Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023
IHA submits comments about Medicare changes
IHA has submitted comments about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid's recently released proposed policy and technical changes to the Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug benefit program. The proposed rule increases oversight of Medicare Advantage plans and aligns the plans with traditional Medicare. The changes also address access gaps in behavioral health services and streamline prior-authorization processes.
IHA supports the changes because they will protect Medicare Advantage beneficiaries by:
- Clarifying how Medicare Advantage organizations will improve coverage for enrollees.
- Helping patients understand their coverage options.
- Promoting the time of access to care.
- Reducing administrative burdens on health care providers.
- Strengthening access to behavioral health providers.
Meningococcal cases increase in eastern Iowa
The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging providers to remain vigilant after an increase in meningococcal disease activity was detected in eastern Iowa. Nine cases of the disease were detected between November 2022 and February 2023, with six cases genetically linked, indicating a community outbreak.
No common risk factors have been identified, but health care providers should be aware of early symptoms including the sudden onset of:
- Altered mental status.
- Rapid breathing.
- Severe aches and pains.
- Stiff neck.
A dark purple rash may appear in later stages of the infection.
Iowa Total Care launches free monthly provider trainings
Iowa Total Care is offering free virtual training to providers of behavioral, physical, long-term and support services. Topics include:
- Behavioral health diagnoses.
- Cultural competency.
- InterQual Connect.
- Substance-use disorders.
Iowa Total Care will release updated and new trainings as they are available.
Nine IHA member CEOs recognized for hospital successes
Becker’s Hospital Review released its “80 rural hospital CEOs to know” list, which includes nine Iowa hospital CEOs. The list highlights rural hospital CEOs who have developed models that ensure their hospitals are thriving despite the financial hardships health care organizations face.
The nine CEOs highlighted are:
- Bob Kroese, CEO, Pella Regional Health Center, Pella.
- Brett Altman, CEO, Cass Health, Atlantic.
- Brooke Kensinger, CEO, MercyOne Elkader Medical Center, Elkader.
- Dar Elbert, CEO and chief nursing officer, Kossuth Regional Health Center, Algona.
- Jason Harrington, president and CEO, Lakes Regional Healthcare, Spirit Lake.
- Kurt Sargent, president, CHI Health Mercy Corning, Corning.
- Linn Block, CEO, Manning Regional Healthcare Center, Manning.
- Stacy Johnson, CEO and chief financial officer, Loring Hospital, Sac City.
Veronica Fuhs, CEO, Monroe County Hospital and Clinics, Albia.