Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|November 7, 2022

Iowa news

UnityPoint spins off 3 Illinois hospitals to Carle Health

Urbana, Illinois-based Carle Health signed a strategic affiliation agreement with Peoria, Ill.-based UnityPoint Health – Central Illinois and Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health. The agreement results in Carle Health taking over as the parent organization of UnityPoint Health – Central Illinois, which includes Peoria-based Methodist and Procter, and Pekin (Illinois) Hospitals and affiliated clinics, Peoria-based UnityPlace and Methodist College. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Demand for pharmacists in Iowa continues to be high

Iowa lost several dozen pharmacists because of burnout, driven by added stresses during the pandemic. Although the University of Iowa’s program graduates about 100 new pharmacists every year, Liz Davis, director of admissions at the University of Iowa’s College of Pharmacy, says that’s still not enough to meet demand from drugstores and hospitals statewide. (Radio Iowa)

REH designation in place for rural hospitals

Sen. Chuck Grassley applauded the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for finalizing regulations for the new rural emergency hospital designation, a voluntary Medicare payment for rural hospitals that ensures minimal administrative burden, maximum flexibility and timely implementation while maintaining safe and high-quality care for patients. CMS is implementing a Grassley law passed in December 2020 and required to be implemented by Jan. 1, 2023. It is intended to help rural hospitals keep their doors open, even if they cannot afford a fully operational inpatient unit. (Ft. Madison Daily Democrat)

National news

Senate proposal could tie cybersecurity to Medicare payments

Hospitals could have to meet minimum cybersecurity standards to participate in the Medicare program, according to a list of potential proposals outlined by U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. For example, hospitals must have active programs to prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections. Another example is that hospitals must have emergency and standby power systems. Many stakeholders believe cybersecurity is as important as those two examples, and that some minimum level of cybersecurity hygiene practices should be included in these regulations. Another idea under consideration is whether cybersecurity expenses would be included in future Medicare payments. The report features a plethora of ideas to counter the growing cyberthreat in health care. (Becker’s Health IT)

Respect staff or seek care elsewhere: Mass General Brigham enacts patient code of conduct

Somerville, Mass.-based Mass General Brigham has instituted a patient code of conduct to protect staff from harrassment and discriminatory behavior. The policy makes clear that “words or actions that are disrespectful, racist, discriminatory, hostile or harrassing” will not be tolerated. The health system said examples of intolerable behavior include offensive comments about a person’s race, accent, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other personal traits; refusing to see a clinician or other staff member based on personal traits; physical or verbal threats and assaults; sexual or vulgar words or actions; and disrupting another patient’s care or experience. (WFXT)

The cost of hospital contract labor

Many hospitals and health systems aim to recruit and retain permanent staff to replace contract labor positions, which have seen wages skyrocket because of staff shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals nationwide have relied on contract labor and temporary staffing agencies to support their clinical teams when many burned-out providers are exiting health care. A survey by Bain and Company found that 25% of physicians, advanced practice providers and nurses are considering changing careers. Eight-nine percent of the providers thinking about leaving the profession cited burnout as the driving force. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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