Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|June 6, 2022

Iowa news

Alcohol use was a problem in Iowa. Then the pandemic hit.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol use has soared — and the health impacts of increased alcohol consumption are already being seen. The number of death certificates that listed alcohol as a factor jumped between 2019 and 2020, according to a peer-reviewed study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism published in March. “We found a 26% increase in deaths, which is huge given that in the past 20 years, we were seeing maybe about a 2% increase per year,” said Aaron White, the lead researcher on the report and the senior scientific advisor to the director at the NIAA. (Iowa Public Radio)

What to do if you can’t find baby formula

Parents nationwide are having a difficult time finding their regular brand of infant formula as supply chain issues combined with a manufacturing recall have created a serious shortage. Rami Boutros, M.D., MBA, division director of general pediatrics at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at UI Carver College of Medicine, provides tips about how parents can cope with the shortage. (University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital)

Regents approve 6% University of Iowa hospitals rate hike

Continuing what has become an annual University of Iowa Health Care cost increases, the Board of Regents on Wednesday approved a 6% patient rate hike — which officials said could have been higher given the economy. Although UIHC officials report the institution’s charge levels are “relatively low compared to peer academic institutions,” the university also is limited on increases by payer contracts. The higher rates will go into effect July 1. (The Gazette)

National news

U.S. COVID-19 cases fall for first time since March

The nation’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases has decreased for the first time since late March, according to the CDC’s latest COVID-19 data tracker weekly review. As of June 1, the nation’s seven-day case average was 100,684, an 8.5% decrease from the previous week’s average. COVID-19 cases hit record levels in January amid the omicron surge with a seven-day average of more than 800,000 and consistently fell nationwide through March. The nation’s seven-day case average plateaued at 24,805 on March 29 and rose steadily throughout April and May as highly transmissible omicron subvariants spread nationwide. It’s still unclear whether the latest drop in cases will be a continued trend. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

10 signs your board has a strong pulse

Great systems are usually governed by great boards made up of people who match 10 descriptions. Great board members do more than comply with corporate governance structure and rules. Too often, board members have loose ties to one another, are passive to the wants and views of the CEO or are not as informed about the specifics of health care as they ought to be. We view all of these traits, and more, as signs that a board has lost its charge and is no longer effectively governing. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Congress action necessary to prevent rural hospital closures

A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center concludes Congress needs to make bold policy decisions quickly to keep more than 400 rural hospitals from closing because of financial burdens caused by the end of federal COVID-19 funding. The report surveyed stakeholders in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming to get insights into challenges facing rural hospitals. The center also talked to state and federal health policy experts, as well as policy experts from national organizations, provider organizations and academia. (Daily Yonder)

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