Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By siglerr|
|February 27, 2023

Iowa news

Polk County needs more hospital workers. Supervisors have a $1M plan to help fill the gap

Faced with severe staffing shortages at local hospitals, the Polk County Board of Supervisors is making a big investment to boost the local health care workforce. County officials announced they awarded $1 million in federal relief funds to establish the Health Care Workforce Collaborative, a partnership between local higher education institutions and health care organizations, which will be overseen by the Des Moines Area Community College. The partnership plans to launch a comprehensive recruitment and retention program to entice students from central Iowa to seek out health care careers. In the long term, county officials say this will help alleviate the health care workforce shortage that hospitals have struggled with since the pandemic began. (Des Moines Register)

MercyOne helping heart rhythm disorder patients live their best lives

An atrial fibrillation incident prompted a patient’s cardiologist at MercyOne Iowa Heart Center to recommend a left atrial appendage closure mechanism, and she has never felt better after using it. A growing number of patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation are not ideal candidates to be on blood thinners long term. The closure mechanism, a surgical implant placed in the left atrial appendage to help prevent blood clots, is helping atrial fibrillation patients live their best life. (MercyOne)

National news

AHA urges FTC to withdraw proposed rule that would ban noncompete clauses in employer agreements

The American Heart Association urged the Federal Trade Commission to withdraw its proposed rule that would ban contractual terms that prohibit workers from pursuing certain employment after their contracts with employers end. In its detailed comment letter, the AHA said if the FTC moves forward, it must exempt hospitals or at least providers and senior hospital executives. The proposed rule, if finalized, will apply only to for-profit hospitals. the AHA also urged the FTC to exempt for-profit hospitals from any final rule it issues until it can better study the impact that applying the rule in an uneven fashion, as the law requires, would have on labor markets that include nonprofit and for-profit hospitals. (AHA Today)

UnitedHealth Group purchases LHC Group

UnitedHealth Group has closed on its $5.4 billion acquisition of home health firm LHC Group. The deal was first proposed in March and further expands UnitedHealth’s ability to provide value-based care to Medicare patients. The purchase follows Optum’s rapid growth into care delivery over the last decade, with 70,000 employed or aligned physicians across more than 2,200 locations in 2023 — the most of any organization in the country. The last day of trading for LHC Group was Feb. 22. (Becker’s Payer Issues)

Poll finds almost two-thirds of U.S. physicians, nurses feel burnt out at work

America’s health care workforce is under unprecedented strain, and leaders of the medical profession are scrambling to shore up physicians and nurses who are burning out in record numbers. Nearly two-thirds of a nationwide group of physicians and nurses said they are experiencing a moderate or great deal of burnout at work, according to a new HealthDay-Harris poll. The National Academy of Medicine has seen a similar trend. (U.S. News and World Report)

Become a hospital advocate. Sign up for IHA Action Alerts.

Click here