Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By siglerr|
|June 2, 2023

Iowa news

Average wait time in an Iowa emergency room? 123 minutes

Hospitals in the Des Moines metro are encouraging people to avoid emergency rooms, if possible, this summer and go to an urgent care clinic for less severe illnesses and injuries. The message comes as hospitals nationwide deal with a critical shortage of nurses and expect to see the typical summertime increase in trauma cases. A recent insurance industry analysis shows the average wait time in an Iowa hospital emergency room is 123 minutes. (KIWA radio)

Oak Street Health to expand into Iowa

Less than a month after CVS Health acquired Oak Street Health, the primary care provider plans to expand into four more states. This summer, the company plans to open value-based primary care centers in: Little Rock, Arkansas; Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa; Kansas City, Kansas and Richmond, Virginia. CVS finalized its $10.6 billion acquisition of the Medicare-focused primary care company in early May, picking up, at the time, about 169 medical centers in 21 states. The acquisition significantly broadens CVS Health’s primary care footprint and the retail pharmacy giant said the deal will improve health outcomes and reduce costs for patients, particularly for those in underserved communities. (Fierce Healthcare)

Waterloo physician named to board of Iowa Medical Society

Rachel Preisser, M.D., a diagnostic radiologist specializing in breast imaging at MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center, has been named to the Iowa Medical Society’s board of directors. Dr. Preisser was installed as part of the society’s annual meeting in April. She completed her breast-imaging fellowship at UCHealth Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center at the University of Colorado in 2015. Before her fellowship, Dr. Preisser completed a radiology residency and a musculoskeletal imaging fellowship at Allegheny Health Network. She received her medical degree from the University of Iowa. (The Courier)

National news

Medicare plans to pay for Alzheimer’s drugs that win full FDA approval

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will pay for new Alzheimer’s drugs that are granted full approval from the Food and Drug Administration, although it will require physicians to collect data about how well the drugs perform in the real world. It’s expected to help more Alzheimer’s patients afford the new drugs. The change is a win for advocacy groups, including the Alzheimer’s Association, that have been seeking broader access to a newer class of medicines that have shown signs in clinical trials of slowing the progression of the disease. About 6.7 million people over age 65 have Alzheimer’s in the U.S. and could qualify for coverage under Medicare. (NBC News)

Five ways hospitals are working to improve the patient experience

Hospitals nationwide have launched initiatives to boost their patient experience ratings. CMS requires hospitals to administer standardized national surveys called Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems to gain patient feedback. These are compiled into scores on the agency’s Care Compare website, which some patients use to decide where to get care. Hospitals looking to improve their scores have turned to the hospitality industry and consumer companies to learn how to transform dissatisfied customers into loyal ones. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

This virus flew under everyone’s radar this spring. What we know.

All eyes were on viruses like influenza and RSV this winter, but Americans may have missed another important pathogen: Human metapneumovirus, or hMPV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week reported an uptick of hMPV cases nationwide this winter and spring, which experts say may be partly because of the public’s increased capacity to test for different viruses. hMPV is an infection that affects the upper respiratory tract. Although it can affect people of all ages, young children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at greater risk. (Des Moines Register)

Become a hospital advocate. Sign up for IHA Action Alerts.

Click here