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January 24, 2018

Around the nation: Woman donates kidney to toddler she hardly knew

Daily Briefing

    The woman, Robyn Rosenberger, met the boy, Michael Loness, through her business, which brings superhero capes to children who have an illness or disability, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Iowa, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.

    • Iowa: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics CEO Kenneth Kates plans to retire this summer. Kates is also associate VP of University of Iowa Health Care. A committee will be formed to find a successor (Vaidya, Becker's Hospital Review, 1/22).

    • Missouri: A Missouri woman who runs a business that brings superhero capes to children who have an illness or disability has donated her kidney to a toddler she met through her work. When Robyn Rosenberger learned that Michael Loness needed a kidney and that a child can receive a kidney from an adult, she recalled, "It was very simple. ... I needed to see if I was a match." And she was. Doctors at St. Louis University Hospital performed the operation to remove Rosenberger's kidney, and doctors at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital—about 500 feet away—transplanted it into Loness. Both are recovering after the surgeries, which took place Jan. 17 (Heffernan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Sacramento Bee, 1/23).

    • Pennsylvania: Public health officials last month updated the state's definition of charity care to require hospitals to inform patients when they've been deemed eligible for charity care. The change came in response to a trend among hospitals in recent years to practice so-called "presumptive eligibility." The practice helps hospitals identify patients eligible for charity care and reduce the amount of unpaid medical bills passed onto hospitals as bad debt. But patient advocate groups said hospitals in many cases were not informing patients when they are eligible for charity care, which could prompt a patient to forgo needed follow-up care because of cost concerns (Paavola, Becker's Hospital Review, 1/22).

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