Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|November 17, 2021

Iowa news

MercyOne among top 10 most cost-efficient health systems

MercyOne is the 10th most cost-efficient health system in the U.S., according to a ranking from the Lown Institute, a nonpartisan health care think tank. The cost efficiency metric is a ratio of a health system’s mortality rates compared to its Medicare costs. Health systems with the lowest mortality and the lowest costs received the best scores in cost efficiency. For mortality, the Lown Institute used risk-standardized 30- and 90-day mortality for Medicare patients hospitalized between 2016 and 2018. For cost, the organization used 30- and 90-day total risk-standardized Medicare payments for patients hospitalized in 2016 to 2018. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Iowa Methodist reverified as Level I adult trauma center

Iowa Methodist Medical Center’s trauma center in Des Moines has been reverified as a Level I adult trauma center by the Verification Review Committee, an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons. Level I is the highest designation available by the ACS. In addition, Blank Children’s Hospital has been reverified as a Level II pediatric trauma center. A trauma center is a hospital that has the resources and equipment to help care for severely injured patients, and is classified Level I, II, III or IV. ACS-verified trauma centers must meet criteria outlined by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma. Although most injuries can be treated at a local emergency department, receiving care at a Level I trauma center for severe or life-threatening injuries decreases a person’s risk of death by 25%, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (Business Record)

Some Iowa employers say they’re stuck between federal mandates and a new state vaccine waiver law

Knoxville Hospital and Clinics CEO Kevin Kincaid said he starts each day by trying to keep up with the latest developments around vaccine requirements. But he still doesn’t know what to tell his staff members who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. Workers across the country are facing a Jan. 4 deadline to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or, in some cases, get tested weekly. But a new law in Iowa expands their ability to refuse the vaccine and keep their job or get unemployment benefits. With just a few weeks to go before unvaccinated Iowans might have to get their first shot, some employers in the state say they’re caught between state and federal rules. (Iowa Public Radio)

National news

AHA: Fighting for fair health insurance policies for patients and clinicians

Hospitals and health systems put the health and welfare of their patients first. But for some of the nation’s largest commercial health insurance companies, that increasingly is not always the case. Major commercial insurers have implemented a number of policies that compromise patient care, access and safety. These include frequent changes to coverage, limited provider networks, delays in authorizing treatment and failure to pay providers in a timely manner. (AHA)

Suspended Texas doctor who promoted ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment resigns from hospital

Dr. Mary Bowden, the Texas doctor who had her privileges suspended last week by Houston Methodist for spreading “dangerous misinformation” about COVID-19 on social media, has resigned from the hospital. She called vaccine mandates “wrong” and touted the controversial drug ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 multiple times on her Twitter account, despite public health officials warning against it. Bowden worked as an ear, nose and throat doctor at the hospital. (NBC News)

Pfizer will allow its COVID-19 pill to be made and sold cheaply in poor countries

Pfizer has announced a deal to allow its promising COVID-19 treatment to be made and sold inexpensively in 95 poorer nations that are home to more than half of the world’s population. The agreement follows a similar arrangement negotiated by Merck last month, and together the deals have the potential to vastly expand global production of two simple antiviral pills that could alter the course of the pandemic by preventing severe illness from the coronavirus. (The New York Times)

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