Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By siglerr|
|May 12, 2023

Iowa news

Under new Iowa law, physician assistants no longer require supervision of physician

A new Iowa law aims to help health care worker shortages in rural areas. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the bill Wednesday at Washington County Hospitals and Clinics. The law no longer requires physician assistants to be supervised by a physician. They now can examine, diagnose and treat patients, but they cannot prescribe medicine. The American Academy of Physician Associates says the law will modernize their practice in Iowa. The state says more than half of physicians assistants in the state work in rural areas. (KCCI)

Allergy season has been getting worse. Why that’s bad news for Iowans

Warming global temperatures have caused longer pollen seasons and more potent allergens across North America in recent decades, and those worsening effects have been more apparent in places like Iowa, where weeds, trees and crops are abundant. Because of the worsening pollen season, allergy sufferers are less likely to find relief from over-the-counter medicines and may need to turn to their physicians for more help. A new report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says Des Moines is one of the worst places for allergy sufferers, not just because of high pollen counts, but because of the lack of availability of allergy specialists. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa business community says results of ’23 session enhance state’s economic vitality

The Iowa business community is celebrating key wins for its agenda during the recent legislative session, issues that leaders say will help make Iowa more competitive. With the 2023 legislative session now in the books, here’s a look at bills that were passed that business leaders say will make it easier for Iowa to attract and retain top talent, and make Iowa more attractive to do business. Among the bills that addressed priorities of Iowa’s business community this session were bills that capped medical malpractice awards and increased the pipeline for mental health professionals. (Business Record)

National news

Nursing schools turn away thousands even as enrollment dips

After growing for 20 years, the number of students in entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs fell 1.4% last year, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Enrollment also fell 9.4% in master’s nursing programs and 4.1% in doctoral nursing programs. Despite the decline, nursing schools turned away thousands of qualified applicants last year, largely because of a shortage of faculty and clinical training sites. AHA has urged Congress to enact a number of policies to address the health care workforce shortage emergency, including boosting support for nursing schools, faculty, scholarships and loan forgiveness. (American Hospital Association)

Microsoft reportedly developing privacy-focused ChatGPT for health care

Microsoft is reportedly developing a privacy-focused version of ChatGPT for health care providers. The product could be announced by the end of the quarter and is reportedly aimed at preventing data leaks from sensitive industries that might be reluctant to use the current version of the artificial intelligence chatbot. Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in ChatGPT developer OpenAI, giving it the rights to sell the technology. The new version could be 10 times the cost of the current model and be hosted by dedicated servers. (Becker’s Health IT)

How the U.S. reports COVID-19 data is about to change

In another landmark change to how the nation tracks COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will halt efforts to count daily cases and instead shift surveillance to hospitalizations or death, similar to tracking the flu. Daily reporting of COVID-19 cases is ending as the public health emergency concludes May 11 and the U.S. shifts to weekly surveillance of deaths and hospitalizations. The color-coded community maps showing cases by county also will be replaced by a measure based on hospital admissions. The news comes as the World Health Organization said May 5 that COVID-19 is no longer a global emergency although the pandemic has not ended. (USA Today)

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