Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By siglerr|
|April 7, 2023

Iowa news

Hy-Vee opens first health infusion clinic in Iowa, more locations planned

Hy-Vee has opened its first Hy-Vee Health infusion clinic to provide greater health care accessibility throughout the communities it serves. The free-standing clinic is staffed by licensed physicians and nurse practitioners, and features three private infusion rooms and five group infusion suites, offering a comfortable setting for patients receiving specialty treatments. The Hy-Vee Health Infusion Clinic is an extension of Hy-Vee’s commitment to specialty care. Since 2014, the retailer has operated Amber Specialty Pharmacy with 19 locations nationwide. Hy-Vee has invested heavily in other health and wellness areas by employing a team of registered dietitians and creating a free educational program for children to promote physical activity and healthy-lifestyle habits. Most recently, the retailer introduced telehealth and online pharmacy provider RedBox Rx, pharmacy benefit manager Vivid Clear Rx, and e-commerce health and wellness site WholeLotta Good. (Progressive Grocer)

Biden administration to send nearly $80M to Iowa to improve water infrastructure

Iowa will receive nearly $80 million to help pay for improvements to drinking water infrastructure, including replacing dangerous lead pipes and tackling “forever chemicals,” the Biden administration said this week. Iowa’s $79.9 million is part of $6.9 billion headed to states, tribes and territories to boost drinking water improvements. The money, distributed through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, will come from last year’s $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Iowa’s investments through this fund will aid in securing needed resources to address critical infrastructure needs, threats to drinking water systems such as lead pipes, and emerging contaminants such as PFAS. (Des Moines Register)

Miller-Meeks supports bill to reform Medicare payments

New legislation in the House aims to boost physician Medicare payments using an inflation-based update. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) introduced the “Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act,” which links the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule to the Medicare Economic Index — a measure of inflation physicians are subjected to that relates to practice costs and wage levels. Some physician groups say the move would even the playing field with other providers. The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-Ind.), Ami Bera, M.D. (D-Calif.) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (R-Iowa). (Med Page Today)

National news

New PhRMA-led coalition seeks to dismantle 340B and undermine access to care for patients

Once again, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America has demonstrated its willingness to put the profits of its drug company members over the needs of America’s patients. The organization’s recent announcement of a new coalition “ASAP 340B” is another attempt by drug companies to dismantle the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The self-serving policy proposals outlined by this new alliance directly contravene Congress’ oft-demonstrated intent to preserve the 340B program over the last 30 years. Those most affected by this coalition’s assault on 340B are the millions of patients who will lose access to lifesaving medicines and to other vital health care services supported by the program. (American Hospital Association)

CMS to boost inpatient rehab facility payments by 3.7% in 2024

CMS has issued its inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system proposed rule, which would increase payments to inpatient rehabilitation facilities by 3.7% in 2024. CMS projects that total payments will increase by $335 million in 2024. CMS also proposed modifying its regulations to eliminate the requirement that new inpatient rehabilitation facilities at hospitals open at the beginning of cost-report periods. Instead, the proposed change would allow opening at any time, provided the hospital gives a 30-day notice to the proper entities. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

How a tranquilizer showing up in fentanyl makes it harder to slow overdose deaths

Overdose-reversal drug Narcan is now allowed without a prescription, but experts are warning it doesn’t work on a common street drug called xylazine. Nearly 25% of fentanyl powder seized in the U.S. last year was mixed with xylazine, a horse and cattle tranquilizer, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Known as the street drug “tranq,” “tranq dope” or “zombie heroin,” xylazine is dangerous because it depresses breathing, lengthens overdoses and causes skin ulcers and sores that last for months. (USA Today)

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