Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|October 24, 2022

Iowa news

Mukherjee receives Hero Award from Iowa Hospital Association

Sumit Mukherjee, M.D., has been honored with an Iowa Hospital Association’s Hospital Hero award for demonstrating exceptional commitment to care and service. Dr. Mukherjee — a pulmonologist with Methodist Physicians Clinic and the medical director of the Critical Care Unit at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital — was one of 12 employees of Iowa hospitals to receive the 2022 recognition. Since 2007, the Hospital Heroes program has celebrated employees who have acted courageously in a crisis or who have selflessly served their hospitals and communities throughout their careers. Hospital Heroes are nominated by their peers — more than 30 nominations were submitted this year — and award recipients are selected by other state hospital associations. (The Daily Nonpareil)

New tips this year for Medicare enrollment in Iowa

Inflation continues to adversely affect the budgets of many older Iowans, and with Medicare enrollment now open, experts stressed it is a crucial time to double-check your health coverage to find possible savings. Between now and Dec. 7, Medicare enrollees can compare their health and prescription drug plans and see if there's something more desirable to sign up for in the coming year. Kristin Griffith, director of the Senior Health Insurance Information Program for the Iowa Insurance Division, said they still find too many people do not realize there are annual changes in need of attention. "The drugs that are covered change year to year, the premiums folks pay change year to year and occasionally even the benefits they receive change year to year," Griffith outlined. "So, it's so important to make sure that you have a comparison done." (Public News Service)

Iowa HHS announces nutrition and food insecurity initiatives

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services has announced two initiatives focused on healthy habits, nutrition and addressing food insecurity for Iowa families. Iowa Stops Hunger is a statewide initiative formed by Business Publications Corporation in 2020 to bring awareness and inspire action to combat food insecurity in Iowa. With the support of Presenting Sponsor Hy-Vee and Supporting Sponsor Mom's Meals, Iowa Stops Hunger has explored hunger in Iowa, created media content and events to discuss food insecurity in Iowa, showcased actions taken by businesses, and connected participants from the business and nonprofit communities statewide. (Iowa Department of Public Health)

National news

As hospitals make cuts, the losses are loud or quiet

There are few easy ways to cut expenses. But in hospitals and health systems, there are quieter ways. Workforce reductions are never painless — or never should be, especially for those doing the reducing. Involuntary job loss is one of the most stressful events workers and families experience, carrying mental and physical health risks in addition to the disruption it poses to peoples' short- and long-term life plans. But as health systems find themselves in untenable financial positions and looming risk of an economic recession, job cuts and layoffs in hospitals and health systems are increasingly likely. In a report from Kaufman Hall based on responses from 86 health system leaders, 46% said labor costs are the largest opportunity for cost reduction — up significantly from the 17% of leaders who said the same last year. (Becker's Hospital Review)

The world is running out of helium. Here's why doctors are worried.

A global helium shortage has doctors worried about one of the natural gas’s most essential, and perhaps unexpected, uses: MRIs. Strange as it sounds, the lighter-than-air element that gives balloons their buoyancy also powers the vital medical diagnostic machines. An MRI can’t function without some 2,000 liters of ultra-cold liquid helium keeping its magnets cool enough to work. But helium — a nonrenewable element found deep within the Earth’s crust — is running low, leaving hospitals wondering how to plan for a future with a much scarcer supply. (NBC News)

What happens behind the scenes during a hospital ransomware attack

The health care industry is under attack. One of the nation's largest health systems, Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, has been dealing with a ransomware incident that has led to EHR outages and canceled appointments at its hospitals around the nation. Some facilities are just now starting to get their systems back online. Although the hospital chain has released few specifics about the attack that began in early October, cybersecurity experts told Becker's what goes on behind the scenes at one of these events. Hackers may have access to a company's systems weeks or months before it knows it's been breached, these experts say. The organizations either discover the attack themselves via suspicious activity, or are notified in not-so-subtle ways. (Becker's Hospital Review)

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