Healthcare Roundup—Georgia lawmakers clash over CON law

MRI device
Purchasing an MRI device often requires a hospital to receive certificate-of-need approval from the state. A CON law in Georgia is under fire by lawmakers. (Getty/MementoImage)

Lawmakers clash over CON laws in Georgia

A House bill addressing Certificate of Need laws in Georgia has created a controversy in that state as lawmakers consider the measure that would revamp the state's healthcare regulatory system, Georgia Health News reported

CON laws require health systems to receive approval for construction or expansion of certain facilities and services, but the proposal would relax those rules with a licensing framework. (Georgia Health News)

Home healthcare workers in Illinois get as little as eight hours of training

Some home healthcare workers only need to receive eight hours of training before they are able to start offering nonmedical services in patients' homes, the Chicago Tribune reported. 

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It's a growing debate for a fast-growing industry.

Some patient advocates say that amount of training is not enough as these workers take on increasingly complex responsibilities and are calling for more stringent requirements, while some say on-the-job experience—not a few additional hours of training—is what makes the difference (Chicago Tribune

Survey: Hospital average energy use, costs up

Hospitals' fossil fuel use is trending downward, but their sustainability efforts haven't reduced as much consumption when it comes to electricity, according to a recently released survey.

According to the 2018 edition of the Hospital Energy and Water Benchmarking Survey by energy efficiency consulting firm Grumman/Butkus Associates, hospitals' average combined BTU/ft2—which counts electricity plus gas and steam power—was 241,733 BTU/ft2 in the calendar year 2017, up about 2% from 236,910 BTU/ft2 the previous year. 

The energy survey also found: 

  • Square-foot prices for gas/steam rose to 75 cents in 2017 from 71 cents in 2016. In comparison, square-foot prices for electricity climbed to $2.41 in 2017 from $2.25 in 2016. Total costs increased to $3.16 for 2017, up about 5% compared with $3.02 the prior year.
  • Hospitals’ average carbon footprint has remained around 50 to 60 pounds of CO2 equivalent per ft2. That is comparable to their footprints since the survey began in 1999.
  • Some participants indicated they used 250,000 BTU/ft2 in fossil fuel annually, while a few hospitals reported 75,000 BTU/ft2/year or less. A few hospitals consume more than 45 kWh/ft2/year in electricity while some used less than 18 kWh/ft2/year.

The survey found that hospitals reported declining wastewater with an average usage of about 48 gallons per square foot per year with hospitals reported they are paying about $0.24/ft2. That's down about 20% from an average of more than 60 gallons/ft2/year a decade ago. (Release)  

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