Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
Most Iowa health care providers believe privatized Medicaid has failed to live up to the promise of improved, more accessible medical care. Those and other findings were reported Monday by Auditor of State Rob Sand, a Democrat, who has long questioned the GOP-led initiative to privatize the management of the state’s Medicaid system. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)
US News and World Report ranked two of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics’ specialty programs among the country’s top 10 best programs of their kind. The report ranked UIHC’s ophthalmology program at No. 6, and ear, nose and throat at No. 7. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics was the only Iowa hospital to earn a spot in the top 50. (KCRG)
MercyOne is reinstating visitor restrictions at MercyOne Clinton Medical Center and all MercyOne Clinton facilities because of the increase of COVID-19 cases in eastern Iowa. Starting Thursday, July 30, no visitors will be allowed in the hospital except for specific extenuating circumstances. (WHBF)
Members of the House Telehealth Caucus recently introduced bipartisan legislation to extend telehealth waivers permanently for Medicare patients. The Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act would continue telehealth use beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency, making telemedicine more flexible and removing geographic restrictions to allow a patient’s home to be an originating site. (MedPage Today)
America’s doctors, nurses and hospitals are joining to urge Senate leaders to ensure that serious efforts to tackle health inequities are included in the COVID-19 relief package expected to be undertaken before the legislative body adjourns for the summer recess in August. In a letter to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R, Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D, N.Y., the AMA, American Nurses Association and the American Hospital Association outlined seven areas in which they could work together to address the ways in which COVID-19 disproportionately affects racially and ethnically minorititized and marginalized communities. (American Medical Association)
COVID-19 forced the health care system to break through biases against telemedicine and other virtual solutions. Perhaps more importantly, policymakers opened up the means to reimburse providers for using digital tools, eliminating a barrier that made even forward-thinkers reluctant to adopt virtual care before. But as these policies are withdrawn in light of a reopened economy, and in-person visits become a viable option for patients again, leaders are questioning the sustainability of virtual care. Will its proven success through the pandemic be enough to engrain it into the system? (Medical Economics)