NewsStand, March 18, 2024

NewsStand, March 18, 2024

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 20, 2024

Iowa news

Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center hosting fifth annual mental health awareness breakfast

UnityPoint Health – Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center and the Allen Foundation will host the annual Mental Health Awareness Breakfast from 7-9 a.m. Friday, May 10, at Bien VenU Event Center in Cedar Falls. Proceeds will benefit mental health services in the Cedar Valley at a time of continued increases in depression, grief, loss and other mental health conditions. May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, and the event will feature keynote speaker Joanna Rahnavardi and her service dog, Mocha. Rahnavardi will share her journey, including the loss of her oldest son to suicide and how she found triumph through this adversity. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

Health care insights: Leaders share 2024 trends in Iowa

Two months into 2024, Iowa health care leaders sat down with the Business Record to discuss the most significant challenges now and in the future, and shared updates about new projects and initiatives. They also explained the significance of artificial intelligence in the industry. Top trends in the sector include partnering with schools and establishing interest in health care among younger populations through new education programs, building new centers to expand services and meet increasing patient needs and proceeding cautiously with the rising popularity of artificial intelligence. Read four takeaways from conversations with leaders from UnityPoint Health, The Iowa Clinic, MercyOne and Broadlawns Medical Center. (Business Record)

Black Hawk County reports uptick in tuberculosis cases

Black Hawk County has reported an uptick in tuberculosis cases well above state and national averages. According to the county’s public health department, the number of TB cases has roughly tripled over the past three years to nearly 12 per 100,000 people. The national average is 2.5, and the rest of the state’s is 1.9. Black Hawk County Public Health Director Kaitlin Emrich says the increase in cases stems partly from native Pacific Islanders living in the county who didn’t have access to preventive care in their home countries. The public health department has only two nurses who help fight the disease in the county. (Iowa Public Radio)

National news

How Change Healthcare cyberattack could change health care

Many health system chief information officers are still dealing with the fallout of the Change Healthcare cyberattack nearly a month after it led to disruptions industrywide. Still, the event could pave the way for changes. The ransomware attack that took many payer and prescribing systems offline could increase federal cybersecurity muscle for health care, scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions, and spotlight the sector’s interconnectivity. The industry needs more than regulation and policies for cybersecurity in health care. It also requires a federally mandated ecosystem to help with standards for the cleanup and restoration activities after such an event. (Becker’s Health IT)

A simple blood test can detect colorectal cancer early, study finds

At a time when colorectal cancer is on the rise, a new study finds the disease can be detected through a blood test. The clinical trial results, recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine, show that the blood-based screening test detects 83% of people with colorectal cancer. If the FDA approves it, the blood test would be another screening tool to detect the cancer at an early stage. The test, developed by Guardant Health, can be done by blood draw. The company says its test detects cancer signals in the bloodstream by identifying circulating tumor DNA. (National Public Radio)

Hospitals’ overlooked performance metric

Many nonprofit hospitals and health systems issue tax-exempt debt to raise capital, putting pressure on them to operate like their for-profit counterparts; most also issue debt to a similar pool of potential buyers. Credit ratings are a crucial performance metric likely to be a priority for hospital leaders. Still, some nonprofit hospitals have been scrutinized recently for acting in ways associated with for-profit hospitals. The forces that influence and shape organizations’ debt market participation drive nonprofit hospitals to act in many of the same ways as for-profit hospitals. (Health Affairs)

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