Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|October 14, 2022

Iowa news

University of Iowa pauses search for new VP, Carver College dean

The University of Iowa is temporarily suspending its search for a new vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Carver College of Medicine. After a national search was launched in March, the university invited four candidates to campus in August and September. An offer was extended to one candidate but it was declined because of family obligations, according to a press release. Outgoing medical affairs VP and Carver College dean Brooks Jackson has agreed to continue serving in both roles until his successor is hired. He announced he was stepping down from the position in February, with the intention of returning to a faculty position to pursue research. (Corridor Business Journal)

Feds object to Iowa nursing home sale over $1M debt

The federal government is attempting to block the sale of QHC Facilities, an Iowa-based bankrupt nursing home chain, because of an unpaid $1 million debt to CMS. CMS asked a bankruptcy judge to reject the proposed transfer of Medicare provider agreements for three QHC care facilities, citing the deal would result in QHC only paying $509,000 to $739,600 of the $1 million owed to CMS. QHC, with more than 300 other creditors seeking payment, also owes the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services more than $3 million in unpaid fees. The organization has asked that its debt to the state be treated as a “lower priority.” The state of Iowa has not yet filed any written objections to the planned sale of the QHC chain. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and new reported positive tests drop in Iowa

Officials are reporting a drop in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and new reported positive tests in Iowa. As of Oct. 12, the federal Department of Health and Human Services reports 174 hospitalized Iowans have tested positive for the virus, down from nearly 200 last week. In the last seven days, 2,175 positive tests have been reported, marking a slight drop from the week before. (Iowa Public Radio)

National news

Walgreens aims to rapidly scale U.S. health care business next year

Walgreens’ health care business, Walgreens Boots Alliance, reported better than expected fourth quarter earnings and aims to accelerate growth next year. WBA spent the last year focused on transforming into a consumer-centric health care company, and its business achieved growth while navigating macroeconomic headwinds. Despite the rosy outlook, WBA’s financial results lagged behind last year. The company’s fourth quarter sales were down 5.3% to $32.4 billion, and net loss from continuing operations was $415 million, compared to $358 million net income for the same period last year. Sales from continuing operations were slightly up to $132.7 billion for the full year. (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report)

Flu off to an early start as CDC warns about potentially severe season

Reports of flu and other respiratory illnesses are higher than what would normally be seen in the U.S. at this time of year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Typical flu seasons ramp up in December and usually peak in February. The CDC’s warning comes ahead of a CDC report on flu spread. It is anticipated the agency will say that flu and similar viral illnesses are notably high in Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. (NBC News)

CommonSpirit Health confirms ransomware attack

After more than a week of IT outages at CommonSpirit Health hospitals across the country, the Chicago-based system confirmed it has fallen victim to a ransomware attack. The ransomware attack has shut down electronic health records and canceled appointments and surgeries at CommonSpirit hospitals from Washington to Texas to Tennessee. In one incident, the IT issues may have led a nurse in an already understaffed emergency room in Silverdale, Washington, to call 911 for help. CommonSpirit, the nation’s second-largest nonprofit hospital chain, said after discovering the ransomware attack it took steps to protect its systems, including taking certain ones offline. The health system said it also is working with cybersecurity specialists and law enforcement to investigate and respond to the incident and determine “any data impacts.” (Becker Hospital Review)

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