NewsStand, Jan. 2, 2024

NewsStand, Jan. 2, 2024

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 2, 2024

Iowa news

Nebraska lawmaker looks to partner with Iowa’s prescription drug donation program

One Nebraska lawmaker’s efforts to increase recycling have led her to explore an Iowa program to donate and reuse prescription drugs and tackle rising medicine costs. Freshman State Sen. Jana Hughes of Seward is looking to join forces with Iowa nonprofit SafeNetRx, which collects, inspects and distributes non-expired and safe medicines to patients at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. SafeNetRx receives donations from over 200 facilities and individuals in all 50 states, including at least one Nebraska pharmacy in Gretna. (Business Record)

Iowa reports the second-highest JN.1 prevalence among states

The 60-day prevalence of the omicron subvariant JN.1 in Iowa is 26%, second only to Vermont (33%). JN.1 has been identified in at least 37 states and the District of Columbia. JN.1 is now dominant in the U.S., though the CDC said there is no evidence the subvariant presents a higher public health risk than other circulating variants. Nationwide, the subvariant accounts for an estimated 44% of COVID-19 cases, up from just 7.5% in the two weeks ending Nov. 25. The subvariant’s cumulative prevalence — which represents a ratio of sequences containing JN.1 to all sequences collected in the U.S. since the subvariant was first detected Sept. 14 — is 2%. (Outbreak Info)

Broadlawns board hires search firm to find new president, CEO

The Broadlawns Medical Center board of trustees has hired a national search firm to help find a new president and CEO following Anthony Coleman’s resignation in early November. The board chose Hartz Search after reviewing several proposals from other firms. Officials with Broadlawns said Hartz was selected because of its “concierge-level service of executive search capabilities and evidence-based engagement process that identifies, evaluates and qualifies talent to meet strategic objectives.” Officials also cited Hartz’s belief that transparent communication is critical for establishing trust and integrity. The search committee will comprise hospital board, community and hospital staff members. (Business Record)

National news

‘Tripledemic’ risk spurs renewed capacity crisis concerns

Reports of hospitals operating over capacity are creeping up — a situation that could become more widespread over the next few weeks if COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus levels continue to rise. Hospital leaders, physicians and virus experts monitor virus trends, acknowledging the possibility of a “tripledemic” in which flu, COVID-19 and RSV peak simultaneously. Flu and RSV peaked unseasonably early last year, while COVID-19 activity did not reach a high until January. Experts have warned that the three virus peaks may overlap this season despite some uncertainty in the forecast. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Nearly 20% of hospitals have been warned over price transparency violations

Nearly 20% of U.S. hospitals have been warned that they violated the federal price transparency rules that went into effect in 2021. Government regulators evaluated 1,750 hospitals in early December, and about 1,300 have received warnings of rule violations. Most corrected errors after receiving warnings. To date, only 446 hospitals that CMS has reviewed were free of violations. To date, 14 hospitals have been fined for price transparency violations. Seven of those hospitals have appealed their fines and remain under review. Half the hospitals have fewer than 100 beds, including five with fewer than 50. (Bloomberg)

Workers want ‘quiet management’

Managers’ attempts to quell quiet quitting may be having the opposite effect than they intended. As companies moved to improve employee engagement, they increased oversight with more consistent check-ins and meetings. But rather than ensuring productivity, these meetings take away from the work management wants to prioritize. A 2023 survey of 1,000 U.S.-based employees and 500 human resources leaders found that nearly half of employees are overwhelmed by the number of meetings they attend, and 70% of these meetings “crush productivity” by prohibiting employees from focusing on the task at hand. Unnecessary meetings can cost large companies up to $100 million in lost productivity annually. (Forbes)

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