Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|July 8, 2022

Iowa news

COVID-19 hospitalizations up, cases steady in Iowa in weekly coronavirus data update

The COVID-19 pandemic remains steady in Iowa, according to recent data from the Iowa Department of Public Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that shows virtually no change in the number of new reported cases compared to last week. The state health department reported 3,980 new COVID-19 cases in Iowa over the past week — just eight fewer than the week before. For the past four weeks, the number of new reported COVID-19 cases has only varied within a range of about 70 cases per week. Throughout that stretch, Iowa has averaged about 567 new cases per day. (Des Moines Register)

MercyOne colleagues earn scholarships to continue health education to meet Iowa hospital needs

MercyOne is proud to celebrate nine colleagues pursuing health care education who are recipients of Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation scholarships. These nine MercyOne colleagues are among just 60 total scholarships awarded this year. Each colleague will receive a $3,500 scholarship to continue their career development at our hospitals. We congratulate and thank them for helping MercyOne live our mission and vision of transforming the health of our communities through the delivery of personalized care to every patient in need. (MercyOne)

Waverly Health Center’s community benefit exceeded $743,000 in 2021

A study by the Iowa Hospital Association found that, in 2021, Waverly Health Center provided more than $743,000 in total community benefits, including charity care and bad debt, and served more than 18,000 people. The study also found that the health center employed more than 430 people and provided more than $35,971,000 in wages. IHA compiled data for the study from the American Hospital Association’s annual survey of hospitals, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. IHA used Regional Input-Output Modeling System multipliers to calculate the data, which includes statewide, hospital-specific and county totals. IHA also conducted a separate survey, compiling hospital-submitted data about Iowa hospital community-benefit programs and services. (Waverly Newspapers)

National news

BA.5’s fast rise to dominance: What to know about the omicron subvariant

The omicron subvariant BA.5 is quickly gaining prevalence in the U.S. and now accounts for nearly 54% of all cases, according to the CDC. Their estimates show the strain accounts for about 37% of cases. It’s closely related to omicron subvariant BA.4, which is estimated to account for 17% of cases. BA.4 and BA.5 were first discovered in South Africa last winter. Collectively, they make up 70% of U.S. cases. Experts for months had predicted BA.5 would become dominant, pointing to how the strain made larger week-by-week jumps than earlier variants that went on to become dominant. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

How inflation is affecting health system CIO decisions

With inflation at a more than 40-year high, chief information officers are rethinking their spending to cope with the rising costs of information technology supplies, services and talent. Inflation is increasing labor costs, contractor costs, creating supply chain issues and increasing premiums for high-demand hardware and services. CIOs will need to focus more on efficiencies versus innovation, help their health system better prioritize projects and keep a close eye on increasing technical debt. CIOs also will want to be better financial stewards, have a holistic view of the broader economic issues, understand the business impact of inflation, convey IT value and do more for less by making use of every available resource. (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report)

Health care sees most job cuts of any industry in 2022

U.S.-based employers announced 32,517 cuts in June 2022, a 58.8% increase from 20,476 cuts announced in the same month last year, according to a new job report from Challenger, Gray and Christmas. June marks the highest month since February 2021, when 34,531 cuts were announced. It is the second time this year that cuts were higher in 2022 than the corresponding month a year earlier. Health care/products manufacturers and providers announced the most job cuts this year with 19,390, which is up 54% from the 12,620 announced through June 2021. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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