Today’s NewsStand — March 12, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Coronavirus update: 13 Iowans test positive, Gov. expects new cases to ‘continue to increase’
A Cedar Valley woman who traveled on a cruise ship that faced a COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is one of nearly two dozen Iowans on that same Hawaii cruise, state health officials confirmed Tuesday — and 21 Iowans who went on a different cruise in Egypt are also being monitored after 12 of them tested positive for the virus. The Iowa Department of Public Health announced five new “presumptive positive” cases of COVID-19, bringing Iowa’s total number of positive cases to 13, officials announced Tuesday evening. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

Gov. Reynolds: Insurance companies in Iowa to waive costs related to coronavirus testing
Governor Kim Reynolds says there are 22 Iowans onboard a cruise ship in California dealing with an outbreak of the novel coronavirus. She provided an update during a press conference Tuesday morning. Eighteen of the patients on the Grand Princess Cruise Ship, which is docked in Oakland, California, are not showing any symptoms and will be asked to self-quarantine once they return to Iowa. They will be asked to self-quarantine once they are back in the state. The conditions of the other four are unclear. During the press conference, Governor Reynolds said insurance companies are helping. (KCRG)

Coronavirus in Iowa: Classes to go online only at University of Iowa, Iowa State, Drake
Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and Drake University told students Wednesday that they’re canceling in-person classes and will instead hold them online until at least April 3. The three universities said they’re taking the action to protect the health of students and faculty. Drake has nearly 5,000 students; UI has 35,000; and ISU has nearly 32,000. Johnston County, home of UI, has confirmed 12 presumptive case of coronavirus, including one person in critical condition at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. (Des Moines Register)

National News

WHO declares pandemic; US death toll rises to 31; ‘it’s going to get worse’
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic as the global death toll rose above 4,300 and the number of confirmed cases exceeded 121,000. “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” Tedros said at a news conference. “We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.” The U.S. death toll climbed to 31 and the number of U.S. cases rolled past 1,000, federal health officials said. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told a congressional committee the virus has spread to at least 38 states. (Des Moines Register)

Coronavirus to tax tight health care job market
Most health care staffing agencies haven’t seen a significant uptick in demand as the coronavirus spreads, although they and the hospitals they serve are preparing accordingly amid an already stretched labor market. It’s still uncertain how much demand will swing, but staffing agencies and hospitals are leveraging their crisis teams and disaster protocols in the meantime. If the COVID-19 outbreak grows significantly, it may exacerbate ongoing labor shortages, billing issues and persistent infection-control conundrums. (Modern Healthcare)

The biggest obstacles health systems face in adopting SDOH programs
Lack of money and an inability to prove an ability to make money are the top reasons hospitals aren’t pursuing social determinants of health (SDOH), a new survey found. A survey of 200 health system executives released from consulting firm Advis and provided first to FierceHealthcare found that a majority of hospitals surveyed were screening patients for SDOH. But major headwinds such as little to no direct reimbursement are standing in the way of implementing programs and services to address those factors. (Fierce Healthcare)