NewsStand, Dec. 7, 2023

NewsStand, Dec. 7, 2023

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|December 6, 2023

Iowa news

New report flags 6% of Iowans as having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

According to new data from the American Lung Association, over 12 million people in the U.S. live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. That includes 6% of Iowa’s population. Bobby Mahajan, M.D., with the American Lung Association, says the main cause of the disease is smoking, but other factors such as exposure to pollution and a person’s genetics may cause the disease and stress the lungs. (Iowa Public Radio)

Iowa ranks 15th on healthiest states list

United Health Foundation has released its 2023 America’s Health Rankings, which analyzes the overall health of the 50 states and this year identifies a record-high and rising prevalence of chronic conditions. Iowa ranks 15th on the list.  For the 2023 rankings, the foundation analyzed 87 measures across five categories of health: social and economic factors, physical environment, behaviors, clinical care and health outcomes. This year, eight chronic conditions — arthritis, depression, diabetes, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic kidney disease — reached their highest levels since America’s Health Rankings began tracking these measures in 1990. (United Health Foundation)

Vaccine fatigue at work: Only 8% of Iowa nursing home workers have up-to-date COVID-19 shots

COVID-19 vaccination rates among Iowa’s nursing homes are significantly lagging this year, highlighting the toll that vaccine fatigue is taking on front-line health care workers as the respiratory virus season nears. Only 8% of nursing home staff statewide are up to date on their coronavirus shots as of Nov. 26, the latest data available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And only 45% of Iowa’s nursing home residents are up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, according to the CDC. Although that’s better than the national average of 27%, it still trails rates from previous years. (Des Moines Register)


National news

How nurse practitioner growth is changing health care hierarchies

As nurse practitioners surge to 385,000 strong in the U.S., the profession is establishing itself as a more prominent role in health care hierarchies. Simultaneously, the American Medical Association anticipates a looming shortage of 100,000 physicians in the next decade. How will the growth of one and the shrinking of the other influence hospital dynamics? Harvard Medical School researchers found that 25% of U.S. health visits are conducted by a non-physician. During those visits, physicians and nurse practitioners agree that patients should be aware of who they are receiving care from and what their credentials are. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

2023: The year that changed the CEO role

The CEO role at hospitals and health systems continues to evolve as organizations navigate industry challenges. This evolution is often part of short-term and long-term strategies. Like clinicians, hospital and health system CEOs have experienced burnout. This burnout, as well as unaddressed isolation, could be contributing to health care’s high turnover rates. U.S. hospitals have seen 126 CEO exits through October 2023, a 62% increase from the 78 reported in the same time period last year. A 2022 survey from executive search firm WittKieffer also showed that burnout appears to be on the rise among health care C-suite executives. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Will hospitals see expense relief in 2024?

Inflation and workforce shortages have rocketed expenses for hospitals in the last two years, and executive teams are pivoting to stabilize finances as much as possible. Will 2024 economic trends bring relief or more of the same pressures? It depends on the hospital’s strategy and ability to execute. The health care sector will continue to grapple with high expenses principally because of a shortage of skilled labor, particularly nurses. But the growth in expenses will slow as hospitals make greater efforts to recruit and retain full-time nurses, partly by providing expanded benefit packages, to reduce reliance on expensive contract labor. (Healthcare Finance News)


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