Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|May 13, 2022

Iowa news

Iowa hospitals chart big dip in margins as operating costs skyrocket

Far from being fiscally on the mend from the pandemic, many Iowa hospitals are continuing to experience financial pain into 2022. Iowa hospitals have collectively amassed $101 million in operating losses in the first two months of 2022, according to data compiled by the Iowa Hospital Association. IHA, along with the American Hospital Association, has been lobbying Congress to extend a moratorium that had temporarily suspended a 2% cut to Medicare reimbursements since May 1, 2020, due to the pandemic. Because the moratorium has not been extended, on April 1 the Medicare reimbursements to hospitals were reduced nationally by 1% and will revert back to a full 2% reduction on July 1 unless Congress acts. (Business Record)

Multilevel mental health services available through UnityPoint Health – Trinity

Where do you go in the Quad Cities if you have a sudden and unexpected mental health crisis? Dr. Michael Bertroche with UnityPoint Health – Trinity says you should go to the emergency department and once your medical needs are met, there are services on site to help assess your mental health needs. He offers more information about patient facilities and programs available through the Robert Young Mental Health Center in the Quad Cities and Muscatine. (KWQC)

With staff care at the core, MercyOne Siouxland adds special spiritual care team to roster

There are some new faces walking the halls of MercyOne Siouxland, but they are not really there for the patients but for staff and they are already leaving their mark on the hospital. “I feel really honored to be invited to help take care of the staff because they’re just as smart as I am. And we have that we walked the same walk and I’m an employee, too.” Lex Woodbury is one of two Spiritual Care Chaplains at MercyOne Siouxland. “Because we know that our nurses and the staff work really hard. So our job is to put some air under their wings.” He and Matt Wentz have been walking the halls of MercyOne since February, interacting with staff or just giving a unit a little spiritual guidance. (KMEG)

National news

Mercy’s app, online platform boosting nurse retention

An app and online platform implemented at St. Louis-based Mercy was able to attract and retain nurse talent, alleviating the burden of staffing shortages. A pilot program featuring an app and platform, that allows Mercy’s full-time and part-time employees and other experienced registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to easily pick up extra shifts, was deployed at Springfield, Missouri-based Mercy Hospital. During the pilot, the program allowed more than 50 nurses to pick up extra shifts, alleviating the stress surrounding staffing issues. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

How COVID-19 vaccines have boosted the development of an HIV vaccine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists worldwide made history. They developed and launched a new vaccine in record-breaking time. Researchers at the Commonwealth Fund estimate the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have averted about 2 million deaths and prevented more than 17 million hospitalizations in the U.S. alone. And there’s been a spillover effect: The pandemic probably accelerated the HIV vaccine field five to 10 years within the span of a year. The technology that made that breakthrough possible, the mRNA technology, is giving a much needed boost to the development of an HIV vaccine. (National Public Radio)

Feds offer $10M for info about hacker group that targets hospitals

The State Department is offering a $10 million reward for information that may lead to the identification or location of people who hold leadership positions in the Conti ransomware group, which has been known to target hospitals and the health care industry. Federal agencies warned health care organizations about the increased use of Conti ransomware, which is known for stealing files, encrypting servers and demanding a ransom payment. In 2021, an analysis from the CyberPeace Institute revealed that the group had completed more than 15 attacks on the health care sector. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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