Today’s NewsStand – May 2, 2017

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.

Iowa News

Rural health programs face September deadline
Physicians and medical students converged on Capitol Hill earlier this month to advocate for continued funding of teaching health centers, one of which is located in Des Moines and offers medical residency programs in community settings. Past graduates of the Des Moines-based program have taken positions in rural communities. Iowa is home to 14 federally-qualified organizations and when put together these programs provide assurance to rural residents. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Hospital CEO Opposes American Health Care Act
In a recent letter to the editor, Virginia Gay Hospital Administrator, Mike Riege, explains why he and hospitals are opposed to the American Health Care Act. The hospital community strongly opposes this latest version of the bill because of the effect it will have on patients and hospitals. The previous projection of 24 million losing coverage is probably low now, given the provisions in the new bill. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Health care professionals talk concerns in LGBTQ community
Health care professionals from across the state gathered Saturday to address challenges providers face when caring for LGBTQ individuals. One Iowa, the state’s leading LGBTQ advocacy organization, hosted the fifth annual LGBTQ Health and Wellness Conference at Des Moines University’s Student Education Center, holding workshops and discussing the health inequalities and disparities LGBTQ Iowans continue to experience in the state’s health system. (KCCI)

National News

Lobbying by hospitals, doctors, slows GOP health care drive
“Obamacare” is showing surprising staying power, thanks in large part to doctors, hospitals and other health industry players opposing the alternatives that Republicans have proposed. The stories and perspectives they bring to the debate are grounded in the local community and the impact on finances and well-being. Recently the American Hospital Association, along with several other organizations, wrote congressional leaders warning of negative consequences to patients if the GOP bill becomes law. (Associated Press/CNBC)

Rural mental telehealth growth dramatic but uneven
While the overall use of telemedicine for mental health diagnosis and treatment in rural America remains very low (1.5 percent), a new study from Harvard Medical School and the RAND Corp. in Health Affairs shows an average 45 percent jump per year in telemedicine visits among rural patients over the decade, with striking variation across states. “In Nevada, Wyoming, and Iowa we are seeing in the rates of 30-40 visits per 100 people with serious mental illness,” says study lead author Ateev Mehrotra. (HealthLeaders Media)

Milwaukee health systems to propose mental health hospital
Three nonprofit health systems in the Milwaukee area are proposing to replace the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division’s acute-care psychiatric hospital. “As local, not-for-profit organizations, each of our three providers offers a unique set of expertise, resources and a long-term commitment to the community,” the health systems said. The Behavioral Health Division and advocates for the mentally ill had hoped that a local health system would step forward. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

House Republicans continue health care push, may leave changes to Senate
The aim has become very simple for House Republicans stumbling closer to passing a bill to revise the Affordable Care Act: just get it off their plates and over to the Senate. In the messy effort to rally their often unruly party around a measure to replace big parts of Obamacare, House leaders have been forced to leave other objectives by the wayside and focus on one simple, political goal: pass a bill they can say repeals Obamacare to shield their members in next year’s elections. (Washington Post)

Pence floats end of 2017 as new target for replacing Obamacare
Vice President Mike Pence said he hopes Congress can pass legislation to replace Obamacare by the end of the year, a far longer timetable than President Donald Trump has envisioned. Pence, in an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” declined to say definitively when Trump would be able to sign a new health care bill, but said he hopes it would be “before the end of the year.” Trump said April 20 that he believed he could get action on health care “whether it’s next week or shortly thereafter.” (Bloomberg)