Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 10, 2023

Iowa news

Fitch: Cyberattacks on nonprofit hospital websites, including UIHC’s, won’t lead to downgrades

The recent attacks on U.S. hospitals and health system websites by Russian hacking group Killnet aren’t likely to cause downgrade ratings for nonprofit hospitals and health systems. On Jan. 28, KillNet claimed to have taken down multiple hospital and health system websites nationwide, including the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and allegedly posted global health and personal information belonging to global health organizations on its Killnet list. According to Fitch, this attack was the most widespread and coordinated attack against the health care sector date, with 20 hospitals reporting that they had been affected by it. (Fitch Ratings)

A new 55+ community is being developed in Orange City in hopes of slowing the need for senior health care

Seniors looking to move into an Orange City nursing home or retirement community will first have to wait. The average waiting time at both facilities is 18-24 months. Kanaal Huis is a 55+ senior housing corporation sponsored by the Orange City Area Health Foundation. The hope is that this will improve the quality of life for older Iowans — in return, slowing the need for aftercare for the elderly, such as assisted living or nursing homes. The goal is to make more housing affordable for young families who want to live in Orange City. (KTIV)

Iowa among states with largest number of per-capita visits to emergency departments for mental health conditions

Oregon Health and Science University researchers measured wide differences among U.S. states in the number of people who turn to hospital emergency departments for treatment of mental health conditions through Medicaid, highlighting the lack of suitable care in many states. Researchers tracked Medicaid data from 2018. They found that Ohio, Nevada and Iowa had the largest number of per-capita visits to emergency departments for mental health conditions among Medicaid beneficiaries while Colorado, West Virginia and Arizona had the least. (Public News Times)

National news

Medicare announces plan to recoup billions from drug companies

Medicare’s historic plan to slow prescription drug spending is taking shape. Federal health officials have released proposed guidance that outlines the first of a pair of major drug price reforms contained in the Inflation Reduction Act. Those reforms are projected to save Medicare roughly $170 billion over the next decade. Spending on drugs in Medicare, which covers 64 million seniors and people with disabilities, nearly tripled from about $85 billion in 2009 to $240 billion in 2020. Medicare spends an average of $2,700 per beneficiary on retail drugs each year. (Iowa Public Radio)

What the nursing degree scheme means for staffing shortages

Staffing shortages are already top of mind for hospital and health system leaders. Now, a nursing degree scheme adds a new layer to the issue. Dani Bowie, D.N.P., RN, vice president of clinical strategy and transformation for San Francisco-based healthcare labor marketplace company Trusted Health, said situations like what has unfolded in Florida require health systems to collaborate with state licensing boards when reviewing their existing nursing staff to ensure education degrees are valid and not associated with a fraudulent school. Investigations continue into a coordinated scheme that involved selling more than 7,600 fraudulent diplomas and transcripts from three now-shuttered Florida nursing schools. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

COVID-19 test kits, treatments and vaccines won’t be free to many consumers much longer

Time is running out for free-to-consumer COVID-19 vaccines, at-home test kits and even some treatments. The White House has announced the national public health emergency, first declared in early 2020 in response to the pandemic, is set to expire May 11. That means insurers, employers, taxpayers and other consumers will be affected as drugmakers move COVID-19 care to the commercial market. (Iowa Public Radio)

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