Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|December 12, 2022

Iowa news

Emergency medical services in Iowa are operating without a net

The Dayton Rescue Squad has two ambulances and five active drivers. Driver requirements include a monthly evening meeting, driver training, and CPR certification. EMTs need to complete 120-150 hours of training and fulfill a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education every two years to keep their licenses current. Dayton Rescue pays for these CPR and EMT courses, provided there’s two-year pledge of service. Its budget is based on service calls, insurance reimbursements and fundraisers. Unlike fire and law enforcement, EMS is not a required essential county service in Iowa. In 1981, the federal government shifted its responsibility for EMS to the states. Only 11 states fund EMS as an essential service. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Iowa ranks 15th in 2022 America’s Health Rankings

Iowa placed 15th in United Health Foundation 2022 America’s Health Rankings. The ranking analyzes the health of the 50 states and marks the return of the rankings after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. United Health Foundation is the nonprofit, private foundation established by UnitedHealth Group in 1999. For the 2022 rankings, the foundation analyzed 51 measures across five categories of health: social and economic factors, physical environment, behaviors, clinical care and health outcomes. New Hampshire came out on top for 2022, ranking in the top quintile across four of the categories: social. Four of the five top-ranking states are on the East Coast. Louisiana trailed the nation and has the most room for improved health. All of the five bottom-ranking states are in the South. (America’s Health Rankings)

Ideas empowered: Transforming medicine with 3D design

Between surgeries, lab meetings and teachable moments with students and trainees, neurosurgeon Matt Howard, M.D., scribbles notes and sketches ideas in his small red notebook. He’s been doing this over the past 40 years: When he sees an inefficiency in the operating room or grips a surgical tool that doesn’t sit quite right in his hand, he thinks, ‘There has to be a better way to do this.’ These quiet observations and pencil sketches have resulted in more than 30 medical device patents—ranging from brain and spinal cord neuromodulation implants to treat tinnitus, obesity, and chronic pain, to surgical tools and implants that help make surgeries safer and easier to perform. (Medicine Iowa)

National news

Hospitals may unknowingly be sharing data on website visitors with Twitter

After coming under scrutiny for sharing patient information with Facebook parent company Meta, hospitals and health systems also may be inadvertently transmitting data to Twitter. The Twitter advertising pixel may be sending website visitor info back to the company, according to a report from digital ad analytics firm Adalytics. At least 70,000 organizations had the code on their sites as of November, including health systems, payers and universities. The report noted that this development is particularly troublesome because, under the terms of Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, anyone who invests $250 million or more in the social media giant is entitled to receive more information about the company than lower-level investors. (The Washington Post)

Executives grapple with decisions on CMS’ rural emergency hospital designation

The new rural emergency hospital designation is putting providers between a rock and a hard place, offering an infusion of cash from the federal government available only if they eliminate inpatient care. CMS released the final rule for the new designation in November and is set to go into effect federally in January. Hospitals that convert will receive monthly payments of $272,866, with annual increases based on inflation. They will also receive higher Medicare reimbursements than larger hospitals. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Hospitals have not been this full since omicron’s height

Hospitals are more full than they’ve been throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But as respiratory virus season surges nationwide, it’s much more than COVID-19 that’s filling beds this year. More than 80% of hospital beds are in use nationwide, jumping 8 percentage points in the past two weeks. Hospitals have been required to report capacity information since mid-2020 as part of a federal effort to track the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals have been more than 70% full for most of that time. But they’ve been 80% full at only one other point: in January, during the height of the omicron surge in the U.S.. Back in January, about a quarter of hospital beds were in use for COVID-19 patients. But now, only about 6% of beds are in use for COVID-19 patients, according to the HHS data. (CNN)


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