Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|August 1, 2022

Iowa news

Mercy Iowa City cannot find new health care partner

Mercy Iowa City is ending its search to find a new health care partner, instead opting to remain affiliated with the MercyOne health network. A spokesperson with Mercy Iowa City confirmed the hospital is sticking with the status quo, despite “several proposals” from larger health care systems. Mercy Iowa City began its strategic affiliation agreement with Mercy Health Network in 2017 before announcing in June 2021 they would explore options to find a new partner. (Corridor Business Journal)

Hy-Vee’s new CEO has vowed to make the company a ‘destination of health care’

Hy-Vee’s new top executive wants to turn the grocery store into a “destination for health care.” Aaron Wiese, a veteran employee who started at Hy-Vee as a teenager, will become the West Des Moines-based grocer’s newest CEO on Oct. 1, the company announced Wednesday night. The move brings a new leader who comes from the health care side of the business. Phil Lempert, a grocery industry analyst, said tapping a veteran from the health care side of the business should allow Hy-Vee to differentiate itself from competitors. Lempert said the company’s wellness staff — pharmacists, dietitians and a prepared foods team — tends to be better than those of other grocery chains. (Des Moines Register)

Regents approve 33% budget increase for North Liberty hospital

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will receive a sizable budget increase for their new North Liberty hospital, totaling $525,628,000 – a 33% increase from previously released budgets. Citing “multiple convergent industry challenges” like construction market inflation, limited availability of construction materials and labor shortages, UIHC determined it necessary to ask the Iowa Board of Regents for an increased budget. The increased budget was described as “worst case cost” during the presentation. A revised budget shows construction costs account for the bulk of the increase, as they expect construction will cost nearly $100 million more than anticipated. (Corridor Business Journal)

National news

How the COVID-19 pandemic changed Americans’ health for the worse

Many public-health challenges increased in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Heart disease and drug overdoses are among afflictions exacting a higher toll than before. The ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic’s influence on nearly every aspect of health in America are becoming clear. COVID-19 has killed more than 1 million people in the U.S., a toll mounting by some 350 people a day. A range of other chronic diseases and acute threats to health also worsened during the pandemic, data show, as people missed screenings, abandoned routines and experienced loss and isolation. (Wall Street Journal)

Side hustle or exit path? How COVID-19 shifted the side gig landscape for nurses

Pre-pandemic, it wasn’t uncommon for hospital nurses to have side gigs on their days off, be it paid or volunteer work. Now, the side gig landscape has changed, with nurses using days away from the hospital to work on entrepreneurial endeavors. Part of that shift is, of course, inflation, and the need for additional sources of income. Data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve shows the percentage of employed people in the U.S. working multiple jobs has steadily increased from 4% in April 2020 to 4.8% in June 2022. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Summer boosters for people under 50 shelved in favor of updated boosters in the fall

The Food and Drug Administration is shelving plans to let more younger adults get second COVID-19 boosters this summer. Instead, officials are planning to speed up availability of the next generation of boosters in the fall. The new strategy came after a debate within the administration about trying to balance protecting people this summer with keeping people safe next winter, when the country will probably get hit by yet another surge. Some officials wanted to launch a new booster campaign this summer to encourage more people to get boosted and more boosted people to get double-boosted to protect them against the highly contagious BA.5 subvariant driving a surge this summer. But others worried that would interfere with a booster campaign in the fall with what will hopefully be a superior booster specifically targeting BA.5. (Iowa Public Radio)

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