Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|October 3, 2022

Iowa news

MercyOne Newton asks county for $2M donation

MercyOne Newton Medical Center may receive American Rescue Plan Act funds from Jasper County to go toward facility improvements. During the Sept. 27 county board of supervisors meeting, Chad Kelley, director of operations for MercyOne Newton, requested the hospital at least be considered to receive ARPA funding. Specifically, the hospital asked for a $2 million gift for a $6 million emergency room enhancement project. The emergency room has been part of the hospital since 1921, and Kelley said it was last revised in 1971. It is an “old, archaic” structure that sometimes does not provide the best patient experience. Renovating the emergency room requires a substantial financial commitment, but the design work has been completed. (Newton Daily News)

ER department at Genesis West to close Dec. 6

Genesis Health System has announced plans to consolidate all Davenport emergency services onto one campus. The plan entails closing the Genesis West Campus emergency department effective Dec. 6. The rest of the West campus will remain open. In April, Genesis revealed a full-scale plan to optimize Scott County emergency services to expand capacity and provide better care to patients. The closing of the West campus emergency department will divert patients to the expanded Genesis Davenport East campus emergency department, and also create a new emergency department at the Genesis Bettendorf Healthplex. (WQAD)

Most Iowa hospitals fail to comply with price transparency rule

Nearly two years after a federal policy required the nation’s hospitals to unveil the hidden costs of medical care, a tiny fraction of Iowa facilities are in compliance. And patients are paying the price. Only six of the state’s 61 hospitals in Iowa reviewed by researchers — 10% — have complied with the federal rule intended to bring more transparency to health care costs, according to an audit by published in August. Iowa’s compliance rate is worse than the national rate. The audit of 2,000 hospitals nationwide found that 319 hospitals, or 16%, complied with the rule. (Patient Rights Advocate)

National news

CDC revises ‘up to date’ term on COVID-19 vaccination

The CDC has revised its “up to date” COVID-19 vaccination term to include the primary series and the recently authorized omicron-targeting booster. The decision could update the “fully vaccinated” term that experts have urged regulators to update. After omicron subvariant BA.5 dominated infections in summer 2022, the FDA and CDC fast-tracked the approval and authorization process for tweaked boosters. In late June, the CDC instructed vaccine-makers to improve their formulas to combat the subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, and about two months later, Moderna and Pfizer’s candidates were authorized and rolled out. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

After 2-year decline, suicide rates rise again

The number of people who died by suicide rose from 2020 to 2021 following a brief period of decline, according to provisional data released Friday from the National Center for Health Statistics. It’s a sign, experts say, that suicide rates are inching back up to levels seen before the pandemic. In 2021, 47,646 people in the United States died by suicide, up from 45,979 in 2020. That’s an increase of nearly 4%. There had been hope among experts that suicide rates had perhaps peaked in 2018, after steadily rising for nearly two decades. Numbers fell slightly in both 2019 and 2020. (NBC News)

Mental health crisis teams aren’t just for cities anymore

For years, many cities have sent social workers, medics, trained outreach workers, or mental health professionals to calls that previously were handled by police officers. And the approach gained traction amid concerns about police brutality cases. Proponents say such programs save money and lives. But crisis response teams have been slower to catch on in rural areas even though mental illness is just as prevalent there. That’s partly because those areas are bigger and have fewer mental health professionals than cities do. (NBC News)

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