Today’s NewsStand — June 18, 2020

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

Iowa news

University of Iowa Children’s Hospital again ranked nationally

The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital again has been cited for elite status among the nation’s Top 50 pediatric hospitals — although four of its five ranked specialties slipped in the standings from last year, when Iowa ranked among the top 50 in six of 10 specialties. The UI Children’s Hospital in the new 2020-21 U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital rankings, made public Tuesday, fell out of the top 50 for pediatric cancer care, a specialty in which it has ranked for years, and urology, in which it ranked No. 26 last year. (The Gazette)

Eagle View hospital in Bettendorf will offer new mental health options

About 75 to 100 people gathered Tuesday morning in Bettendorf for a ribbon-cutting at the Quad-Cities’ only free-standing psychiatric hospital, Eagle View Behavioral Health. The 72-bed facility that cost more than $15 million to build is located at 770 Tanglefoot Lane, off Utica Ridge Road. It will accept its first patients on Wednesday, beginning with adults, but care for children, adolescents and senior adults, as well as substance abuse programming, will soon follow. (Quad-City Times)

Iowa hospitals will lose $1.2 billion because of COVID-19 by the end of June

The coronavirus pandemic has cost Iowa hospitals almost a billion dollars, and though they’ve asked for help in the upcoming fiscal year budget, Republicans didn’t think it was needed since they’re getting federal assistance. But Democrats said they’re worried keeping their funding levels the same as last year isn’t going to be enough. Iowa hospitals have already lost $850 million because of COVID-19, according to an analysis done by accounting consultants CliftonLarsonAllen. By the end of June, that figure is expected to rise to $1.2 billion. The Iowa Hospital Association said many Iowa hospitals are now having to reevaluate services they provide and look at staffing levels because of financial hardships. (WeAreIowa.com)

National news

COVID-19 spikes in certain states spark concerns for vulnerable rural hospitals

The COVID-19 pandemic is starting to reach rural areas as cases in several states start to rise with economies reopening. With that rise sparks new concerns about the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals, which were already in a precarious position. Since the onset of the pandemic in March, another four rural hospitals have closed. Nearly half of rural hospitals were already operating at a loss. (Fierce Healthcare)

AHA responds to New York Times article on hospital layoffs

In a letter to the editor published yesterday, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack notes, “Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the financial state of many hospitals was very fragile, with one of every four hospitals in America operating in the red. Every hospital in America prepared for Covid-19 patients. Moreover, every hospital stopped doing regularly scheduled procedures. As a result, expenses have skyrocketed and revenues have virtually dried up. Our own report found that hospitals and health systems are projected to lose more than $200 billion between March 1 and June 30 because of this pandemic.” (AHA.org)

It’s time for a seismic culture shift in how we think about health workers’ well-being

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented stress and trauma to health care workers—an extraordinarily high price for a group already suffering from staggering rates of burnout. The recent suicide of Lorna Breen, M.D., a front-line New York City emergency medicine physician, is heartbreaking. And it’s a compelling directive to health care leaders to prioritize the well-being of this vital workforce. More than 10,000 US health care workers have contracted COVID-19, and dozens have died. Across the globe, health systems were challenged by a pandemic of this magnitude—from personal protective equipment shortages to the surge in patient volumes. Already under strain from burnout, the added toll of COVID-19 has been immense. (Fierce Healthcare)