NewsStand, Jan. 12, 2024

NewsStand, Jan. 12, 2024

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 11, 2024

Iowa news

A year after the measure was introduced, no Iowa hospitals have received an REH licensure designation

A year after the Rural Emergency Hospital designation was introduced, no Iowa hospitals have received the federal licensure. The measure was meant to help struggling rural hospitals stay afloat by ending inpatient services and operating solely as an emergency room. According to the University of North Carolina, just 18 hospitals nationwide have received the designation so far. (Iowa Public Radio)

Pella Regional Health Center installs sophisticated inpatient beds

Pella Regional Health Center recently replaced its hospital inpatient beds with advanced models that are are completely wireless and feature a low-height position for fall prevention, providing increased comfort and safety for both patients and caregivers. Each bed connects to the nurse call system and provide a dashboard of all bed data, including bed configuration and exit alarm activity to the nurse’s station. Three-position side rails allow for easier patient entry and exit as well as nurse-patient interaction. The unique bed alarm uses advanced technology that senses a patient’s weight and will alert nurses if a patient is out of position or has left the bed. Operational aspects of the bed, from side rail positioning, head of bed angle and height, are monitored to ensure it’s always in a safe position for the patient. These features help the patient care team improve workflow while reducing the patients’ risk of falls. Other features include touchscreens, a USB port and phone holder, a bed-extender for taller patients, and an electric braking system with hand-adjusted speed control. (KNIA/KRLS)

UnitedHealth Group is Iowa’s largest Medicare Advantage insurer

UnitedHealth Group has the largest Medicare Advantage market share in 25 states, including Iowa, according to the American Medical Association. The group published its annual “Competition in Health Insurance” report in December. According to the report, 90% of Medicare Advantage markets are “highly concentrated,” meaning one insurer has more than 30% of the market. In 31% of markets, one insurer has more than 50% of the market share. In Iowa, UnitedHealth Group has 45% of the market. The report looks at data from 2022. (Becker’s Payer Issues)

National news

Kaufman Hall: Hospital performance signals continued stabilization and growth

Recent data on hospital performance signal ongoing stabilization and growth as operating margins continue to improve, according to Kaufman Hall’s latest National Hospital Flash Report. The median Kaufman Hall Calendar Year-To-Date Operating Margin Index reflecting actual margins was 2.0% in November. The report includes steps that hospitals and health systems can take to reembrace growth strategies in the new year. (Kaufman Hall)

Ending the silence on health care violence

I began my career at the University of Vermont Medical Center as an emergency department physician over 30 years ago, and I now serve as the president and chief operating officer. Over my three decades here, I have seen the hospital, the practice of medicine and the world in which we provide care evolve. It’s never been more challenging or more dangerous for caregivers to do their jobs than it is now. This is especially true for my emergency department colleagues. In our hospital, we are seeing alarming acts of violence and other inappropriate behaviors committed against our staff by patients and visitors. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

The most-pressing question to start the year

The new year is always an ideal time for health care leaders to reflect on the state of our industry and their organizations, as well as the challenges and opportunities ahead. As the CEO of a large health system, I always like to reflect on one basic question at the end of each year: Are we staying true to our mission? Certainly, maintaining an organization’s financial health must always be a priority but we should also never lose sight of our core purpose. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

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