Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|June 30, 2022

Iowa news

Iowa COVID-19 hospitalizations down while new reported cases maintain recent pace

The state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa remained generally unchanged over the past week, according to data released by the Iowa Department of Public Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. New reported cases rose slightly while COVID-19 hospitalizations declined slightly, a continuation of the recent trend that’s seen those metrics rise and fall alternately over the past month. The state health department reported 3,988 new cases of COVID-19 in Iowa over the past seven days — an average of 570 per day and nearly identical to the previous week. (Des Moines Register)

Tackling food insecurity among pregnant women

About 10.5% of U.S. households are food insecure. But when it comes to pregnant women, that number jumps to nearly 20%. Food insecurity has been linked to an increased risk of pregnancy complications, such as high gestational weight gain, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preterm birth and postpartum depression. It also complicates managing preexisting health conditions, such as diabetes. To help support patients who are facing challenges outside the clinical setting, the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics began the Upstream Initiative where the High-Risk Obstetric Clinic connects patients with state and federal resources, as well as those in their hometowns, to address food insecurity and transportation needs. (University of Iowa)

Study shows impact KRHC has on Kossuth County

A recent study shows Kossuth Regional Health Center provided over 1.5 million dollars in community benefits in 2021, to go along with a substantial economic impact to Kossuth County. The study, conducted by the Iowa Hospital Association, found that KRHC provided community benefits totaling $1,564,860 in 2021 and served more than 34,000 people. Community benefits are activities designed to improve the health status of area residents and increase access to healthcare. (KLGA)

National news

Nonprofit hospitals face mounting financial pressures

Not-for-profit hospitals and health care systems continue to face significant operating challenges as they attempt to keep revenues on pace with escalating operating expenses fueled by inflation, according to a report from S&P. The first quarter of 2022 marked the toughest performance quarter on record for U.S. not-for-profit hospitals and health systems, highlighted by widespread inflationary pressures across the sector. High labor expenses are likely to cause sustained operating hurdles, and demands on cash flow combined with weaker investment market returns could reduce financial flexibility through the remainder of 2022 and into 2023. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

FDA panel approves reformulating COVID-19 boosters to fight ‘risk of major outbreak’ this fall

A federal advisory panel voted 19-2 to reformulate COVID-19 booster shots for the fall to more directly target the omicron viral variant. Members of the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel supported targeting omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, which now account for about half of the COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and have been increasing in recent weeks as other subvariants fade. Committee members also largely supported the idea of aiming at both the omicron strain and the original one in a single vaccine, which the companies said they can provide. (Des Moines Register)

Where health system information technology teams are headed

Chief information officers are taking on larger roles in health systems as technology is growing to support all departments and the system’s central mission. “The CIO’s role has evolved into a true business leader and clinical partner. Information technology teams will spend time influencing and being laser-focused on their stakeholder communications skills,” said Zafar Chaudry, MD, senior vice president and chief digital and information officer at Seattle Children’s. “Also, they’ll spend more time in the trenches with stakeholders on the front line and navigating the politics within a health care system.” (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report)

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