Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By siglerr|
|March 31, 2023

Iowa news

Keokuk hospital sold to Michigan-based provider

Michigan-based health care provider Insight has completed its purchase of the Keokuk hospital. Keokuk Mayor Kathie Mahoney said the hospital has not announced when it will reopen or what services will be provided, but she said the new owners want to resume 24-hour urgent care in Keokuk. The new owners are reviewing the rural emergency hospital designation that Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law on March 28. The designation allows rural hospitals and those in smaller towns like Keokuk to opt out of providing inpatient care but continue operating an emergency room. (Iowa Public Radio)

Polk’s health ranking drops to bottom half of Iowa counties

Polk County’s health rank slipped this year into the bottom half of Iowa counties, according to a report released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. This year’s ranking looked at factors measuring infrastructure and civic participation, including access to parks, school funding adequacy, broadband access, voter turnout and self-reported census participation. Polk is No. 69 among Iowa’s 99 counties in health outcomes which is its lowest showing since the rankings began more than a decade ago. (AXIOS Des Moines)

UnityPoint Health-Grinnell hosts blood drive April 28

UnityPoint Health-Grinnell Regional Medical Center is partnering with LifeServe Blood Center to host a mobile blood drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 28. The LifeServe Bloodmobile will be parked in the medical center’s northeast employee parking lot at the corner of 4th Ave. and Reed St. in Grinnell. Appointments are encouraged. (Southeast Iowa Union)

National news

Razor-thin hospital margins become the new normal

Hospital finances are starting to stabilize as razor-thin margins become the new normal, according to Kaufman Hall’s latest National Flash Hospital Report, which is based on data from more than 900 hospitals. External economic factors including labor shortages, higher material expenses and patients increasingly seeking care outside of inpatient settings are affecting hospital finances, with the high level of fluctuation that margins experienced since 2020 beginning to subside. Hospitals’ median year-to-date operating margin was -1.1% in February, down from -0.8% in January. Despite the slight dip, February marked the eighth month in which the variation in month-to-month margins decreased relative to the last three years. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

AHA voices support for Rural American Health Corps Act

The American Hospital Association voiced support for bipartisan legislation that would create a rural America health corps modeled on the National Health Service Corps to encourage health care professionals to serve in rural areas. The Rural America Health Corps Act (S.940) would create, among other provisions, a demonstration program offering $200,000 in loan repayments to eligible clinicians who agree to serve five years in a rural health professional shortage area. (American Hospital Association)

Drug combo may extend the lives of women with advanced endometrial cancer

Women with advanced endometrial cancer may live longer before their tumors return if they receive immunotherapy and chemotherapy at the same time, according to two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings are expected to transform the way oncologists treat women in later stages of their disease. In one of the studies, researchers found that adding the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) to the standard chemotherapy regimen of carboplatin and paclitaxel reduced the risk that patients’ advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer would return by up to 70%, depending on the types of tumors they had. (NBC News)

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