NewsStand, July 27, 2023

NewsStand, July 27, 2023

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|July 26, 2023

Iowa news

Mercy’s Health Equity Fund awards support to eight local nonprofits

Mercy Cedar Rapids has awarded more than $150,000 to local nonprofits through it’s Health Equity Fund. Mercy’s Health Equity Fund is designed to provide assistance to local nonprofit organizations in their goal to provide residents in Linn County and seven surrounding communities with the opportunity to attain full health potential. Recipients of funding are Arc of East Central Iowa, Area Ambulance, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Feed Iowa First, HACAP Food Reservoir, Horizons, Iowa Legal Aid and NewBo City Market. (KGAN)

Methodist Jennie Edmundson partners to build 96-bed behavioral health hospital in Council Bluffs

Methodist Jennie Edmundson is partnering with a Tennessee-based behavioral health care company to build a 96-bed, state-of-the-art behavioral health hospital in Council Bluffs. The hospital will include 24 beds for children and adolescents and also will provide outpatient behavioral health services. (Omaha World-Herald)

Rural hospitals face increasing risk of closure

More than 300 rural hospitals are at immediate risk of closure because of the severity of their financial programs according to a new report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform. The report showed that seven rural Iowa hospitals have lost money on patient services for multiple years, excluding 2020 during the pandemic, and are not likely to receive sufficient funds to cover the losses with public assistance ending. These hospitals also have low reserves and more debts than assets. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

National news

AI can play a role in reducing stroke disparities

AI enable a data-driven approach to providing patients more personalized and precise care pertinent to their individual situation. AI can assist underserved hospitals detect, triage and predict outcomes after a stroke. For example, if a hospital notes that certain demographics are less likely to receive certain interventions, AI can be used to identify non-obvious factors – such as zip code, physical activity level, frequency of doctor’s visits and distance between home and the nearest first responder stations – that may be stroke contributors or affect timely access to care. (MedPage Today)

Insurance coverage for mental health care gets a boost from Biden

President Joe Biden announced a proposed rule that would strengthen existing policies and close loopholes that have left patients with behavioral health needs with few options for insurance-covered care. The new policy will require insurers to report on outcomes of their mental health coverages, showing that they offer patients equal access to medical and mental health care. It also says insurers must use similar ways of setting out-of-network payment rates for mental health care as for medical care. (National Public Radio)

Medicare households spend more on health care than other households

KFF, formerly Kaiser Health News, found that average health-related expenses accounted for 15% of Medicare households’ total spending compared to 7% for non-Medicare households. The larger burden of health care spending among Medicare households is a function of both lower average total household spending for Medicare households and higher health care use. (KFF)

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