NewsStand, April 2, 2024

NewsStand, April 2, 2024

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|April 1, 2024

Iowa news

Belmond Healthcare Clinic is increasing remote care options but says insurance companies haven’t caught up with telehealth

A rural health care clinic in northern Iowa is rethinking its care strategies post-COVID-19, but it’s waiting for some help from insurance providers. The Belmond Healthcare Clinic is increasingly turning to remote care to serve its 3,000 patients better, whether through video, telephone or online. But some insurance providers aren’t yet recognizing telehealth as covered care, leaving the clinic to front the cost. (Iowa Public Radio)

Christopher Turnis of Dubuque and Kathi Anderson of Iowa City are two links in a chain reaction organized by the National Kidney Registry

When 19-year-old Chris Turnis of Dubuque needed a new kidney, Kathi Anderson of Iowa City wanted to give him one of hers. But Anderson wasn’t a match. Thanks to a program through the National Kidney Registry, though, Anderson donated a kidney that started a chain reaction and ended with a new kidney for Chris. Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe spoke with Turnis and Anderson about the realities of organ donation and the National Kidney Registry’s programs that support these efforts. Then, University of Iowa clinical assistant professor of nephrology Kyle Merrill joined to discuss the process of pediatric kidney transplants and the benefits of organ donor networks. (Iowa Public Radio)

New nursing program from Drake offers students two degrees in one year

A new program set to launch at Drake University in the fall will allow students to gain a nursing degree in just one year. The program is designed to get nurses into the workforce quicker as demand for health care workers across the U.S. grows. Students can choose from two paths. Students with fulfilled prerequisite classes can enter an accelerated one-year program and receive two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in health science and a Bachelor of Science in nursing. (Des Moines Register)

National news

Change attack, disruptors will test hospital finances: Kaufman Hall

So far, national data on hospital financials has reflected a solid start to the year. Still, challenges are likely ahead after the massive Change Healthcare cyberattack and amid increasing competition from disruptors, according to Kaufman Hall’s latest “National Hospital Flash Report.” Based on data from more than 1,300 hospitals, the March report found the median hospital margin in February was nearly 4%. But analysts say the data needs to capture the full effect of the Change outage, which began Feb. 21. Gross revenue is rising faster than net revenue. This reflects payer mix changes and an increase in hospitals’ bad debt and charity care over the past few years. (Kaufman Hall)

U.S. offers $10M reward for information on ransomware gang behind Change hack

The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program has offered up to $10 million for tips, like identification or location, on the ALPHV/BlackCat ransomware gang responsible for the Change Healthcare attack. Change Healthcare, part of UnitedHealth Group’s Optum, confirmed on Feb. 29 that ALPHV/BlackCat claimed to be behind the attack. Since the attack, UnitedHealth Group has provided more than $3.3 billion to help affected providers through its temporary funding assistance program at no cost. The ransomware group was established in November 2021. (Becker’s CFO Report)

UnitedHealth pays $3.3B to providers following Change hack

UnitedHealth Group said it paid over $3.3 billion to providers affected by the Feb. 21 cyberattack on its subsidiary Change Healthcare. On March 28, UnitedHealth Group said it had disbursed an extra $1 billion to providers affected by the cyberattack, bringing the total sum of funds allocated to providers to more than $3.3 billion. The move is a part of the company’s temporary funding assistance program, which aims to help providers in need of support as Change grapples with the fallout from the incident. UnitedHealth said the $3.3 billion advances will not require repayment until claim flows revert to their usual state. (CNBC)

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