Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|December 21, 2022

Iowa news

Quad Cities area medical centers update COVID-19 policies

MercyOne Clinton Medical Center is updating its visitor and masking guidelines because of a recent increase in cases of COVID-19 and flu in eastern Iowa. To help ensure the safety of patients, MercyOne Clinton Medical Center is requiring masks for all patients, visitors and colleagues. Visitors are limited to two at a time, per patient, and visitors under the age of 18 will not be allowed, . except for extraordinary circumstances. Genesis Health System also has reinstated a mask mandate for all Genesis colleagues, medical staff and volunteers. They will be required to wear masks in all public and patient care areas at Genesis facilities in response to increased respiratory illness in the community. (Our Quad Cities)

Polk County works to address forensic nurse shortage

Polk County has boosted the hourly on-call pay rate for sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) in response to a staff shortage. SANEs are registered nurses with special training. They’re among the first people to respond to sexual assaults reported at hospitals, collecting forensic evidence that can be used in criminal trials. They commonly have jobs at local hospitals or clinics and are on call outside of their regular shifts. The on-call pay assures a forensic nurse is available when needed. SANEs receive additional pay when they respond. Polk County helps coordinate a program with area hospitals that always keeps two on call — one for adults and one for pediatrics. (Axios)

Whisler named interim chief administrative officer of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital

Melissa Whisler, MBA, M.H.A., has been appointed interim chief administrative officer of University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital following the upcoming departure of Pamela Johnson-Carlson. Whisler, whose new role begins Jan. 12, 2023, is administrative chief of staff for UI Hospitals and Clinics. In her interim role, Whisler will oversee daily operations as well as planning and management of pediatric care initiatives. She will work closely with leaders and staff in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics as well as other departmental chairs, administrators enterprisewide. (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)

National news

Can health systems compete with disruption from CVS, Walgreens?

Recent moves from CVS and Walgreens show that the pharmacy retail giants are making leaps into health care spaces they’ve never touched — but hospitals aren’t sweating yet. In November, VillageMD — in which Walgreens has majority ownership — said it plans to snatch physician practice group Summit Health for $8.9 billion, while CVS secured a deal in September to acquire home health company Signify for about $8 billion. How are hospitals and health systems responding to these changes from pharmacy giants? Becker’s talked to seven leaders to find out. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

No change seen in limited access to mammography from 2006 to 2022

The proportion of U.S. women with limited access to mammography did not change from 2006 to 2022, according to a report published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The researchers found that from 2006 to 2022, there was no substantial change in the proportion of women aged 45 to 84 years with limited access to mammography (12.7 to 12.2%; 7.5 to 8.2 million women). There was variation observed in accessibility to mammography by state, but in 10 states, more than 26% of women aged 45 to 84 years had limited accessibility in 2022. In rural areas, this proportion was substantially higher (50.6% overall; ≥50% in 28 states in 2022) than in urban areas (3% overall). (Valley News Today)

Ransomware attack may have breached data of 254,000 Medicare beneficiaries

CMS said a ransomware attack on a subcontractor may have affected as many as 254,000 Medicare beneficiaries and breached such personal data as Social Security numbers and bank account numbers. Healthcare Management Solutions, which processes Medicare eligibility, entitlement records and premium payments, experienced a ransomware attack Oct. 8, CMS said. The company is a subcontractor of ASRC Federal Data Solutions. Initial information indicates that HMS acted in violation of its obligations to CMS, and CMS continues to investigate the incident. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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