Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|August 4, 2022

Iowa news

West Burlington hospital closes one unit, limits inpatient capacity after $40 million loss

Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center in West Burlington has closed its skilled care unit and is limiting inpatient bed capacity in three other units as it seeks to get out from under an operating loss of more than $40 million. Great River Health, which operates SEIRMC campuses in West Burlington and Fort Madison, as well as Henry County Health Center in Mount Pleasant, notified employees last week of the skilled care unit closure and bed capacity limits in the West Burlington hospital’s acute care, cardiovascular health and intensive care units that went into effect Monday. Matt Wenzel, president and CEO of Great River Health, said those measures were taken to accommodate staff shortages as the hospital scales back on the use of travel staff, which come at a significantly higher cost. (The Hawk Eye)

COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 25% in Iowa in the last week

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Iowa rose by 25% over the last week, and the number requiring intensive care nearly doubled, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At the same time, the number of new people being vaccinated remained low in the state. The state health department reported 59.2% of Iowa’s population is fully vaccinated, a one-tenth of one percentage point increase since the health department last updated vaccination data a month ago. The youngest Iowans make up the least-vaccinated age group. (Des Moines Register)

United Way of Central Iowa receives $1.8M for workforce development partnership

The United Way of Central Iowa has been awarded a nearly $1.8 million grant from the U.S Commerce Department to diversify the local health care workforce. The United Way of Central Iowa is one of 32 organizations nationwide to share $500 million from the Good Jobs Challenge, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. The Good Jobs Challenge helps communities fund innovative workforce programs that will help train more than 50,000 people. In Iowa, the funding will help create career pathways by bringing together the leading health care employers, the three major hospital systems, long-term care institutions and educational institutions. The United Way of Central Iowa will focus on entry-level positions that show clear opportunities for advancement. (Business Record)

National news

COVID-19 can rebound even in people who haven’t taken Paxlovid, study finds

Around a third of people with COVID-19 will experience a rebound of their symptoms, regardless of whether they’ve been treated with the antiviral Paxlovid, according to a study recently posted online. The preprint study — meaning it hasn’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal — found that 27% of people with COVID-19 saw a rebound in their symptoms after they had initially improved. (NBC News)

Why we may be in ‘omicron land’ for a while

Omicron and its sublineages’ now 10-month influence likely won’t recede anytime soon, one expert predicts. When the original omicron variant was first detected in the U.S. in early December, it made a swift rise to dominance, accounting for more than 70% of COVID-19 cases by Dec. 18. In January, it pushed daily cases to record levels of more than 800,000. Since then, omicron has developed a family of sublineages, the latest being the highly transmissible BA.5, which now accounts for 85% of cases, according to the CDC’s variant proportion estimates update. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Federal reports on long COVID-19 fall short of offering solid plans to help patients

Two highly anticipated federal reports on long COVID-19 fail to address the immediate needs of patients, according to doctors and advocacy groups. They also say the reports neglected to include many of their recommendations for how to address the long COVID-19 crisis. The reports, produced in response to an executive order from President Joe Biden, go into great detail about all that remains unknown about long COVID-19 that affects up to 23 million Americans, including the cause, effective treatments or even a specific definition of the illness. (NBC News)

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