Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|September 23, 2022

Iowa news

Flu season may be really bad in Iowa this year. Here’s why, and how to protect yourself

Iowa could be in for a rough flu season this year, health officials say. Seasonal influenza is unpredictable, but indicators show this year’s strain of the respiratory virus could be severe. Coupled with declining diligence on mask-wearing and social distancing, public health officials and other health care providers say it’s important Iowans get their flu shot soon. (Des Moines Register)

Data shows a wide range of results for hourly nurses’ pay in Iowa

The $31.25 average hourly pay for registered nurses in Iowa is fourth lowest among all states, but the average hourly pay for Iowa nurse practitioners is near the top 10 (11th) at $58.35. The average hourly pay for nurses in the U.S. is $39.78 for registered nurses and $56.75 for nurse practitioners, according to the most-recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational employment statistics survey. The highest average hourly wage for both registered nurses and nurse practitioners is in California. RNs and NPs in South Dakota and Tennessee made the lowest hourly rates, respectively. (Becker’s Clinical Leadership and Infection Control)

State health department is not reporting COVID-19 reinfections

Iowa does not include subsequent COVID-19 infections of the same person in the number of newly confirmed cases it reports to federal health officials or in the weekly case updates on its website, even though other states do. Further, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services officials say they are unaware of the state’s rate of those reinfections despite possessing the data necessary to calculate it. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

National news

No Surprises Act could result in millions more emergency department visits

The No Surprises Act could lead to an increase in emergency department visits, a new study from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found. The study compared emergency department visits rates in 15 states that implemented bans on balance billing between 2007 and 2018 to rates in 16 states where these bills were not banned. The study found that state-level bans reduced spending per emergency room visit by 14% but increased emergency room visits by 3%. These visits were 9% less urgent than before the balance billing ban, according to an emergency department severity index. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

2022 is the most financially difficult year for hospitals, health systems since start of pandemic

A new analysis from management consulting firm Kaufman, Hall and Associates indicates hospitals and health systems continue to face intense pressure on staff and resources while also dealing with rising expenses for supplies, drugs and equipment, and the workforce. These trends are expected to continue through 2022, with hospitals and health systems losing billions of dollars. Left unaddressed, these challenges can jeopardize access to essential health care services for patients. Challenges in the first half of 2022 tested health care organizations with the impact of COVID-19 surges, increased expenses and a lack of relief funding for economically struggling institutions. (American Hospital Association)

More hospital CEOs exit as labor challenges persist

More than six dozen hospital CEOs have left their roles this year, according to a Challenger, Gray & Christmas report. In the first eight months of this year, 895 CEOs across all industries left their posts, up slightly from the 888 chief executives who exited their roles in the same period last year, according to the executive outplacement and coaching firm. Six hospital CEOs left their positions in August, bringing the total number of departures to 77 for this year. Sixty-eight hospital CEOs left their roles in the first eight months of 2021. (Challenger, Gray and Christmas)

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