NewsStand, Feb. 16, 2024

NewsStand, Feb. 16, 2024

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 15, 2024

Iowa news

Breaking down the 80-page bill overhauling Iowa’s mental health system

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ plan to overhaul Iowa’s “fractured” mental health and disability service systems is advancing at the Iowa Capitol. The 80-page bill, introduced to the legislature last week, lays out the governor’s plan to reshape mental health and substance use treatment services offered in Iowa, merging 32 local regions into seven new “unified districts.” House Study Bill 653 also would move disability services overseen by those local regions to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. Lawmakers and state officials have described the new proposal as the next step in Gov. Reynolds’ massive reorganization of state government signed into law last year. (Des Moines Register)

Floyd Valley Healthcare’s second annual Women’s Evening Out is set for April 4

The Floyd Valley Foundation and Floyd Valley Healthcare Education will host their second annual Women’s Evening Out at the Le Mars Convention Center on April 4. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Women’s health and informational booths, gourmet appetizers and drinks will be there. Speaker Maggi Thorne will give the keynote address with the theme of “Never Give Up!” Thorne is a seven-time competitor for the Emmy-nominated show American Ninja Warrior, Ninja Warrior Las Vegas finalist, two-time Team Ninja Warrior competitor and two-time NBC Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge competitor. Seats/tables must be reserved by contacting Amy Harnack, foundation manager, at 712-546-3348 or (Sioux City Journal)

Major Des Moines specialty clinic cuts ties with Medicaid insurer

The Iowa Clinic, a major multispecialty medical center in the Des Moines area, no longer accepts coverage from one of the state’s Medicaid insurers. Patients with health insurance under Iowa Total Care, one of the managed-care organizations offering Medicaid coverage to Iowans, no longer have coverage for their care at Iowa Clinic. An Iowa Clinic spokesperson said the organization couldn’t reach a new agreement with Iowa Total Care for this year, meaning that the insurer is no longer considered in-network at the Iowa Clinic. (BNN)

National news

Georgia bill aims to restrict AI in health care

Legislators in Georgia aim to set guardrails for artificial intelligence in health care. House Bill 887 was introduced to the Georgia House of Representatives to prohibit AI from making certain insurance coverage decisions, prevent the state medical board from using AI to make select health care decisions and stop using AI to make public assistance decisions. The bill says insurers cannot employ just AI tools for coverage decisions, and decisions made with AI or automation tools should be “meaningfully reviewed” by a knowledgeable person who can override the AI’s decision. The bill takes a similar approach to AI decision-making in the clinical setting. (Becker’s Health IT)

CMS revises policy on texting patient orders

CMS updated its policy for clinical teams texting patient orders. Texting patient information and patient orders among members of a health care team is permissible, if accomplished through a HIPAA-compliant secure texting platform and in compliance with the conditions of participation. The policy is updated from a 2018 memorandum prohibiting clinicians from texting patient orders because of patient privacy and security concerns. When the policy was initially developed, many hospitals needed secure texting platforms to integrate information into medical records. (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

Amazon cuts jobs in health care divisions

Amazon is eliminating a few hundred roles at One Medical and its online pharmacy unit, Amazon Pharmacy. Amazon will provide financial support, benefits and career help to affected employees, along with the chance to pursue new roles in the company. Despite the layoffs, Amazon will continue to hire providers and invest in teams and technology to help the company provide high-quality and accessible care to more people. This comes shortly after Amazon announced it would integrate One Medical with Amazon Pharmacy to give patients and providers increased access to medicine consultations. (Becker’s Health IT)

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