Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|December 5, 2022

Iowa news

Iowa Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $28 million

The CDC has awarded Iowa’s Department of Health and Human Services more than $28 million to strengthen its public health infrastructure. Most of the money comes from American Rescue Plan Act funding to support workforce development. Iowa HHS says it will use the money to meet critical infrastructure needs and make strategic investments that will have a lasting impact on the entire Iowa public health system. It says this includes hiring staff that will support local health departments. (Iowa Public Radio)

UI eyes new primary care expansion in Iowa City

Adding to the growing list of construction and renovation projects that University of Iowa Health Care is pursuing in and around its campus, UIHC now is asking a development team to design, plan and build a new primary care medical office building in Iowa City. The goal of erecting a UIHC-operated location in the same town as its main sprawling campus of more than 1 million square feet is to “increase access to primary medical care for the local community as well as train physicians in a setting most similar to other Iowa primary care offices.” Administrators with eastern Iowa community hospitals have sounded alarms that UIHC is threatening their patient and staffing pool — and thus their livelihood. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Addiction treatment proponents urge rural clinicians to pitch in by prescribing medicine

Federal and state authorities are encouraging more rural health care professionals to become certified to prescribe medicines containing buprenorphine for patients battling opioid addiction. Buprenorphine staves off cravings and prevents withdrawal symptoms for people who have stopped misusing opioid drugs. Clinics that offer it in Iowa were once rare, but their numbers are growing. (Iowa Public Radio)

National news

Pixel trackers installed on hospital websites may violate HIPAA

HHS has warned health care entities that using pixel tracking technology in patient portals may violate HIPAA. HHS says HIPAA-covered entities can’t use pixel trackers if they transmit protected health information without patient consent or if they don’t have a signed business associate agreement with the technology tracking vendors. HIPAA violations are punishable by fines and, rarely, criminal prosecution. The warning comes after several health systems and hospitals were scrutinized for using Facebook’s and Google’s pixel tracking tools in websites frequented by patients. Facebook parent Meta faces multiple lawsuits alleging it’s pixel tracker has violated privacy laws by collecting patient information, including data about physicians, conditions and appointments. (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report)

Health care adds 45K jobs in November; 2022 growth strong compared to 2021

Health care employment continued to grow in November, although at a slower pace. Health care added 44,700 jobs last month, compared to 52,600 jobs added in October and 60,100 jobs added in September. Ambulatory health care services gained the most jobs last month (23,300). Hospitals gained 11,000 jobs in November, compared to 10,800 jobs added in October. Overall, health care employment so far this year has risen by an average of 47,000 each month, compared with a monthly average of 9,000 in 2021. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Will CVS, Amazon and Walgreens deals shift the U.S. healthcare system to a value-based care model?

Amazon, CVS and Walgreens are investing millions of dollars into primary care practices as part of a push to shift the U.S. health care system to a value-based care model. The health care disruptors have made headlines in recent months as their deals — One Medical, Signify Health and Summit Health — are shifting the way the $4 trillion health care market operates. Right now, the health care market mostly operates as a fee-for-service model, but these deals are putting an emphasis on value-based care. The value-based care model pays patients for staying healthy, while the fee-for service model pays medical providers for each service performed. (The Wall Street Journal)

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