Visit our website ⇒

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.

Iowa News

Iowa City entrepreneurs work to improve organ transplant logistics
When a heart, kidney or other human organ becomes available for possible transplant, making the appropriate arrangements with transplant teams is critically important. Often that can become a time-consuming process, according to Suzanne Conrad, CEO of the Iowa Donor Network in North Liberty. Two Iowa City entrepreneurs, Dalton Shaull and Eric Pahl, founders of HealthTech Solutions, are developing a mobile software system — ORGANIZER — to solve that problem by improving communication and coordination for organ donor networks. If ORGANIZER is successful, it will improve the logistics of the organ transplant process. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Branstad says he won’t rule out serving in Trump administration
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he has not yet been offered a position in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. But the governor also says that soon may change and that he will not rule out accepting a potential offer. Speculation by political observers and media has suggested Branstad, who has two years remaining on his sixth term as governor, may be asked by Trump to serve as U.S. ambassador to China. “I’m not ruling anything out, but you know my focus has always been on Iowa,” Branstad said. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

Maine’s rural hospitals struggling to survive seismic changes in health care
Contrasting scenes at Mayo Regional Hospital in Maine reflect long-term trends in the health care industry that are causing seismic changes in how health care is delivered in rural Maine and across the country. Rural hospitals like Mayo are increasingly relying on rehabilitation and other outpatient services – such as physical and occupational therapy and primary care. At the same time their inpatient count – and the revenue that goes with it – has dwindled. Rural hospitals are caught in a financial squeeze even as larger hospitals are investing in massive expansions. (Portland Press Herald)

Children’s hospital partnership boosts care for sick kids in California
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles started partnering with hospitals in the Providence Health & Services system so children could stay in their own communities. Children’s hospitals provide specialized care, but there are only about 200 of them in the nation and families sometimes have to travel long distances. The innovative partnership — in which a children’s hospital shares revenue and costs with a community hospital — changes that dynamic. “It is really hard to find these specialized, highly-trained people,” said Mark Wietecha, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Association, which represents pediatric hospitals nationwide. (Kaiser Health News)

Why this health system offers refunds to dissatisfied patients
The doctor-patient relationship has long been sacrosanct. But comfortable reliance on this “precious” relationship has left doctors in a situation where the customers of many other sectors (such as retail) are often treated better from an experiential standpoint than medicine’s patients. In November 2015 Geisinger Health System launched its ProvenExperience program – a wide-ranging cultural and process reengineering initiative whose long-term goal is not just to assure the best customer experience in health care, but to offer the best customer experience of any industry. (Harvard Business Review)

Uncertain fate of health law giving health industry heartburn
Industry leaders, like many voters, were stunned by the election of Donald Trump and unprepared for Republicans’ plans to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. In addition, Trump’s vague and sometimes conflicting statements on health policy have left industry officials guessing as to the details of any substitute for the federal health law. The hospital industry may be the most vulnerable to proposed changes, which could result in millions of Americans losing health coverage, both through the insurance exchanges and expansion in the Medicaid program for those with lower incomes. (Kaiser Health News)

Congress Could Vote on Cures, Mental Health as One Package
It’s unlikely that a medical innovation measure or mental health legislation will move as standalone bills this year, but the measures could be voted on as one package, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said last week. The Texas Republican said lawmakers are discussing combining the 21st Century Cures Act with a mental health care bill into one measure that the House and Senate could vote on before the end of the year. “I think if either one of them move, they’re going to move together,” Cornyn told reporters. (Morning Consult)

Leave a Comment

Please take a moment to read through our comment policy.

If you would like a photo to appear next to your comment, you'll need to upload a gravatar.