NewsStand, Nov. 16, 2023

NewsStand, Nov. 16, 2023

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|November 16, 2023

Iowa news

Calhoun County to test state pilot program for EMS services

Calhoun County is one of three counties to receive a $75,000 grant to test a new state pilot program that treats EMS like Uber. The app will send the closest staff member to respond to an emergency before an ambulance can arrive. Bruce Musgrave, director of Calhoun County EMS, says his department can staff two ambulances at a time to cover the entire county. That’s an improvement from July, when the county only had one ambulance to serve the county. (KCCI)

The Breast Center at Pella Regional Health Center recognized as certified NQMBC participant

The Breast Center at Pella Regional Health Center was recently recognized as a certified participant of the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program. The program offers facilities providing breast health care the ability to track and measure performance and compare that data with other participating breast centers nationwide. Participants then use these comparison reports to identify where quality care already exists and where quality care improvement opportunities can be achieved. (KNIA/KRLS)

Broadlawns celebrates TEACH CNA apprenticeship graduates

Broadlawns Medical Center recently hosted a graduation for eight apprenticeship graduates from the Training and Education for Adults seeking a Career in Healthcare (TEACH) program. In partnership with Urban Dreams, Central Iowa HealthWorks, Des Moines Public Schools and Des Moines Area Community College, Broadlawns Medical Center offers paid apprenticeship opportunities for those interested in pursuing health care careers. Participants are introduced to Broadlawns’ work culture and career paths, and complete basic and advanced certified nursing assistant training. (Broadlawns Medical Center)

National news

Rural hospitals in crisis mode

Since 2005, 104 rural hospitals have closed, with another 89 facilities no longer providing inpatient services, according to data compiled by the University of North Carolina’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. Thirty-seven of those 104 closures have occurred since 2020, highlighting the amplified financial challenges that rural hospitals and health systems face amid persisting workforce shortages, rising costs and leveling reimbursement. To address concerns that rural and critical access hospital closures are reducing access to care for people in rural areas, CMS established the rural emergency hospital designation, a new Medicare provider type, effective Jan. 1. (Becker’s Hospital CFO Report)

Can AI save hospitals from the staffing crisis?

Some hospital leaders are optimistic that artificial intelligence could liberate their clinicians from hours of administrative work and return them to the bedside. Even with health care wage inflation showing signs of slowing down, the sector’s high rate of quitting and continued reliance on contract labor could continue to stress the labor market. More than half of nurses are still experiencing symptoms of burnout, with much of that attributed to administrative burden. Hospitals with investment arms have provided financing to vendors that are building AI-based tools designed to combat burnout. (Becker’s Health IT)

Hospital cash flow, margins to surge in 2024: Moody’s

The median operating cash flow and margins are expected to improve next year for most nonprofit hospitals, according to Moody’s Investor Services. Moody’s revised the outlook for the nonprofit health care sector to stable from negative, citing slower expense growth. Nonprofit hospitals are reigning in labor costs and reporting a “modest rebound” in patient volumes. They also are seeing higher reimbursement rates, which could mean higher revenue next year. Operating cash flow hit nearly -40% last year, but is projected to have double-digit growth this year. (Becker’s Hospital CFO Report)

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