Today’s NewsStand — June 25, 2020

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

Iowa news

U of Iowa Hospitals workers to give up PTO or take furloughs to offset losses

Iowa City-based University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is requiring employees to either give up paid vacation time or take unpaid furlough to help offset financial losses linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to TV station KCRG. UIHC is expecting a $100 million loss due to lost revenue and added expenses tied to the pandemic. To help offset the financial losses, it is requiring employees making $50,000 or more to take two weeks of unpaid furlough or give up 100 hours of paid time off. Those making less than $50,000 will be required to take one week of unpaid furlough or give up 50 hours of paid time off. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Waterloo hospitals revise visitor restrictions

As COVID-19 related cases continue to decline in the region, MercyOne Northeast Iowa and UnityPoint Health area hospitals updated visitation restrictions. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

Are children’s mental health services falling short during COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on children’s mental health across the country. Advocates are trying to address the problem, but resources can be limited, and in Iowa, plans for a statewide mental health system for children have run into problems. Even before COVID-19, the U.S. had a lot of catching up to do for children’s mental health. This year, the CDC predicts the country will only meet 65 percent of the demand for child psychiatrists. And Iowa has one of the lowest rates per capita in the country. (WFYI)

National news

Serious vulnerabilities found in six medical device systems

The Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued alerts for vulnerabilities found in six different medical devices manufactured by Biotronik, Baxter and BD Alaris. If exploited, some of these flaws could enable a hacker to launch a DDOS attack or alter system configurations or device data, as well as compromise patient information. Four of the six flaws are found in Baxter medical devices: ExactaMix, PrismaFlex and PrimsaMax, Sigma Spectrum Infusion Pumps and Hemodialysis Delivery System. The vulnerabilities were identified by the manufacturer and reported to CISA. (Health IT Security)

Medicare data says Black people more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19

Black people were nearly four times more likely than whites to be hospitalized with COVID-19 among people with Medicare, the government said. The analysis from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also found that having advanced kidney disease was an even more severe risk indicator for hospitalization than race, ethnicity or being poor. (WeAreIowa.com)

AHA wants extension of emergency declaration, COVID-19 flexibilities

Health care providers will still need key COVID-19 flexibilities beyond the end of HHS’ public health emergency declaration on July 25, 2020, the American Hospital Association recently told top health officials. In a June 19 letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the association called for an extension of the public health emergency declared Jan. 31, “so health care providers can continue to offer the most efficient and effective care possible during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.” (RevCycle Intelligence)