Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 4, 2023

Iowa news

Iowa commission suggests mental health policy changes

The Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Commission has published a 20-page report detailing the state’s mental health capabilities, needs and requests. The document was drafted by representatives from 19 communities statewide. The report comes a year after an overhaul to the state’s Mental Health and Disability Service regions, which centralized funding for the groups and jeopardized the service model of many in the process. The report evaluated the work of mental health actors statewide, identifying several areas of achievement in the last two years. (Insurance News Net)

3 Iowa departments, serving millions, merging

There is much at stake as elected officials continue to cement in law the merger of three state departments – human services, public health and aging – into one mega-department: the new Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. That work will continue in the 2023 session of the Iowa Legislature. State lawmakers set the legislative process in motion during last year’s session, in which they established a framework for the merger and created benchmarks for the newly formed department to reach before its official first day on July 1. More legislation will be required to continue the merger. (SouthernMinn)

Iowa’s public universities prepare program expansions in 2023, 2024

Iowa’s three public universities are planning to expand several programs over the next two academic years. Starting in 2023, Iowa State University is helping students retain the flexibility of the online options originally offered during the COVID-19 pandemic while the University of Northern Iowa works to finalize its new nursing program by 2024. The University of Iowa is looking to advance its driving research. ISU is planning two online expansions in 2023 as it opens Iowa State Online and offers students telehealth options for mental health care. (KMTV)

National news

New omicron subvariant on path to dominance, data suggests

Omicron subvariant XBB is encroaching on BQ.1 and BQ.1.1’s dominance, CDC data shows, as it accounts for 18.3% of U.S. cases. Subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, which became the nation’s most pervasive strains in November, are on the decline. The FDA began tracking XBB on Nov. 28, 2022. The subvariant is a fusion of two other omicron subvariants, BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75, and it caused a wave of cases in Singapore. The tweaked booster shots are expected to have some protection against XBB and XBB, but the protection is diminished multifold with XBB. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Quint Studer: Take an N=1 approach to helping people feel they belong

We know when we feel we belong somewhere. For years I have shared that most people appreciate a work environment where they believe the work they are doing fills a purpose, is worthwhile, and makes a difference. Today, I feel it takes much more than that. A person can feel all of those things and still may not feel that they belong. Belonging is that deep-down sense that “this is the right place for me.” People can feel they are doing worthwhile work, feel that sense of purpose, feel they’re making a difference, yet still leave because they know they can find those things elsewhere. The key to retention is belonging. Is this the right place for me? (Pensacola News Journal)

Squeezed by temp nurse costs, hospital systems create their own staffing agencies

An increasing number of hospital systems have created in-house staffing teams to cope with the pandemic-fueled nursing shortage — and try to beat private temp staffing agencies at their own game. Depending on the system, the nurses could work a weeklong stint or a multiple-week assignment at a hospital and then do a similar schedule at another facility. Some even work self-scheduled shifts in various locations, unlike regular staff nurses, who typically work in a single medical unit within one hospital. These workers differ from traditional “float” nurses, who shift from unit to unit on an as-needed basis within a single hospital. The goal of the in-house teams is to offer enough pay and flexibility to attract nurses to the jobs — and thus reduce the systems’ heavy dependence on more expensive RNs from outside agencies. (Modern Healthcare)

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