Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
Hy-Vee announced Tuesday it was offering free COVID-19 testing at certain pharmacies, including a location in Iowa City. Starting Tuesday, 11 Hy-Vee pharmacies across five states will offer drive-through testing, including five pharmacies in Iowa. People don’t need to have symptoms of the novel coronavirus to be tested. But they must register online to receive a test voucher number, testing site and appointment number. Testing will be limited to 12 people per hour. (The Gazette)
President Donald Trump has announced the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency authorization to use convalescent blood plasma as a treatment against the novel coronavirus. Many scientists believe convalescent plasma might provide some benefit, but it’s far from a breakthrough in treating COVID-19 patients. Doctors at MercyOne Des Moines said they’ve been using this treatment since mid-April on COVID-19 patients. Although there haven’t been any published studies on this treatment, infectious disease specialist Dr. Aneese Afroze said it’s already looking “promising.” (WeAreIowa.com)
Though the death from COVID-19 of the first child in Iowa is tragic, data shows this case is a very rare instance throughout the pandemic. State public health officials reported the death this past weekend. The State Medical Examiner confirmed the death was caused by COVID-19, according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Public Health. Case investigations occur whenever someone under the age of 17 dies due to disease or other unnatural circumstances. (The Gazette)
Google Cloud is investing $100 million into telehealth provider Amwell as part of a new partnership to equip providers, insurers and patients with technology required for high quality and more affordable virtual care. (Fox Business)
Threatening fines and funding cut-offs, the Trump administration on Tuesday issued new COVID-19 requirements for nursing homes and hospitals, prompting immediate pushback from beleaguered industries. To check the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it will require facilities to test staff regularly or face fines. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
With Congress and the government still haggling over how to extend telehealth coverage beyond the coronavirus pandemic, a group of Senators is pushing for additional flexibilities for home health care providers. In a letter to the heads of the Health and Human Services Department and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, five Democratic Senators are calling for better reimbursements for connected health services delivered by home health care providers, as well as efforts to improve accessibility for patients who qualify for home health care. (mHealthIntelligence.com)