Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|November 9, 2022

Iowa news

MercyOne to use technology to transform into a PHSO

MercyOne wants to evolve its accountable care organization from good to great — a tough task in rural America, where value-based care is a lofty concept. The health system is partnering with technology vendor Signify Health, beginning next year, to leverage advanced analytics technology to strengthen the accountable care organization into a population health services organization. The strategy is designed to assist the rural network in its shift to risk-based payment arrangements and better manage total cost of care for Iowa Medicare patients. (HealthLeaders)

University of Iowa hospital eyes $16 million in upgrades, conversions

Adding to the hundreds of millions in new construction, renovations and expansions already planned or underway across its Johnson County campuses, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics wants state Board of Regents approval to spend another $16 million upgrading its main Iowa City location. One $8 million project going before the board would allow the main campus to convert the second level of its south wing into 13 inpatient rooms — addressing a key capacity concern at the UIHC, which is regularly above 90% occupancy of its 658 adult inpatient beds. (The Gazette)

CVS, Walgreens reaches $10.7B opioid settlement with Iowa and other states

The two largest retail pharmacy chains in the U.S. have reached a settlement in principle with attorneys general from several states, including Iowa, to pay a combined $10.7 billion to states and local governments nationally to address the opioid crisis. CVS is expected to pay $5 billion over the next 10 years and Walgreens would provide $5.7 billion over 15 years. Iowa and other states accused CVS and Walgreens of ignoring red flags in opioid prescriptions, failing to detect and prevent abuse and diversion of the painkillers. (Des Moines Register)

National news

As COVID-19 cases tick up, here are latest CDC guidelines for testing and isolation

COVID-19 cases are rising in the U.S. for the first time since July, an early sign of a potential fall-winter wave. Average daily COVID-19 cases have risen 11% in the last two weeks. The country is recording around 39,000 new cases per day, on average, though many cases detected by at-home rapid tests aren’t included in that tally. COVID-19 deaths are down 9%, but around 280 people are still dying of COVID-19 every day. (NBC News)

A combination vaccine for flu and COVID-19 is in the works

As the holiday season draws near, more Americans may be sporting two Band-Aids after receiving both their flu shot and the new COVID-19 bivalent booster. Vaccine developers are looking to relieve people from the unpleasantness of getting two shots by creating one that offers strong protection against both viruses. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, companies that have led the COVID-19 vaccination strategy, say they’re beginning trials to assess the safety, efficacy and dosage of their candidate vaccine that combines four flu strains and two coronavirus strains. (USA Today)

Ransomware attacks on hospitals can take toll on patients

Ransomware, in which hackers extort companies and organizations by breaking into and often holding computers and files hostage, has become one of the toughest problems in cybersecurity and a threat to industries around the world. But it can be especially damaging when it hits hospital chains, causing trickle-down damage for patient care nationwide. (NBC News)

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