Today’s NewsStand — Sept. 10, 2020

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

Iowa news

COVID-19 patient load rises in northeast Iowa

As the number of hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 rises in Northeast Iowa, medical providers are also facing the spread of other illnesses that come with returning to school. The situation is far from normal, says Buchanan County Health Center Chief Executive Officer Steve Slessor. (Cedar Valley Daily Times)

Iowa has received billions in federal COVID-19 funds: Here’s where it’s going, and who’s crying foul

Iowa has received billions of dollars from the federal government over the past several months to assist with its battle against the coronavirus, helping pay for needs ranging from COVID-19 testing to grants for temporarily closed businesses to hand sanitizer for poll workers. As of Friday, Sept. 4, the federal government has awarded Iowa $4.26 billion and counting, and the state had spent $2.81 billion of it. For comparison, the state’s entire budget for the current fiscal year is approximately $8 billion. (Des Moines Register)

Students disappointed with state leadership’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic

Gov. Kim Reynolds closed bars in six counties Aug. 27 to combat rising COVID-19 numbers in young people and did not deny the possibility of raising the drinking age. Iowa has no statewide mask mandate despite steadily rising COVID-19 infections and the recommendation for a mandate by the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Reynolds has made it clear that individual cities and counties do not have the authority to enforce a mask mandate, though some Iowa cities, including Des Moines and Iowa City, have issued mandates. (Iowa State Daily)

National news

Telehealth needs payer support for continued growth

The use of telehealth has exploded as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. For it to continue gaining momentum, private and public payers must appropriately reimburse for telehealth, according to the latest report from Insights by Xtelligent Healthcare Media. (mHealthIntelligence.com)

FCC, US Department of Health and Human Services, USDA team up for rural health initiative

The Federal Communications Commission, US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture this month announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on the Rural Telehealth Initiative, a joint effort to collaborate and share information to address health disparities, resolve service provider challenges and promote broadband services and technology to rural areas in America. (The Highland County Press)

Telehealth needs work to address racial disparities

Telemedicine is subject to the same racial disparities as in-person care, according to a report published in the Journal of Informatics in Health and Biomedicine. Why it matters: Health care providers and the Trump administration have heralded telemedicine as the great equalizer for Americans, but big gaps in access still persist. Where it stands: The racial disparity in telemedicine shrank during the pandemic, but it’s still sizable, according to the study, which analyzed more than 140,000 telemedicine records between March and April, the of the peak pandemic in New York City. (Axios)