Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid, Clinical trial results show Paxlovid is more effective than Merck’s molnupiravir, spurring the FDA to recommend clinicians use the latter only when alternative treatment options are not accessible or clinically appropriate. But U.S. prescriptions for the antiviral pills have been comparable since they were authorized in December 2021. About 74,700 prescriptions for Merck’s pill were filled through Feb. 25, compared to about 79,150 for Pfizer’s. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Telehealth app Cerebral could be fueling addiction crisis, former employees say

Telepsychiatry app Cerebral has grown explosively during the pandemic, but 27 former employees said the company could be fueling a new addiction crisis. Prescribing regulations were relaxed during the pandemic, allowing providers to prescribe addictive drugs without requiring an in-person examination. Some Cerebral employees feel Cerebral is taking advantage of these relaxed rules, and the app’s providers are pressured to prescribe medicines after short video visits. Former employees also expressed concerns that appointments are too short, follow-up sessions are scheduled infrequently and advertisements are too aggressive. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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