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  • New name, same role for Mission Cancer + Blood
    BY JOE GARDYASZ
    Friday, March 27, 2020 6:00 AM

  • Tuesday, March 24, 2020 3:57 PM
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it has implemented a new regulatory pathway for some biosimilar, or interchangeable, versions of biologic drugs, including insulin.

  • Tuesday, March 24, 2020 3:55 PM
    Lumos Pharma Inc. and NewLink Genetics Corp. in Ames recently announced that NewLink’s shareholders have voted to approve the issuance of shares in connection with their previously announced merger agreement.

  • BY JOE GARDYASZ
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 3:09 PM
    With the public health disaster order issued by Gov. Kim Reynolds today, the Iowa Department of Public Health is authorized to begin mobilizing “as many public health response teams as are necessary to supplement and support disrupted or overburdened local medical and public health personnel, hospitals, and resources” as allowed under state statutes. Under the guidelines of the state’s emergency operations plan, the members of those teams shall be considered state employees. 

    What will the governor’s order mean for Greater Des Moines’ health systems and the Polk County Health Department? 

    “All of our health partners continue to focus on the most urgent needs,” said Nola Aigner Davis, public information officer with the Polk County Health Department, in an email response coordinated with MercyOne Des Moines, UnityPoint Health-Des Moines, Broadlawns Medical Center and the Iowa Clinic. Davis said that more updated information will be provided after medical teams meet later this afternoon. 

    The health systems in Polk County have established a medical coordination center. Through this center, they established the 211 medical call line. This line is staffed by trained nurses who will answer medical COVID-19 questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “This center is continuously coming up with new ideas to better serve our patients who visit our hospitals and clinics,” Davis said. 

    During a livestreamed update on Monday afternoon, Broadlawns’ chief medical officer, Dr. Yogesh Shah, said the local hospitals are in “very short supply” of materials such as coronavirus test kits and respirator masks. Additionally, there are a limited number of intensive care unit beds among the Des Moines hospitals that are equipped with negative airflow to properly handle COVID-19 patients, he said. 

    Shah emphasized that people who suspect they may have the COVID-19 virus should call 211 to determine whether they need to be tested, and to not go to the hospital or a clinic unless they are directed to by the provider through 211. 

    Davis said the benefit of the governor’s public health emergency declaration is that it removes regulatory burdens that could hinder accessing more resources. 

    Currently, admissions at Broadlawns, MercyOne and UnityPoint Health hospitals in Des Moines and West Des Moines have been at normal volume, with the addition of screening for COVID-19, according to the Polk County Health Department. There is capacity at all hospitals right now, Davis said.


  • Des Moines University expanding behavioral health care programs
    BY JOE GARDYASZ
    Friday, March 13, 2020 6:00 AM

  • Advancing leaders in children’s health
    BY JOE GARDYASZ
    Friday, March 13, 2020 6:00 AM

  • BY KATHY A. BOLTEN
    Thursday, March 12, 2020 3:52 PM
    This week, the Business Record held a Newsroom 515 panel discussion on legal issues. Among the topics discussed was the coronavirus and how it is affecting the workplace. 

  • Thursday, March 12, 2020 11:52 AM
    The Iowa Health Care Association is encouraging all skilled nursing facilities in the state to follow recent guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requiring them to substantially limit nonessential visitors to their facilities during the coronavirus pandemic. "Our top priority is to protect the health and well-being of Iowa's elderly and most vulnerable residents,” said Brent Willett, president and CEO of the IHCA, which represents most of the state’s nearly 800 long-term-care providers. “What we know about COVID-19 is that it presents the highest risk of serious illness and death to the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions," he said in a news release. The association is further encouraging all skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities to implement additional visitor limitation protocols recommended by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living to protect the lives and safety of skilled nursing and assisted living residents. Additionally, the facilities are encouraged to establish alternate means of communication between residents and families, to the extent possible under these conditions, Willett said. 

  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020 3:37 PM
    The Internal Revenue Service today advised that high-deductible health plans can pay for coronavirus COVID-19-related testing and treatment, without jeopardizing their status. 

  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020 3:31 PM
    The John Stoddard Cancer Center in Des Moines has opened Empower, a new boutique and salon for cancer patients within the center at 1221 Pleasant St. on the Iowa Methodist Medical Center campus. 

  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020 10:54 AM
    About 1,400 Special Olympics athletes in Iowa learned Tuesday that they will not be able to compete in the upcoming midwinter tournament because of coronavirus concerns. 

  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020 10:54 AM
    A number of major health insurers pledged Tuesday to cover coronavirus testing at no cost to patients, but those assurances may not resolve public concerns about testing, Time magazine reported. 

  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020 10:52 AM
    University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics early today sent an email to its faculty and staff notifying them that it has admitted its first COVID-19 patient, who “remains in critical condition in our care.” 

  • Tuesday, March 10, 2020 3:26 PM
    Eighteen Iowans returning home from the Grand Princess cruise liner are not showing signs of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, state public health officials said today, but they are being asked to self-isolate.

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