Medical providers and health systems in Iowa have been grappling with a growing problem of cancellations after patients are told they won’t be able to get an appointment.
The problem is especially acute in rural communities, where some hospitals have struggled to fill appointments.
On Tuesday, the Iowa Department of Health said the state has been overwhelmed with cancellations.
Health care providers and clinics across the state say they’ve had to scramble to handle an increasing number of patients who had scheduled appointments, and many of those people have been unable to obtain appointments at their local hospitals.
State officials say the number of cancellings has increased by 100 percent since the beginning of the year.
Health officials say there are currently more than 600 patients in Iowa waiting for an appointment at a health care facility, up from 200 at the beginning.
Some hospitals in the state are also scrambling to get ready for a surge of patients coming to them for an exam.
The Associated Press found that the number and length of appointments at health care facilities nationwide has increased more than 100 percent in the past six months.
Health authorities in at least seven states say they are seeing an increase in patients coming in to emergency rooms and clinics for non-emergency health care, including an increase of more than 10 percent in Iowa since the start of the first quarter.
Some states, such as Nebraska and New Hampshire, have seen an increase as well.
The AP analyzed data from state and federal government agencies and medical and pharmacy records, using data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a federal database that tracks appointments made at health centers nationwide.
It found that Iowa health officials say they have received more than 1,400 cancellations since the first half of the month, with about 3,200 of those calls coming from Iowa.
The state says it has had to deal with more than 2,400 of those cases since the middle of January.
Health leaders say they want to make it easier for patients to get appointments, but many people in Iowa say they’re having trouble finding appointments.
Some patients have been told they can’t get an MRI or CT scan.
Many patients have had to wait months for appointments at hospitals, while others have waited weeks to get a phone call from a provider.
Health department spokeswoman Debby Stoecker said the agency has received an average of 400 calls a day since January 1, with the majority of those from Iowa patients.
Stoepper said the number has continued to rise since January.
Some Iowa health systems have had difficulty processing appointments.
Hospitals have had trouble accommodating patients who are not able to travel, or who are in the hospital and have difficulty scheduling appointments.
Stuecker said Iowa’s emergency room has had trouble scheduling appointments, even with the increased number of people.
Some of the most popular Iowa health centers are in rural areas.
For example, Cedar Rapids is home to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, which has more than 800 patients.
It also has the state’s only hospital for patients with acute heart conditions, the University Hospital of Des Moines.
Steecker said hospitals have not been able to handle the influx of patients from outside the state.
She said the Iowa Health Authority has been able, however, to process some of the appointments made outside the region.
St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Sioux City has had more than 700 patients arrive in its emergency room in recent days, Stoeker said.
It has also been processing appointments from Iowa and the rest of the country.
Hospice and nursing homes have also had to step in.
A group of nursing homes and hospices across the country have been helping to handle more patients with severe health conditions.
The Iowa Hospice Association of Iowa has been coordinating care for more than 4,000 patients who have severe health problems and is handling about 1,600 appointments a day.
The group has helped with appointments at a hospital in Iowa, and is planning to continue to help out.
But the association has been seeing an increased number, and the number is growing faster than the other groups, Stuepper said.
“We’re in a very serious emergency situation,” she said.
The association’s president, Mark Rauch, said he is concerned that patients who do not qualify for help from hospices or nursing homes are being sent to hospitals that have limited capacity.
He said he worries that patients will be sent to nursing homes that are too busy to care for their needs.
Stoeser said that Iowa is trying to balance care for the chronically ill with the availability of beds for people who have health problems.
She also said that patients are being told they cannot get an ultrasound or CT Scan because of a backlog of appointments.
She acknowledged that some patients have needed medical care at hospitals.
The hospital has not provided that service, she said, adding that some people have received the scans at the hospital’s ER and others have been seen by doctors at the nearby St. Anthony’s Hospital.
Iowa health authorities say they