Today’s NewsStand — June 2, 2017

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

Iowa News

Who needs insurance they can’t afford?
In a sense, Iowa’s high-risk insurance pool could be a safety net for individuals who might otherwise have no health coverage. But it’s a safety net that may not be accessible to those who need it most. Aetna, Medica and Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield have said that in 2018 they’ll probably stop selling individual policies. Iowa could try to address one piece of this problem by expanding the rules governing the state’s high-risk pool, but only if the coverage that it provides is affordable. (Des Moines Register)

ISU hopes to fill a need for nurses
Iowa State University (ISU), responding to a growing shortage of registered nurses, has hired Dr. Virginia Wangerin to direct a new nursing education program. The program will enroll nurses holding associate degrees and graduate them with bachelor of nursing degrees (BSN). Hospitals and other health care settings, responding to a shortage of registered nurses, are hiring nurses with a two-year associate’s degree, despite admitting that additional college education improves health care outcomes. (Iowa Public Radio)

UnityPoint Health-Trinity Announces first Project SEARCH graduating class
Project SEARCH is a work immersion program for students with disabilities to transition into full-time employment. Over the weekend, UnityPoint Health – Trinity presented the first graduating class of this year’s partnership with Project SEARCH at a celebration. There were ten departments that participated in Project SEARCH this year from August 2016 to May 2017. The interns completed three, 10-week rotations throughout the multiple departments. (UnityPoint Health-Trinity)

Clarke County Hospital Foundation’s campaign reaches $1 million goal
Clarke County Hospital recently announced on behalf of the Clarke County Hospital Foundation that the “Transform Your Community’s Healthcare” capital campaign goal of $1 million has been reached. Contributions have led to several improvements including a new primary care clinic with additional space, new and more private treatment rooms for infusion patients in the Outpatient Care Clinic, creation of a new centralized main entrance and much more. (Osceola Sentinel-Tribune)

Iowa farm teaches adults with autism life lessons
The Homestead farm is unlike many other Iowa farms. Because on this particular acreage, most employees have autism spectrum disorder, which can severely impair communication and social skills. So while the men of the Homestead and the specifically trained associates who work alongside them harvest veggies for a Community Supported Agriculture program, their mission is more than farming. The Homestead is training these men for life. (Des Moines Register/Sacramento Bee)

National News

Behavioral health: Fixing a system in crisis
For decades, behavioral health has been an afterthought. An estimated 44 million adults live with a mental illness, yet nearly 60 percent don’t receive treatment in a given year. There’s a growing body of evidence as well that directly links behavioral and physical health. The tide seems to be turning, however, as policymakers and providers alike recognize the need to not only allocate more resources to behavioral health and substance abuse prevention, but also redesign care models to treat the whole patient. (Modern Healthcare)

Amid rising suicide rates, Cincinnati schools worried about cuts to mental health services
As Cincinnati public schools look for ways to improve mental health resources for students, administrators are worried about potential cuts to psychological counseling services, which are part of school-based Medicaid programs. Many of the health care centers in Cincinnati schools are paid for, in part, through Medicaid reimbursements, and could be in jeopardy if the Republican health care bill advances.  (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Government-run universal health care wins vote in California Senate
The California Senate approved a measure Thursday aimed at establishing a government-run universal health care system. Under the plan, government would negotiate prices with doctors, hospitals and other providers, acting as the “single payer” for everyone’s health care in the place of insurance companies. All Californians would receive coverage regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. (Sacramento Bee)

The fate of 16.8 million Medicaid enrollees rests on 20 GOP Senators from 14 states
The Senate is on the verge of debating legislation to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and Medicaid is on the chopping block. Whatever happens next with ACA repeal and the future of Medicaid will depend largely on whether GOP senators choose to fight for their constituents on Medicaid. There are 20 Republican senators representing 14 states where the stakes are especially high because they’re among the 31 states that expanded Medicaid. (Huffington Post)

Health experts are furious with Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement
Environmentalists aren’t the only ones outraged over President Trump’s decision to have the US walk away from the Paris accord on global warming. The climate agreement aims to keep Earth’s temperature within 2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels. The people who pay attention to public health say that a warmer planet will bring more air pollution, fuel the spread of infectious diseases and increase the incidence of certain cancers, among many other things. (Los Angeles Times)