Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
The topic of mental health is often overlooked and unfortunately considered taboo in many instances. But now is prime time to be educated about what mental health is. What does it mean to be mentally healthy? How does one know that their mental health is deteriorating? When does someone pursue help to better their mental health status? There are so many of these personal mental health questions that most Iowans do not acknowledge. (Des Moines Register)
The Blessing Health System has announced it will assume ownership of Keokuk Area Hospital from UnityPoint Health Monday, March 1. This comes after UnityPoint and Blessing announced last October that the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding outlining a plan to transfer the affiliation of the hospital to Blessing. Blessing said the talks resulted in a "member substitution" instead of a traditional purchase. Blessing is replacing UnityPoint as the parent company of the hospital. (Herald-Whig)
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will offer COVID-19 vaccination to those eligible in the second round of vaccination, phase 1B, Monday Feb. 1, though hospital leaders say vaccine supply is short in the state. UIHC CEO Suresh Gunasekaran said in a press conference Tuesday that UIHC can administer a steady flow of COVID-19 vaccinations. He said UIHC will begin to schedule appointments later this week as soon as the amount of COVID-19 vaccine doses are confirmed for next week. (The Daily Iowan)
From large health systems to solo practices, many providers jumped on the telehealth bandwagon in early 2020 to address the pandemic and shift from in-person care to virtual care. They were helped by federal and state emergency measures aimed at easing access to telehealth and improving coverage so that they’d be paid for using the technology. But those measures will end when the public health crisis does – whether that’s this year or next. Providers are hesitant to embrace a long-term strategy because they don’t know what the rules will look like then. Some states have moved to make the emergency measures permanent, but others are waiting on the federal government to act. (mHealthIntelligence.com)
Rural hospitals have struggled with financial troubles for years. Over the past decade, more than 130 have closed, forcing residents to drive farther or delay needed care. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has many of them wondering whether rural health care systems will survive. Twenty percent of the US population lives in rural America, a region that fuels the country with food and energy. These Americans believe their health care needs have been overlooked or misunderstood by Washington for years. This crisis is now in the hands of the Biden administration. To revive rural health care, the administration will have to expand its push for diversity to also include rural voices so the needs and priorities of rural Americans aren’t neglected in policy agendas for the next four years. (The Conversation US)
Moderna confirmed Wednesday it was in discussions with the federal government to deliver another 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine later this year. President Joe Biden revealed Tuesday the government was working to buy 200 million more vaccine doses, which would be enough to inoculate every American by the end of the summer. (NBC News)