Today’s NewsStand — March 24, 2020

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

Iowa news

Siouxland small business owner making reusable medical face masks

Our nation’s medical professionals are on the frontlines battling the coronavirus and many don’t have the necessary equipment to stay safe. That’s where the crew from Heartland Coffee and Nosh comes in. They’ve rounded up the entire family and are sewing cloth face masks while spending time in social isolation. Since they are washable, these are able to be reused. This project began after seeing a post from Mercy One Siouxland Medical Center. (KMEG-Fox)

Developmentally disabled adults need Gov. Reynolds’ help to weather virus crisis

The ongoing threat of the novel coronavirus with community spread in Iowa has largely shut down Linn County government offices including Options of Linn County, a day habilitation facility that serves adults with developmental disabilities. We are all feeling the effects of social distancing, self-isolating and hunkering down at home. However, what is most unfortunate is this public health emergency will disproportionately impact our most vulnerable citizens, which is why Linn County has asked for relief from certain Medicaid requirements. (The Gazette)

Facing a nationwide shortage of protective masks, Iowans turn to homemade options while hospitals plead for donations, government aid

Facing a nationwide shortage of masks and other personal protective equipment, Iowa hospitals and nonprofit organizations are asking seamstresses to make homemade, reusable masks to increase their supply as workers fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.

 

National news

WHO launches global megatrial of the four most promising coronavirus treatments

A drug combo already used against HIV. A malaria treatment first tested during World War II. A new antiviral whose promise against Ebola fizzled last year. Could any of these drugs hold the key to saving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients from serious harm or death? On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a large global trial, called SOLIDARITY, to find out whether any can treat infections with the new coronavirus for the dangerous respiratory disease. It’s an unprecedented effort—an all-out, coordinated push to collect robust scientific data rapidly during a pandemic. The study, which could include many thousands of patients in dozens of countries, has been designed to be as simple as possible so that even hospitals overwhelmed by an onslaught of COVID-19 patients can participate. (Science Magazine)

Rural health leaders call ACA impact a mixed bag since passage in 2010

Rural hospitals have been hit hard across the U.S. since the law was enacted. There have been 126 rural hospital closures since 2010, according to data from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Part of the problem with the ACA has been the Medicaid expansion. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that states must decide whether to adopt the Medicaid expansion. And in the plenty of states that decided not to expand under the ACA, more rural hospitals have closed, studies have shown. An analysis from the Pittsburgh Morning Sun and its parent company Gatehouse Media found states that didn’t expand saw 77 rural hospitals close over the past decade, compared to 29 in Medicaid expansion states. (Fierce Healthcare)

Coalition urges Trump Administration to help rural health care system prepare for coronavirus

As rural communities brace for the arrival of the novel coronavirus, a coalition of organization representing rural communities is urging the administration to ensure that the rural health care system has adequate resources and support to respond to this crisis. (Aberdeen News)