Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By siglerr|
|April 24, 2023

Iowa news

Iowa hospitals face mounting financial pressure, stagnating Medicaid reimbursement 

188 rural hospitals have closed their doors nationwide since 2005, and 220 are at immediate risk of closing. Stagnant Medicaid reimbursement rates are hurting rural hospitals and leaving them in financial jeopardy. As legislators attempt to steady the financial headwinds for rural hospitals, Medicaid reimbursement rate increases have not gained bipartisan support. The Iowa Legislature has worked to address the financial pressure that rural hospitals face, though some say policymakers’ solutions haven’t gone far enough to give the facilities the lifelines they need to stay open. (The Daily Iowan)

Why can’t Iowa hospitals get enough vital medicine? Hospital leader says they don’t always know

Persistent supply challenges have strained some Iowa hospitals as they try to get enough vital medicines, including cancer-fighting drugs, to treat their patients. Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines reported that its supply of a drug that’s used in certain chemotherapy treatments, methotrexate, may run out in the next week or so. Hospitals nationwide report shortages of certain drugs because of a variety of factors: supply chain issues, manufacturing delays and a lack of sufficient production of generic drugs. (WHO Des Moines)

University of Iowa moving forward on design for new patient tower

A day after getting state board of regents approval to proceed with $185 million worth of health care and medicine-related projects, the University of Iowa issued a request for qualifications from firms interested in designing and developing a massive new north inpatient tower next to Kinnick Stadium. The request shows UI Health Care is moving ahead with the new tower, first mentioned last year as part of its 10-year master plan, aimed at alleviating crowding across the more than 800-bed UI Hospitals and Clinics. Planned north of the 14-story UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, the new tower will emerge just west of the general hospital campus and overlook Kinnick Stadium to its southwest. (The Gazette)

National news

HHS highlights resources to support resilient health sector infrastructure

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Climate Change and Health Equity released a resource to help the health sector find grants, loan programs and tax credits to invest in renewable energy and build resilient infrastructure. The office also announced new guidance to help health care organizations use the Environmental Protection Agency’s free ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to track their building-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. AHA’s American Society for Health Care Engineering also offers the Energy to Care Program to help health care facilities track, manage and communicate energy savings. (American Hospital Association)

Health care employment sees gains, but labor shortages drag on

Shortages in health care have long existed. Although some signs may point to easing labor pressures for hospitals, many professionals in the field are living a different story. A March report from Altarum showed that health care employment had rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. But in March, health care only gained 33,900 jobs, down from the average monthly gain of 54,000 during the prior six months. One thing is certain: health care is still short on the labor it needs, and those shortages remain unprecedented. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Over-the-counter Narcan to cost less than $50 for a two-pack, company says

When Narcan finally becomes available over the counter later this year, the price may put the lifesaving antidote out of reach for many people, experts say. Emergent BioSolutions said it plans to price the opioid overdose reversal medicine at less than $50 for two doses. The price tag could seem like a small price to pay to save someone’s life, but at that price there will be many who can’t afford the purchase. (NBC News)

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