Today’s NewsStand – May 4, 2017

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

Iowa News

IDPH receives $5.45 million for opioid treatment program
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has been awarded $5.45 million dollars over two years to address prescription opioid abuse and drug poisoning deaths. The funds, made available by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, are part of the US Health and Human Services Opioid Initiative through the 21st Century Cures Act. Substance Use Disorder treatment providers in all regions of the state will receive funding through the grant. (Iowa Department of Public Health)

UPH-Marshalltown officially open
May 1 brought with it new health care opportunities for Marshalltown and the entire region with the official first day of UnityPoint Health (UPH)-Marshalltown. UPH-Marshalltown is a veritable “turning over a new leaf” for health care opportunities in Marshalltown. UnityPoint Health-Waterloo President and CEO Pam Delagardelle mentioned the word “culture” numerous times during her address to the employees of the new UPH-Marshalltown. Culture is a very important part of UnityPoint Health. (Marshalltown Times-Republican)

Ritz to succeed Vellinga as Mercy Health Network CEO
Mercy Health Network announced this week that its board of directors has named Bob Ritz as chief executive officer, effective July 1. Ritz has led Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines as president since 2013. He succeeds Dave Vellinga, who announced his retirement in November. “Bob has boundless energy, unquestionable integrity, commitment to our ministries, drive, focus and compassion,” Vellinga said. (Des Moines Business Record)

Blank Children’s Hospital gives fire safety lesson
Blank Children’s Hospital unveiled a new tool on Friday that it says will provide children statewide with valuable training on what to do in case of a house fire. The new and improved Fire Safety House trailer is a mobile exercise in recognizing and escaping a house fire. In the exercise, a fire starts on the stove, smoke fills the hallways, and smoke alarms start beeping. This is the third trailer the hospital has deployed over the last three decades; they say more than 100,000 kids have passed through the previous ones. (WHO)

National News

House passes Obamacare repeal
House Republicans on Thursday passed legislation aimed at repealing and replacing Obamacare, taking a major step toward a long-held goal and setting in motion an overhaul of the nation’s health system. The narrow 217-213 vote is a victory for GOP leaders. The bill, known as the American Health Care Act, repeals the core elements of Obamacare, including its subsidies to help people get coverage, expansion of Medicaid, taxes and mandates for people to get coverage. (The Hill)

Health care lobbies line up against Trump
Just about every major health care group opposes President Donald Trump’s health care overhaul. The opposition has made it hard for Republicans to push Obamacare repeal through the House. And they could be a persistent obstacle if the legislation makes it to the Senate. Hospitals and doctors are actively engaged in killing Trump’s plan, fearful that its severe cuts to Medicaid and insurance subsidies will wreak havoc on their bottom lines. “It’s worse. We hate it,” Illinois Health and Hospital Association spokesman Danny Chun said about the latest tweaks. (Politico)

How a health care repeal could exasperate the doctor shortage crisis
With millions of Americans lacking adequate health care, extended life spans and treatable diseases are straining our already burdened system, and studies show it’s only going to get worse. There isn’t enough provider capacity in the system to meet the expected patient demand going into the future, and just increasing the number of providers isn’t an effective long-term solution to the problem. The current administration’s plan could end health care coverage for millions of Americans, which would worsen the provider shortage crisis. (The Hill)

Missouri’s rural hospitals may be at risk of closure if Obamacare is repealed
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says rural hospitals in the state could be forced to close if Obamacare is repealed. McCaskill says she met with leaders of several of Missouri’s rural hospitals earlier this year, and many of them say Missouri’s failure to expand Medicaid has had a harmful impact on their financial health. They’re particularly worried if the Republican plan for health care involves even more Medicaid cuts that for a state like Missouri that never expanded. (KCUR)

Trump’s vow to squeeze ‘Sanctuary Cities’ could play havoc with health programs
The Trump administration’s tough stance on immigration has some local health department officials worried it could spur cuts in federal funding and complicate a wide variety of programs. The Department of Justice sent letters April 21 to nine jurisdictions threatening to deny them agency funding because of their status as “sanctuary cities.” “These dollars go to everybody…these are grants that protect the whole population,” said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. (Kaiser Health News)