Today’s NewsStand, Jan. 18, 2021

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

Iowa news

Hy-Vee offering COVID-19 rapid antibody testing at more than 250 locations throughout the Midwest

Hy-Vee is offering COVID-19 rapid antibody testing at more than 250 Hy-Vee pharmacy locations. Patients will receive same-day test results in as few as 15 minutes after completing the test. The rapid antibody test is available for patients who wish to learn if they have been previously infected with COVID-19 in the past and are not experiencing symptoms. (Hy-Vee.com)

MercyOne receives accreditations from National Committee for Quality Assurance

MercyOne announced it has received two quality accreditations from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. The health system received the Case Management Accreditation and the Population Health Accreditation. The three-year accreditations recognize MercyOne’s strong performance demonstrating the standards set forth in the NCQA guidelines for each program. (Business Record)

Iowa health leaders expect to see an increase in drug overdose deaths in 2020

Troubling data shows a resurgence of opioid deaths in America. The US Department of Health and Human services estimates 90,000 Americans died from drug overdoes in 2020, that’s a 21% spike. Iowa health leaders say it’s too early to tell if the pandemic plays a direct role in the increase in drug overdose deaths, but they do say it could be a factor. (KGAN)

National news

UK COVID-19 variant to become dominant in US by March, CDC warns

The fast-spreading coronavirus variant first identified in the UK will become the dominant strain in the US within two months, the CDC predicts. Modeling data indicates the strain known as B.1.1.7, which UK researchers believe is about 50% more transmissible than the common strain, will account for most cases in the US by March. Though the variant isn’t known to cause more severe illness or be more deadly, more infections would mean a higher death toll overall. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Study identifies disparities in telehealth use

New study findings identify vulnerable patient populations who may not engage with telehealth but still require medical care in the ever-changing health care delivery landscape. The findings suggested age, sex, median household income, insurance status, and marital status were associated with patient participation in telehealth. (Managed Healthcare Executive)

Pandemic shortens US life expectancy, study concludes

According to new research, the coronavirus pandemic appears to have shortened the average life expectancy in the US by the largest single-year decline in the last 40 years. The reduction is estimated to be even greater for racial and ethnic minorities. Average life expectancy was estimated to drop 2.10 years among Black people and 3.05 among Latinos, compared to a 0.68 decline for whites. This gap lays bare the risks associated with social and economic disadvantage. (National Public Radio)