Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 3, 2023

Iowa news

Meningococcal disease detected in Iowa, state declines to release details given the ‘small number’ of cases

State public health officials say “multiple cases” of meningococcal disease have been detected in Iowa in recent weeks. The bacterial infection most commonly causes meningitis, or inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and a bloodstream infection called septicemia. Both of those illnesses are serious, and can quickly turn deadly or cause long-term disabilities. The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services declined to share the number cases they’ve investigated and did not provide details of these infections due to “the small number of cases.” Meningococcal disease is rare. One case was detected in 2021 and in 2020, according to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. The highest incidence was in 2015, when five cases were detected. (Des Moines Register)

Documented COVID-19 cases plummet in Iowa

The state’s COVID-19 infection rate declined about 40% over the last week in December, according to state health data. An Iowa Department of Health and Human Services update showed 2,148 infections in the month’s last week among people who were not previously infected by the coronavirus. The number of infected people who are receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals declined 11% from the third week of the month, to 243. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Spencer’s Seasons Center to receive $2M total from SAMHSA grant

The Seasons Center for Behavioral Health will receive $400,000 annually for the next five years to strengthen partnerships in rural northwest Iowa. Since 1959, Seasons Center has provided a wide range of psychiatric and behavioral health services in northwest Iowa. Funding from the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will allow access to specialized, trauma-based, evidence-based foster mental health services to increase. Adopted and relative children and their families. (Health Care Today!)

National news

Key medical device security requirements included in omnibus bill

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ omnibus appropriations bill that would keep the government funded through Sept. 30, contains a variety of provisions that will affect health care, including medical device security requirements for manufacturers. Lawmakers and health care leaders had been pushing for further guidance and regulations surrounding medical device security. Health care organizations often maintain thousands of medical devices, many of which are internet-connected and could pose security risks. Struggles with securing and keeping track of medical devices, the industry’s reliance on legacy systems and an increased focus on cybersecurity at a federal level have prompted legislative action. (Health IT Security)

HHS releases ownership data on nation’s hospitals

HHS publicly recently released the ownership data for more than 7,000 U.S. hospitals for the first time. The information will be a one-stop-shop for up-to-date hospital ownership for researchers, reporters and the broader public, as many hospitals nationwide belong to larger health systems — though it’s not always easy to tell. Releasing the data is part of a larger bid to increase transparency in health care and is part of President Joe Biden’s executive order to promote competition in the sector. The data will be updated monthly. (Health Care Dive)

How flu admissions compare to past seasons

The 2022-2023 flu season is well underway, with the U.S. seeing the highest hospitalization rates in more than a decade. The cumulative flu hospitalization rate was 32.7 per 100,000 population for the week ending Dec. 10. This figure is higher than any other cumulative hospitalization rate seen during this week over the past 12 flu seasons. The CDC estimates there have already been 150,000 to 330,000 flu hospitalizations nationwide this season. The high end of this estimate, which only covers admissions through Dec. 10, surpasses cumulative hospitalization totals for four of the past 12 flu seasons. (CDC Flu View)

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