NewsStand, Oct. 3, 2023

NewsStand, Oct. 3, 2023

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|October 2, 2023

Iowa news

Two Iowa hospitals named to Fortune’s ‘100 top hospitals’ list

Mercy Medical Center-Cedar Rapids and UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital were named to Fortune’s top 100 hospitals in the U.S., in collaboration with PINC AI, a health care intelligence platform. To compile the ranking, researchers evaluated 2,644 short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals using Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review data and CMS’ core measures and patient satisfaction data. The hospitals were also rated on community health measures set by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative and Center for Health Equity at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The hospitals were recognized in five categories. (Fortune)

Avera uses assistive AI to determine observation vs. inpatient status and saves $44 million

Avera McKennan has turned to assistive artificial intelligence to monitor patient-specific data in the hospital’s electronic health record and prioritize cases in real-time for review. The unique features of the solution helped determine the appropriate level of patient care faster and achieved a cost savings of $44 million in avoided costs over three years. Avera McKennan increased their observation to inpatient conversion rate by 140%, averaging 251 conversions per month prior to using AI to 352 per month after implementation. (MCG Health)

Obesity presents significant economic challenges in Iowa

Obesity is not only a chronic disease that 36.4% of Iowans live with but also a significant economic challenge that affects nearly everyone, according to findings from a new study by GlobalData PLC. “Obesity’s Impact on Iowa’s Economy and Labor Force” found that for 2022, excess weight and obesity reduced economic activity in Iowa by $5.7 billion, which is equivalent to 2.5% of the state’s 2022 gross domestic product. The effect on the state budget was $725 million, which is equal to 5.9% of 2022 fiscal year revenues, with state tax revenues lowering by $449.2 million and state costs for Medicaid, public assistance and state government health insurance increasing by $275.8 million. Additionally, $415 million was attributed to health-related absenteeism and disability costs due to obesity or excess weight. (Business Record)

National news

Email cyberattacks way up at hospitals

Cyberattacks through emails are way up at hospitals and health systems in 2023. Advanced email attacks in health care have increased 167% year over year, including business email compromise, credential phishing, malware and extortion. The frequency of these incidents peaked in March at 100 per 1,000 inboxes. If last year is any indication, these numbers are going to continue to rise until the holiday season, when cybercriminals will take a short break before starting their work again in the new year. Business email compromise attacks account for a small portion of the breaches — less than 1 per 1,000 mailboxes — but a disproportionate share of the financial devastation. (Abnormal Security)

Hospitals are dropping Medicare Advantage left and right

Medicare Advantage provides health coverage to more than half of the nation’s seniors, but a growing number of hospitals and health systems nationwide are pushing back and dropping the private plans altogether. Among the most-commonly cited reasons are excessive prior-authorization denial rates and slow payments from insurers. Some systems have noted that most Medicare Advantage carriers have faced allegations of billing fraud from the federal government and are being probed by lawmakers over their high denial rates. (Becker’s Hospital CFO Report)

A hot summer for health care jobs

Health care quietly experienced its most robust job growth this summer since the pandemic recovery. Health care added 73,000 jobs in July and 70,900 in August. The two-month gain marks the largest since the initial recovery from the COVID-19-induced recession that began in 2020. Ambulatory care settings led healthcare job growth in July and August, adding 77,700 jobs. Hospitals followed, adding 30,600 jobs in the same timeframe. Health care employment is 3.2% above where it was before the pandemic began in February 2020 and now exceeds the 2.6% increase in non-health care employment over the same period. (Becker’s Hospital Report)

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