NewsStand, March 1, 2024

NewsStand, March 1, 2024

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 1, 2024

Iowa news

Report finds more than half of rural Iowa hospitals no longer deliver babies

As of last month, 61% of rural Iowa hospitals no longer have obstetrics services. That’s according to a Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform report. The report also found that of the 36 rural hospitals still providing OB care, 58% reported losing money on the service. Many hospitals are shuttering their units because insurance companies and Medicaid aren’t reimbursing hospitals enough to cover the cost of births, Harold Miller, the president and CEO of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, said. (Iowa Public Radio)

Hy-Vee’s Exemplar Care deal aims to increase access, drive down costs with direct-care model

Hy-Vee’s merger with Exemplar Care medical clinics completed in January will be an entry point for the grocery store into subscription-based primary and urgent health care clinics. The agreement allows Hy-Vee to expand its footprint in the health care industry through joint ownership of medical clinic company Exemplar Care, whose headquarters are in Des Moines. The new partnership opens the door for Hy-Vee into primary and urgent care with a model that focuses on personalized care and aims to increase access while driving down patient costs. (Business Record)

Iowa opioid prevention program sees ‘encouraging results,’ attorney general says

A prevention program launched more than a year ago to reduce opioid prescriptions for patients leaving the hospital has seen early success in the state, according to Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird. The “Billion Pill Pledge” is an initiative touted by Bird that aims to prevent opioid misuse and overdoses by reducing patients’ reliance on the medicines for pain relief after surgeries. The Attorney General’s Office contracted with Goldfinch Health, an Iowa City-based consulting firm, to launch the program to cut down on the estimated 10 million leftover opioid pills a year in Iowa, Bird said. (Des Moines Register)

National news

Why listening is ‘the most important skill’

When asked about important lessons for leaders in health care, Nicole Stallings points to the need to be willing to come to the table. Stallings is the president and CEO of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania; she took the post in June. Previously, she worked as the chief external affairs officer for the Maryland Hospital Association. (Chief Healthcare Executive)

How new CEOs play tough hands

It’s a rare CEO who doesn’t dream of a seamless transition. Unfortunately, the health care industry is riddled with seams. Besides long-standing systemic challenges, each hospital and health system has concerns that may include high turnover, financial losses and recent job cuts. Moreover, trust is paramount — but fragile — in the early days of a CEO’s tenure. The responsibility can be challenging to navigate as employees express doubts based on the past, and boards bring demands for the future. (Harvard Business Review)

Fallout from Change Healthcare hack continues

Change Healthcare has dealt with a cybersecurity incident since Feb. 21 that’s disrupted its payment and pharmacy processing operations. It disconnected its systems so its partners, which include thousands of hospitals, didn’t have to. The company said it suspects a nation-state was behind the attack. Cybersecurity experts worry the hack could have a broad impact because of the massive amounts of patient data the company is responsible for. Some hospitals and retail pharmacies have had to process prescriptions manually, causing delays. The American Hospital Association advises health systems to disconnect from Change Healthcare. (Wall Street Journal)

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