Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|November 28, 2022

Iowa news

Iowa must battle to preserve rural emergency rooms. Your life may depend on it.

Each new development makes it appear more probable that Lee County residents in southeast Iowa will get an emergency room back in Keokuk in 2023. But the pressures on hospitals in rural Iowa are far from solved; getting there will require more ingenuity and commitment from government officials. The viability of hospitals also should be part of bigger-picture discussions about rural Iowa’s declining vitality and how state policy works to either arrest or steepen that slide. (Des Moines Register)

UI researchers develop model to detect lung issues in long-COVID-19 patients

University of Iowa researchers have developed a model to detect compromised lung function in long-COVID-19 patients using X-rays. Typically, physicians need expensive 3D CT scans, which many medical clinics do not have. The UI researchers took information from hundreds of lung scans from COVID-19 patients and transferred it into a 2D model that will help physicians detect common COVID-19 lung issues using just X-rays. (Iowa Public Radio)

UnityPoint rolls out two new telehealth programs

UnityPoint Health has rolled out two new telehealth programs for patients seeking treatments for common ailments. The health system has rolled out SmartExam and Virtual Urgent Care, two programs designed to treat patients with illnesses such as flu, cold, allergies or urinary tract infections. Through SmartExam, patients pay a $30 fee and receive a diagnosis and treatment options from a UnityPoint Health provider in less than an hour. Virtual Urgent Care, which can be accessed through the MyUnityPoint app, is a program in which people can video chat with a UnityPoint Clinic provider and receive treatment options. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

National news

Mark Cuban in talks with hospitals to solve drug shortages

Mark Cuban is in talks with hospitals to identify generic drugs that often run in short supply, which he aims to make in a robotics-driven manufacturing plant in development in Dallas. Cuban shared his plans for the $11 million manufacturing plant on a Motley Fool podcast. He said robotics in the plant will allow Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs to be nimble in manufacturing simple drugs “that are supposed to be regularly available” and turn around numerous injectables in a day to boost hospitals’ supply. For instance, when the company has met hospitals’ demand for sterile water, the robots can switch over to make Pitocin, before switching four hours later to make another drug. (Motley Fool)

What physicians, patients think of charging for MyChart messages

Cleveland Clinic’s plan to charge for MyChart messages requiring clinician time and expertise has been met with mixed reviews from physicians and patients. Cleveland Clinic began charging for messages requiring clinicians to make clinical assessments, medical decisions or medical history reviews that would take more than five minutes. The charges are often covered by insurers, but patients face up to $50 charges without coverage. Medicare patients without secondary insurance may see $3-$8 fees, according to Cleveland Clinic. The new fees went into effect Nov. 17. Some physicians and patients support the charges while others argue it will limit access to care. (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report)

CIOs challenged by so many health IT systems, applications

Most health care chief information officers say working with disparate information technology systems and applications complicates their jobs, according to a survey of 132 health IT executives who are members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. Eighty-eight percent of CIOs said their work is complicated by juggling so many different IT programs. Sixty percent of hospitals and health systems use 50 or more software solutions for health care operations alone. Eighty-four percent of respondents reported that having a streamlined IT infrastructure is important for retaining clinicians. (Symplr)

Become a hospital advocate. Sign up for IHA Action Alerts.

Click here