Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|November 21, 2022

Iowa news

Iowa hospital recipient of emergency rural health care grant

At UnityPoint Grinnell Regional Medical Center, the Des Moines office of USDA Rural Development was on hand to present in person one of 17 grants for health care projects statewide. UnityPoint Grinnell was awarded two grants close to $1 million. Statewide $8.4 million in grants went to a total of 13 recipients, in 12 counties. The funds are a part of the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Act, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act. (KCAU)

Governor’s office recommends plan focused on decreasing substance-related deaths

An annual report from the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy found substance-related deaths in Iowa increased significantly last year. Opioid-related deaths reached a record high of 258, driven by an increase in the use of fentanyl. Additionally, 827 Iowans died from alcohol-related deaths last year, another record high. Those numbers are informing a new overdose response plan in the office’s 2023 strategy. (Iowa Public Radio)

Rural America is facing a maternal health care crisis

Mothers in rural America are facing a life-or-death maternal health care crisis that must not go unnoticed. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley has taken an important step in their defense by proposing the Healthy Moms and Babies Act, legislation aimed at restoring health care access in rural communities where the maternal mortality rates continue to rise. The importance of caring for expecting mothers, especially in Iowa where maternal mortality rates have skyrocketed, cannot be overstated. Mothers living in rural areas of Iowa are struggling to travel long distances to receive the prenatal care they need for a healthy pregnancy. Even if a hospital is within reach, many do not provide labor and delivery services. (Des Moines Register)

National news

Is Epic’s dominance good for health care?

Epic is the biggest name in health information technology and, by all accounts, only getting bigger. The electronic health record vendor controls nearly a third of the U.S. hospital market share and continues to add large health systems to its portfolio. But is the company’s reign a positive or negative for health care? Becker’s asked hospital and health system CIOs how they feel about Epic’s command of the business. Epic has 32.9% of the U.S. hospital business, but Oracle Cerner isn’t far behind at 24.4%, with Meditech sitting at 16.7% and several smaller players in the single digits, according to the latest data from KLAS Research. In 2022, Epic is continuing its trend of gaining larger hospitals and health systems, while Cerner keeps picking up smaller facilities. (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report)

Pediatric groups urge Biden to issue national emergency over respiratory viruses

The Children’s Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics are calling on federal officials to declare a national and public health emergency to free up resources and give hospitals more flexibility to respond to an “alarming surge of pediatric hospitalizations” from respiratory syncytial virus and flu. In a letter sent to President Joe Biden and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the pediatric groups said the confluence of capacity issues from respiratory viruses and children’s mental health needs “requires nimbleness and flexibility that can only be provided through a presidential declaration of an emergency under the Stafford Act or National Emergencies Act and a public health emergency declaration.” (Becker’s Hospital Review)

COVID-19 vaccine trials didn’t monitor menstrual changes. Researchers say it’s part of a bigger problem.

When women started reporting longer periods and heavier-than-normal bleeding after getting COVID-19 vaccines last year, there was little data to back it up. Although they made up around half the participants in COVID-19 vaccine trials, women were not asked about any menstrual changes as part of that process. Since then, several studies have revealed that the vaccines can indeed induce short-term changes in menstrual cycles. A growing chorus of researchers is calling for further study of vaccines’ effects on menstruation. (NBC News)

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