Today’s NewsStand — May 30, 2017

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

Iowa News

Thousands of Iowans facing loss of insurance could get a new option — but it’d be pricey
Iowa could provide a parachute for tens of thousands of consumers who are on the brink of losing their coverage as the state’s health insurance market hits severe turbulence. The backup plan would come in the form of the state’s high-risk pool, an insurance program that is barely used anymore but could be expanded, said Cecil Bykerk, the program’s executive director. However, it would cost consumers substantially more and they couldn’t use Obamacare subsidies to help pay their premiums. (Des Moines Register)

Medical helicopter crash drill held at CHI Mercy Council Bluffs
A mock medical helicopter crash was held Thursday to help train local emergency crews what to do in a worst case scenario. “The last thing in the world that we’d ever want to have happen is something as drastic as a helicopter crash, but if it were to occur, we want to be prepared,” said Denise McNitt, vice president of patient care at CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs. When a critically injured patient needs immediate care, hospitals turn to helicopter transport. “It’s often a life and death situation,” McNitt said. (KETV)

Genesis therapies help Davenport man recover from traumatic brain injury
Rod Becker and his wife were walking around a Davenport park near their home when they were hit by a car. Rod had sustained a traumatic brain injury in the accident and was in a coma. After 12 days at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Rod was transferred to the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Genesis Medical Center. Therapies and the professional rehabilitation team available from Genesis have allowed Rod Becker to return to the independence of his life and his work. (Genesis Health System)

National News

How the American Health Care Act would affect mental health coverage
The middle of an unprecedented nationwide opioid epidemic might seem like a strange time to slash public funding for substance abuse, but that’s exactly what Republicans intend to do. The American Health Care Act will mark a major shift in national policy for opioid treatment, as well as for mental health, behavioral health and substance abuse across the board. And it would come just after the Affordable Care Act began to create the first semblance of a true national safety net for those health issues. (The Atlantic)

The Affordable Care Act is neither imploding nor collapsing
Senate Republicans appear to be solidly rejecting their House colleagues’ health-care plan. That shouldn’t be a close call, given the Congressional Budget Office’s findings that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would increase the ranks of the uninsured by 23 million, while raising the cost of coverage for older and sicker people. Compared with current law — the Affordable Care Act — the out-of-pocket cost of coverage for an older, low-income person would rise by a factor of eight to nine under AHCA. (Washington Post)

McConnell faces a challenge passing health care in Senate
For Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, writing a Republican-only health care bill that can pass the Senate boils down to this question: How do you solve a problem like Dean, Lisa, Patrick, Ted, Rand and Susan? Those are some GOP senators whose clashing demands McConnell, R-Ky., must resolve. Facing solid Democratic opposition to demolishing former President Barack Obama’s 2010 overhaul, Republicans will lose if just three of their 52 senators defect. (Associated Press/ABC News)

Trump calls for end to filibuster
President Trump on Tuesday called for the Senate to end the filibuster and allow legislation to pass with a simple majority, saying it would allow his agenda to pass “fast and easy.” “The US Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get health care and tax cuts approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!” Trump tweeted. Trump called earlier this month for the end of the filibuster, which essentially requires 60 votes for a bill to pass the Senate. (The Hill)

Wisconsin proposal would help keep chronically ill out of emergency rooms
Last year in Wisconsin, thousands of people visited an emergency room more than seven times each. To respond, lawmakers voted last week to give hospitals a powerful financial incentive to reduce emergency room costs within the state’s Medicaid health programs for the needy. “It’s really creative,” said Eric Borgerding, the CEO of the Wisconsin Hospital Association and a supporter of the proposal. “I’m confident it will result in a reduction of emergency department utilization.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)