Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|July 5, 2022

Iowa news

Probable monkeypox case reported in Iowa, but state health officials say risk to public is low

Iowa’s first probable case of monkeypox has been reported in an adult from the north central part of the state, the Iowa Department of Public Health announced, but it said the risk to the public is low. The patient was likely infected during international travel. The person is isolated and receiving outpatient care and is in contact with health department staff. The department is conducting contact tracing to identify anyone who may have come into contact with the patient while the disease was contagious. Those who have will be “directed to watch for symptoms of illness and are offered a vaccine series that can prevent symptoms from developing or developing severe illness. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa man gets 27 months in prison for sharing VA patient’s health info

An Iowa man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for wrongfully accessing and disclosing information from patient records at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. The hospital employee obtained information about a VA patient’s medical health he was unauthorized to receive, and he shared it with a third party. He was sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

The association between wages and nursing staff turnover in Iowa nursing homes

Nursing staff turnover is a substantial concern for nursing homes that care for millions of older people, especially during the pandemic. Low pay is a key reasons for high turnover. A recent study of 396 Iowa nursing homes found the average hourly wage was $27 for registered nurses, $21.60 for licensed practical nurses and $14.10 for certified nurse aides from 2013-2017. Average turnover increased over this time for all staff types and, in 2017, turnover rates were 46% for RNs, 44.4% for LPNs and 64.7% for CNAs. Higher wages were associated with lower turnover of CNAs but not LPNs or RNs. Focusing on higher wages alone may not lead to lower turnover of all types of nursing staff in nursing homes. (National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine)

National news

What an increasingly anxious workforce means for patient care

A recent series of violent events are constant reminders of the potential for what could unfold on health care workers’ home campuses. The omnipresent anxiety over gun violence in the workplace — a possibility that increasingly seems more likely — has negative consequences for care delivery and the patient experience. Workplace violence has routinely been described as a long-standing issue in health care. National statistics show employees in the industry are five times more likely to experience workplace violence than all other workers. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

How much health insurers pay for almost everything goes public

Consumers, employers and just about everyone else interested in health care prices can get an unprecedented look at what insurers pay for care, perhaps helping answer a question that has long dogged those who buy insurance: Are we getting the best deal we can? Starting July 1, health insurers and self-insured employers must post on websites just about every price they’ve negotiated with providers for health care services, item by item. About the only thing excluded are the prices paid for prescription drugs, except those administered in hospitals or doctors’ offices. The federally required data release could affect future prices or even how employers contract for health care. Many will see for the first time how well their insurers are doing compared with others. (Kaiser Health News)

CMS taking steps toward nursing home minimum staffing requirement

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ announcement that it plans to start using payroll data to ensure nursing homes comply with staffing requirements is a move toward stricter regulation, experts said. Beginning Oct. 24, surveyors will use the Payroll Based Journal staffing data for inspections to ensure staffing requirements are met, such as having a registered nurse on site for eight hours per day or having licensed nurses on staff 24 hours a day. The decision is the first step toward the Biden administration’s plan to establish minimum staffing requirements in the industry within the year. (Modern Healthcare)

Become a hospital advocate. Sign up for IHA Action Alerts.

Click here