Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|June 1, 2022

Iowa news

Mental health counselors to soon respond to some Des Moines 911 calls

Mental health counselors will respond to some of Des Moines’ 911 calls instead of law enforcement officers, starting in July. The new approach aims to better allocate police resources, reduce arrests and improve access to mental health programs for people in need. The Crisis Advocacy Response Effort could help resolve some cases with as little as a phone conversation and follow-up to keep situations from escalating. (Axios Des Moines)

Health official: Kids need to get COVID-19 boosters before summer starts

Health experts are encouraging Iowans to ensure their children are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations before summer vacation starts. In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its recommendations for booster doses to include children 5-11 years old. Mike Brownlee, chief pharmacy officer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, says kids should be fully vaccinated — and boosted — before heading off to summer activities. “So as we think about where people are traveling to, they may be traveling into areas that are higher risk,” Brownlee says. “We’ve seen that changing throughout the country where, with this new sub variant, it’s still spreading, the virus is still here, the pandemic is still a real thing.” (KJAN)

UnityPoint receives grant to improve maternal health services in rural Iowa

UnityPoint Health has received a grant to help improve its maternal health services. The awarding of the $212,500 grant from Iowa’s Centers of Excellence will allow the medical group to improve access to obstetric care, especially in the region of rural east-central Iowa. The aim is to increase the quality of health services for expecting mothers and their babies. UnityPoint is one of the first organizations to receive a grant from the Centers of Excellence program, which was launched in December 2021 to foster improvements in maternal care services in regional health care providers. (WQAD)

National news

Hospital revenues plummet

Following a brief rebound in March, hospitals and health systems saw significant decreases in revenue in April, according to a Kaufman Hall report. Gross operating, inpatient and outpatient revenues all dropped by about 7% in April compared to March. The decline in revenue was tied to lower patient volume. Patient days were down 5.7% in April compared to March. Patient days were down 1.8% compared to April 2021, according to the report. (Becker’s Hospital CFO Report)

Doctors, nurses risked their lives to battle COVID-19. Now they’re facing a mental health crisis.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy last week issued an advisory about the burnout and resignation crisis in the health care community, underlining the severity of the problem. The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated preexisting morale problems for medical professionals frustrated with changing job demands they say affects their ability to care for patients. Early retirements and career changes could lead to significant shortages in nurses, doctors and other health care workers, hindering future medical care in the U.S. (USA Today)

CMS has cited 69 hospitals for noncompliance with worker vaccine mandate

CMS has cited 69 hospitals for not complying with the agency’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate covering health care facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The mandate, which the Supreme Court upheld Jan. 13, requires health care facilities to establish a policy ensuring eligible workers are fully vaccinated, with exemptions allowed based on religious beliefs or recognized medical conditions. As of February, up to one-third of nurses remained unvaccinated at some facilities. CMS is working to bring the 69 cited hospitals into compliance. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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