Healthcare Roundup—New alarms raised about bacterial resistance to hand sanitizers in hospitals; AHA names new trustees

A new study is raising the alarm about increasing resistance to alcohol-based hand sanitizers. (Getty/Jupiterimages)

Alcohol loses its power against some bacteria

A new study is raising the alarm about increasing resistance to alcohol-based hand sanitizers. 

According to the study published in Science Translational Medicine, the multidrug-resistant bacterium Enterococcus faecium has become increasingly tolerant to the alcohols widely used in hospital disinfectants. Led by researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia, the authors said the findings could help explain recent increases in the pathogen in hospital settings.

"The findings suggest that bacterial adaptation is complicating infection control recommendations, necessitating additional procedures to prevent E. faecium from spreading in hospital settings," the authors wrote. (Science Translational Medicine article

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American Hospital Association names new trustees

The American Hospital Association elected seven new members to join its Board of Trustees on Jan. 1. Each of the new members will serve three-year terms. 

Incoming members include:

  • Marna Bogstrom, CEO of Yale New Haven Health and Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. 
  • Delvecchio Finley, CEO of Alameda Health System in Oakland, California.
  • Susan Fox, President and CEO of White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York, a member of the Montefiore Health System.
  • Becky Hultberg, President and CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association.
  • Greg Poulsen, Senior Vice President of Policy for Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City and board chair of the Utah Hospital Association.
  • Glenn Robinson, President of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center—Hillcrest in Waco, Texas. 
  • Harsh K. Trivedi, M.D., President and CEO of Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore.

New concerns, scrutiny raised at South Dakota hospital

Two years after serious safety lapses resulted in the shutdown of the emergency department at the Rosebud Indian Reservation's hospital in South Dakota, federal regulators are once against scrutinizing operations there. 

Federal inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently surveyed the hospital. While the results are not yet available, local leaders say problems have persisted there since the hospital made national headlines in 2016 for unsafe conditions. (Argus Leader article)

In Medicare Advantage market, Cerner straddles the line between partner and competitor

Cerner's entry into the Medicare Advantage market could put the EHR vendor at odds with some of its biggest clients. 

In June, Cerner announced a 10-year strategic investment in Lumeris, which oversees a Medicare Advantage plan in Missouri. As part of the arrangement, Cerner has invested $266 million into the company and plans to release a joint offering geared toward Medicare Advantage later. Weeks later, Centene announced it is exploring a joint venture with Ascension Health to launch a Medicare Advantage plan in 2020.

The two arrangements have little crossover, except for one: Ascension uses Cerner’s EHR platform, potentially putting the vendor at odds with the health system as both launch separate Medicare Advantage offerings. (FierceHealthcare

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