Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 25, 2023

Iowa news

ICN celebrates 30 years of innovation

The Iowa Communications Network, one of the country’s pioneers of statewide networks, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2023. Created in three parts, the first two parts consisted of installing one state-owned fiber optic connection for service delivery per county, one at each of the three state universities, one at Iowa Public Television and one on the State Capitol. In 1995, then Gov. Terry Branstad signed a plan establishing Part III of the network, which consisted of adding more than 470 full-motion video sites to public and private school districts, area education agencies and public libraries statewide. (Iowa Communications Network)

Closed southeast Iowa hospital could reopen under new owner

The City of Keokuk has announced that Blessing Health Systems has signed a letter of intent with Insight to acquire the former Keokuk Area Hospital. Following the approval of a certificate of need, essential regulatory support and financial support by the State of Iowa, Insight proposes to provide medical services at the hospital, which closed on Oct. 1, 2022. Insight representatives said they look forward to working with the city, other local officials and community leaders in identifying and providing critically needed medical services to residents of Keokuk and surrounding communities. (KTVO)

Iowa COVID-19 hospitalizations decline significantly along with infections

The number of people who have COVID-19 and are receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals declined 20% in the past week, with a similar decrease in the state’s documented infection rate. There were 1,690 new infections confirmed in the past week among people who were not previously infected, according to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. There were a total of 2,356 positive tests, which includes reinfections that are not reported by the state to federal health officials. Those are 23% and 15% declines in reported cases and positive tests — the most significant decreases in weeks. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

National news

Most Americans want government and private insurance in health care

Americans have a “yes, but” view of the government’s role in health care. Most say the federal government should ensure all Americans have coverage, but prefer a system based on private insurance. The finding comes from a new Gallup poll, released Jan. 23. Gallup has tracked the public’s views on government-run health care since 2000. The latest findings come from telephone interviews conducted with 1,020 adults representative of every U.S. state. (Gallup)

The FDA considers a major shift in the nation’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy

The Food and Drug Administration is considering simplifying vaccination against COVID-19 and perhaps adopting an approach similar to what is used for the flu vaccine, with annual updates to match whatever strain of the virus is circulating. The FDA has outlined the shift in a set of documents released in advance of a meeting of the agency’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. The committee will vote on the agency’s proposal. Currently, people who want to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must first get their primary vaccinations — two shots of the original vaccine spaced weeks apart. That’s followed at least two months later by a booster, currently the bivalent shot that’s tailored to protect against omicron. (Iowa Public Radio)

Amazon launches a subscription prescription drug service

Amazon is adding a prescription drug discount program to its growing health care business. The retail giant will launch RxPass, a subscription service for customers who have Prime memberships. Amazon said people will pay $5 a month to fill as many prescriptions as they need from a list of about 50 generic medicines, which are generally cheaper versions of brand-name drugs. The company said the flat fee could cover a list of medicines like the antibiotic amoxicillin and the anti-inflammatory drug naproxen. (NBC News)

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