NewsStand, March 12, 2024

NewsStand, March 12, 2024

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 11, 2024

Iowa news

Bipartisan effort would increase insurance coverage of diagnostic mammograms for Iowans

The Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance plans to pay for women’s screening mammograms intended to facilitate early detection of breast cancer. But in at least 10% of cases, women are called back to get secondary scans, and the cost of diagnostic mammograms and other procedures is not fully covered by insurance. Two similar bills advancing in the Iowa Legislature would require insurers to provide the same coverage for diagnostic procedures and other supplemental examinations as for regular screening mammograms. About 1 in 8 U.S. women will at some point in their life get a breast cancer diagnosis. (Business Record)

Telethon raises $6.5 million for Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa

Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa has raised more than $6.5 million through the 50th telethon. The Variety Telethon, which raises funds to support children who are at-risk, underprivileged, critically ill or living with special needs, aired a one-hour spotlight program on March 2 on ABC. The program highlighted 50 years of impact, recognized some of the key people who helped the organization along the way, and highlighted how Variety works in the community today. This year was the charity’s first to raise more than $6 million. (Business Record)

A closer look: Jon Rozenfeld, market president, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines

Jon Rozenfeld arrived in Des Moines on Jan. 8 to a brown, dry landscape to begin his new role as UnityPoint Health’s market president. By the next day, the scenery looked slightly different – 10 inches of snow and heavy wind. A lifelong Midwesterner and North Side Chicago native, Rozenfeld was not deterred by the midwinter blizzard. On Dec. 7, UnityPoint announced the 30-year health care administrator had been selected to succeed David Stark, who was transitioning to a government, external affairs and philanthropy executive post at UnityPoint after leading the health system’s Des Moines market since June 2018. (Business Record)

National news

Hackers behind Change Healthcare breach get $22M

The cybercriminal organization responsible for hacking UnitedHealth Group’s Change Healthcare has received a multimillion-dollar Bitcoin payment. UnitedHealth Group said Change Healthcare was hit by the BlackCat ransomware group on Feb. 21, forcing its systems offline. The claims processing and revenue cycle management platform is still working to restore functionality, and health systems have been asked to use alternative methods for claims processing while their systems are down. BlackCat claimed it stole 6 terabytes of data from Change Healthcare, including medical records and Social Security numbers. BlackCat received $22 million in bitcoins, according to a March 3 forum post. (Reuters)

CommonSpirit expects $1B in cash payments by end of year

CommonSpirit CFO Dan Morissette said the Chicago-based health system expects to receive more than $1 billion in cash payments by end of 2024 or early 2025 on four one-time funding opportunities. Morissette said on the system’s second-quarter investor call on Feb. 29 that it had received $234 million from 340B settlement payments in January. FEMA reimbursements related to COVID-19 are all being processed. Morissette said the IRS received the health system’s employee retention credit applications in June and is awaiting additional cash payments. The health system continues to work with its forensic accountants and insurance company related to its cyber recovery efforts. (Becker’s Hospital CFO Report)

Lawsuits start rolling in over Change Healthcare hack

Lawsuits have started rolling in against UnitedHealth Group’s Change Healthcare over the cyberattack that has crippled hospitals, physician practices and pharmacies nationwide. At least five federal lawsuits have been filed against the health care claims and payment processing company. The complaints include three in Tennessee and two in Minnesota from patients seeking class-action status. One of the lawsuits filed in Minnesota, where UnitedHealth is headquartered, alleges the company is responsible for the data breach and “failed to implement reasonable security procedures and practices and failed to disclose material facts surrounding its deficient security protocols.” (Becker’s Health IT)

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