Tuesday, Jan. 10
Tune in for governor’s condition of the state address
Gov. Kim Reynolds’ condition of the state address this evening marks the beginning of the 2023 legislative session. IHA President and CEO Chris Mitchell and IHA members will be in attendance.
In the annual address, Gov. Reynolds lays out her priorities for the upcoming legislative session. IHA anticipates medical malpractice reform will again be a priority for the governor. IHA has been an advocate for placing a $1 million hard cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. Without the burden of high medical malpractice liability insurance because of these large payouts, Iowa hospitals can recruit quality practitioners and put more resources toward services and labor costs.
The governor’s annual condition of the state is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight and will be broadcast online and on television.
Ransomware threat directed at health care organizations
The Department of Health and Human Services is alerting health care organizations to be vigilant against the Clop ransomware group. Clop operates under the ransomware-as-service model and was first observed in 2019. Following the arrest of several group members, security experts expected malicious activity to slow, but the group has changed tactics and is targeting health care organizations.
The group in infecting files disguised as medical documents and submitting them to facilities when requesting a medical appointment in the hopes those malicious documents will be opened and reviewed beforehand.
Hospitals and other health care organizations are encouraged to protect against Clop and other cyberthreats by:
- Auditing and taking inventory of assets and data.
- Configuring and monitoring hardware and software.
- Implementing data protection, backup and recovery measures.
Regularly patching and updating operations systems and applications.
CMS awards 200 new Medicare-funded residency slots
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services took an important step to advance health equity and access to care by awarding 200 of 1,000 Medicare-funded physician residency slots.
The goal of the physician residencies is to enhance the health care workforce and fund more positions in hospitals serving underfunded communities. Approximately three-quarters of the new posotions will be in primary care and mental health specialties. Of the direct graduate medical education slots, 125 are being allocated for primary care including obstetrics and gynecology and 20 for psychiatry.
The 1,000 additional residency slots were established in the fiscal year 2022 inpatient prospective payment system final rule and is phasing in 200 slots per year over the next five years. CMS prioritized hospitals with training programs demonstrating the greatest need for providers, as determined by health professional shortage areas. The first round of 200 residency positions was awarded to 100 teaching hospitals and will be effective July 1.
Provider relief fund reporting portal open for period 4
Providers who received one or more general or targeted provider relief funding and/or American Rescue Plan rural payments exceeding a total of $10,000 from July 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021, must report their use of funds by Friday, March 31. Resources are available to help providers complete their reports.