Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By siglerr|
|March 27, 2023

Iowa news

What the passage of Senate File 75 means for Keokuk

Worried about the risk of rural hospital closures nationwide, which has risen to more than 30%, Congress created a rural emergency hospital designation in December 2020. Now in place and enacted, state legislatures can create state licensing and codes. Blessing Hospital in Keokuk closed in October 2022, but with the passage of Senate File 75 in the Iowa legislature this year, there’s a possibility this hospital could reopen with the new designation. But work must be done to ensure the hospital is fit for patient care. (Daily Gate City)

$14 million surgical specialty unit renovation complete at St. Luke’s Hospital

A $14 million renovation of the UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital Surgical Specialty Unit is complete. The new unit combines two existing medical and surgical units into one modern, efficient space to improve patient experience and increase team member efficiency. There had been no renovations to the previous units for more than 50 years, making it the most outdated area of the hospital. Construction for the inpatient modernization project began in 2021, and the final phase of St. Luke’s inpatient modernization project includes renovations of the fifth floor dialysis suite, expected to be completed this summer. (Iowa’s News Now)

Collecting with compassion: Patient financial care grows in importance 

When the pandemic began, Henry County Health Center’s revenue cycle department took a gamble to relieve the financial stress of care for patients. Executives for the 25-bed, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, critical access hospital, which serves a large Medicare and Medicaid population, opted to hit pause on discussions about health care costs before care was delivered. At Henry County Health Center, financial conversations at the point of care in the emergency department have made a significant difference in the health center’s ability to collect out-of-pocket balances. (Healthcare Financial Management Association)

National news

U.S. plans major revamp of troubled organ transplant system

The federal government has outlined a plan to revamp the nation’s organ transplant system, which has been plagued by problems, including damaged or discarded organs and long wait times. The system is ineffective and usually benefits affluent white people who have the means to travel where organs are available. A Health Resources and Services Administration’s plan would nearly double the amount of funding the government agency receives from the U.S. to $67 million in the fiscal year 2024 to “modernize” the nation’s transplant system. The new program would provide patients with more timely information, empowering them to take more control over the transplant journey and would help address equity issues, in which people who should be referred for a transplant are overlooked or given access to care too late. (NBC News)

CVS to close Signify Health deal this week

CVS Health is completing its $8 billion acquisition of Signify Health, closing out a definitive agreement reached in September 2022. The companies said the deal will close “on or around March 29,” after which Signify Health will “continue to operate as a payer-agnostic business as part of CVS Health.” The payer-agnostic detail is relevant given that CVS Health acquired health insurer Aetna for $69 billion in 2018. Signify Health uses analytics and technology to support in-home care, evaluations and service coordination for employers, physician groups, health systems and health plans, including dozens of Medicare Advantage plans. Last fall, the Dallas-based company was in the center of a bidding war, with UnitedHealth Group, Amazon and Option Care Health making bids besides CVS Health. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

FDA releases transition plans for medical device enforcement, authorization after COVID-19 public health emergency

The Food and Drug Administration released final guidance for transitioning medical device enforcement policies and emergency-use authorizations established during the COVID-19 public health emergency to normal operations. The Biden Administration plans to end the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration Thursday, May 11. The COVID-19 emergency-use authorization declaration for COVID-19 diagnostics, personal protective equipment, other medical devices, and drug and biological products will remain in effect until there is no longer a “significant potential” for a COVID-19 public health emergency or the authorized devices or products have been approved. (American Hospital Association)

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

Click here