NewsStand, Jan. 16, 2024

NewsStand, Jan. 16, 2024

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 16, 2024

Iowa news

Pella Regional recognized for maternity care

Wellmark, Blue Cross and Blue Shield recognized Pella Regional Health Center as a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Each facility must safely deliver cost-effective, quality care to earn this designation. (Oskaloosa Herald)

UI Health Care job offers go out to Mercy docs, staff

Weeks away from “day one” of a merged University of Iowa-Mercy Iowa City endeavor through which the 150-year-old Mercy Hospital will morph into UI Health Care’s “downtown campus,” job offers are going out to more than 1,100 prospective transitioning employees. Of more than 90 physicians employed by Mercy when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 7, UIHC made job offers to 53, or most of Mercy’s physicians on staff, in the final weeks of December. (The Gazette)

University of Iowa paramedic program helps prepare students to become EMTs

An EMT-paramedic program at the University of Iowa is helping prepare people to work in a high-demand field. One of the things you can learn in the hands-on program is how to intubate someone to help the person breathe. Several lifelike mannequins are available to students. The one-semester-long EMT program prepares students for a meaningful career that allows them to start working quickly. (KCCI)

National news

Cost of treating COVID-19 patients has risen 26% since 2020

When the pandemic began in 2020, providing care to hospitalized COVID-19 patients cost hospitals around $10,394 per patient. Since then, according to a recent study, the price of offering the same inpatient care has climbed by 26% to $13,072 in just two years. Even as more became known about the virus between March 2020 and March 2022 — the time frame used for the study’s analysis — costs continued to rise. For the study, the authors analyzed data from 1.3 million inpatient cases with COVID-19 listed as a primary or secondary diagnosis between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2022, from 841 different hospitals nationwide. The cost increases for COVID-19 patients, they found, rose at a rate of five times more than medical inflation. (JAMA)

Two health care aspects on the cusp of change

Large language and multimodal models that respond with text explanations and ambient documentation in health care are on the cusp of change, according to UC San Diego Health’s first chief health artificial intelligence officer, Karandeep Singh, M.D. Dr. Singh said artificial intelligence will influence the change in health care with large language and multimodal models that respond with text explanations and ambient documentation. Rather than clinicians jotting down notes while looking at a computer screen, AI could allow physicians to have natural conversations with patients with the encounter processed in real time. (La Jolla Light)

The life-saving COVID-19 drug few are using

Although Paxlovid is highly effective at preventing severe COVID-19 and death, only a small proportion of high-risk patients take the medicine, according to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The preprint study examined Paxlovid use among more than 1 million eligible patients between December 2021 and February 2023. Just 9.7% of patients took Paxlovid over the study period, and usage varied significantly by region. Researchers estimated about 135,000 hospitalizations and 48,000 deaths could have been prevented if nearly half of eligible patients had received the antiviral. No studies have been done to investigate why so few people are taking the drug, though health experts have pointed to several reasons. (Becker’s Clinical Leadership)

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