NewsStand, June 29, 2023

NewsStand, June 29, 2023

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|June 28, 2023

Iowa news

UnityPoint Health Marshalltown south campus expansion

Marshalltown’s medical center had served Marshall County residents for over 100 years in the heart of downtown. But by the mid-2010s, it was apparent that a change in ownership and a facility overhaul was needed to keep critical health care services available to the public. UnityPoint Health stepped in to purchase Marshalltown Hospital in 2017. The facility had dealt with several hardships in recent history including severe weather events, service line closure and a bankruptcy filing. Many areas of the facility were not sprinkled, noncompliant or simply broken and worn. Surgery, imaging and lab services had been moved to an outpatient center on the south side of town in 2015, and the decision was clear that a new addition to the south campus would be the best path forward for patients, staff and community. (Invision)

Broadlawns plans new brain, memory care center in Urbandale

Broadlawns Medical Center plans to open a center that focuses on brain health and memory care in a new medical campus planned in Urbandale. The medical provider also plans to develop a second building on the campus that will offer primary care and services related to behavioral and women’s and men’s health. The two buildings are planned in a medical campus being developed by Dr. John Tentinger, a local radiologist. The new Broadlawns Brain and Memory Center is an expansion of what the Polk County medical provider offers on its campus in Des Moines. (Business Record)

New owner seeking COVID-19 funds to reopen Keokuk hospital

The new owner of the Keokuk hospital is seeking $2.2 million in COVID-19 relief funds to help reopen the facility. Michigan-based Insight says the money could mean the hospital will open this year. The city is trying to get residents to support the request. Mayor Kathie Mahoney says the city is including a letter about the plan in this month’s water bills. Residents and business owners are asked to sign the letter to support the request. Letters signed and returned to the city by July 5 will be sent to the governor’s office. She says the money would help Insight reopen the emergency room and offer other medical services on the Morgan Street campus by December. Without the money, it might be March or April of next year before the hospital reopens. (Iowa Public Radio)

National news

Health care workers’ optimism is returning

Health care workers experienced high levels of burnout, stress and trauma during the pandemic, but new data suggests their optimism about the industry is returning, according to a June 26 survey from Morning Consult. The survey includes insights from 1,006 U.S. healthcare workers polled between May 5 and May 18. The survey found that 58% of respondents said they are optimistic about health care’s future, 61% said they’ve mostly coped with work stressors over the past six months and were evenly split on whether they felt defeated or energized by their work. (Morning Consult)

Should hospitals get paid more than physician practices for the same service?

Should hospital outpatient departments get paid more by Medicare than independent physician practices for providing the same care? Yes, they absolutely should, panelists said at a briefing sponsored by the American Hospital Association. The AHA was responding to recent congressional initiatives to ramp up “site-neutral” Medicare payments. The movement began in 2015, when Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act, which required that new outpatient departments that were not located on a hospital’s campus be paid in a “site-neutral” manner at the same rate as the regular physician fee schedule; that rate was 40% less than the hospitals were receiving. That change resulted in $60 million in cuts to hospital payments in 2017 and $74.4 million in 2018. Dedicated emergency departments were exempted from the cut. (MedPage Today)

Hospital capacity problems will persist as patient acuity rises by 2033

Hospital capacity problems are expected to persist over the next decade even as care increasingly moves out of the traditional hospital into the home and outpatient settings, according to the latest forecasts from Sg2. In its 2023 Impact of Change Forecast, Sg2 notes that the case mix index — reflecting patient severity — is up 5% since 2019 while the average length of stay for patients admitted to a hospital has risen 10%. The report notes that the increasingly complex nature of the patient population exacerbates the closure of 30,000 patient beds between 2019 and 2022 and workforce challenges. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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