Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|April 14, 2023

Iowa news

Iowa AG office gives $1.2 million to reduce opioid distribution

The Iowa attorney general’s office has given $1.2 million to Goldfinch Health to help reduce the distribution of opioids in Iowa hospitals. The health technology company will work with 20 to 25 Iowa hospitals to create a plan to reduce the number of opioids that are prescribed for medical procedures. Attorney General Brenna Bird says she’s also working with lawmakers to discuss other uses of several opioid settlement funds. (Iowa Public Radio)

Miller-Meeks co-sponsors bill to modify Medicare physician payment formula

A coalition of U.S. legislators has drafted a bill that would tie annual changes in Medicare physician reimbursement to inflation as measured by the Medicare Economic Index. U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz, MD, (D-Calif.) sponsored H.R. 2474, the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act, with support from co-sponsors Reps. Larry Bucshon, MD, (R-Ind.), Ami Bera, MD, (D-Calif.) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, MD, (R-Iowa). The aim of the bill is to address payment uncertainty affecting Medicare-participating physicians and avoid a possible physician shortage for Medicare beneficiaries. (Healio)

Iowa Donor Network designated a Tier 1 OPO

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has designated the Iowa Donor Network as a Tier 1 organ-procurement organization for the third straight year. This means the network, which is Iowa’s only nonprofit organ and tissue recovery agency, is among the top-performing U.S. organ-procurement organizations. The Iowa Donor Network is one of only 15 of 56 such organizations to achieve performance rates in the top 25% for both donation and transplant rates and to be designated as Tier 1 by CMS. (Corridor Business Journal)

National news

White House to invest $5 billion in next-generation COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s why we need new ones.

The Biden administration has announced a $5 billion program to accelerate the development of next-generation COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Like Operation Warp Speed, which developed and distributed vaccines in the early days of the pandemic, Project NextGen will cut across government agencies and involve public-private collaborations. Project NextGen has three goals: Develop a nasal vaccine to prevent infection as well as severe disease; develop longer-lasting vaccines; and create “broader” vaccines that protect against all variants and several coronaviruses. (Des Moines Register)

Cerner to develop AI tools that extract clinical notes from EHRs

Cerner Enviza is working with the FDA and John Snow Labs to develop AI-based tools that can extract clinical notes from patients’ EHRs. Under the two-year partnership, Cerner Enviza and John Snow Labs will develop a new method to improve computerized queries of digital patient data and clinical notes with the aim of enhancing pharmacoepidemiology. The project aims to help the FDA recognize how machine learning and natural language processing can help analyze the effects of medicines on large populations. (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report)

Physician shortages distress rural America, where few residency programs exist

More than 100 million people, or nearly one-third of the nation, have trouble accessing primary care, according to a recent study published by the National Association of Community Health Centers. This number has nearly doubled since 2014. The pandemic worsened provider shortages nationwide, but the problem is more acute in rural areas, which have long struggled to recruit and retain doctors and other medical professionals. Researchers say the relative lack of providers is one reason people living in rural areas experience worse health outcomes than people who live in urban areas. (Kaiser Health News)

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