Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
How have COVID-19 plans in Mason City shifted?
The best laid plans during a pandemic are bound to change. In the Mason City area, in March, when officials in the educational, governmental and health fields were figuring out how to best respond to COVID-19 and how disruptive a surge could be, they looked at converting dorms at the NIACC campus to a makeshift hospital if needed. At the time, CG Public Health Director Brian Hanft said that the plan was just one component of what the department was developing as it continued to look at what the local surge might be. (Mason City Globe Gazette)
UnityPoint Health-Keokuk to join Blessing Health System
UnityPoint Health and Blessing Health System announced Tuesday they have signed a non-binding agreement to transition the UnityPoint Health-Keokuk to the Blessing Health System. “UnityPoint Health is committed to sustainable health care for the Keokuk community,” said UnityPoint Health Chief Administrative Officer, John Sheehan. “This is an exciting first step and we look forward to working with Blessing’s leadership team toward ensuring continued access to quality health care for those who call Keokuk home.” (WGEM)
Coronavirus outbreak infects nearly every resident of Amana nursing home
COVID-19 has recently infected nearly all the residents of a nursing home in Amana, an indication of the impacts a broad community spread of the highly contagious disease can have on long-term care facilities. Among the 42 residents living at Colonial Manor in Amana, 36 have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past few weeks. In addition, 25 members of the staff have tested positive. (The Gazette)
Medical association report: U.S. health insurance markets ‘even more highly concentrated’
Commercial health insurance markets in the United States have become even more concentrated than they were five years ago, according to an annual report released last week by the American Medical Association. As those markets become increasingly concentrated among a smaller number of insurers, the result is less competition and consumer choice, which can harm patients by keeping premiums high, according to the AMA. (Business Record)
2020 Digital Health Most-wired results now available
The mission of the CHIME “Digital Health Most Wired” program is to elevate the health and care of communities around the world by encouraging the optimal use of information technology. The program does this by conducting an annual survey to identify, recognize, and certify the adoption, implementation and use of information technology by health care provider organizations. The results are intended to improve patient safety and outcomes by driving change in the health care IT industry. (CHIME Central)
Office visits rebound; CMS expands telehealth services; virtual care for chronic pain
Outpatient visits per week are rebounding to pre-pandemic levels, but not for all providers and patients, a new report showed. In total, weekly outpatient visit counts have slightly exceeded pre-pandemic levels, but varied by patient age, geographic area, clinical specialty and insurance coverage. (MedPage Today)