Today’s NewsStand – May 8, 2018

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

Iowa News

New Genesis robot opens up art for cancer patients
A new pilot program links the galleries at the Figge Art Museum with cancer patients undergoing treatment, through state-of-the-art technology and a partnership with Genesis Health System and Living Proof Exhibit. “It’s been a big hit,” Dan Ludgate, manager for Genesis Cancer Care Center at its West Campus, said of the use of robot “Genie,” now in its fourth week. During chemotherapy, patients with a volunteer can “drive” the robot from the connected laptop; zoom in and out to examine artwork, and can video-chat with a Figge staffer or docent who’s with Genie. (Rock Island Dispatch-Argus)

Cancer survivor starts group, shares her story
Laurie Fuller understands what it’s like to deal with cancer and seeing the need for a local support group, so she started one. Fuller was diagnosed with breast cancer and received treatment at Mahaska Health Partnership (MHP). Seeing the need for a cancer support group close to home, Fuller started one at MHP that will offer support to anyone touched by cancer, either patient or caregiver. “My vision is that the meetings will be a casual conversation in format, with occasional speakers,” she said. (Oskaloosa Herald)

Michael Romano installed as new IMS president
The Iowa Medical Society (IMS) recently installed Dr. Michael Romano as the organization’s president. He succeeds Dr. Joyce Vista-Wayne, who held that position for the past year. Romano is a board-certified family medicine physician with more than 32 years of practice experience. He has spent his practice career in southwest Iowa, primarily in Council Bluffs, and has been chief medical officer of the Nebraska Health Network, an Accountable Care Organization in Omaha, since September 2015. (Iowa Medical Society)

National News

Trump administration rejects Kansas plan to impose 3-year limit on Medicaid
The Trump administration will not allow Kansas to impose limits on how many years someone can be enrolled in the Medicaid program. The state had requested that people on Medicaid be allowed to stay in the program for no more than three years and then be dropped from the program. Several other states have made similar requests, indicating similar proposals will be rejected. “We are determined to make sure that the Medicaid program remains a safety net for those that need it most,” Seema Verma, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said Monday at the American Hospital Association annual meeting. (Washington Examiner)

New Hampshire wins approval for Medicaid work requirements
Medicaid beneficiaries in New Hampshire will have to work, attend school or perform community service to be eligible for benefits under a new waiver approved by the Trump administration. Under the program, adults aged 19 to 64 will be required to participate in 100 hours per month of “community engagement activities,” such as employment, education, job skills training or community service. The waiver program will also require co-pays for Medicaid recipients who make more than 100 percent of the poverty level. (The Hill)

How the farm bill could erode part of the ACA
Some Republican lawmakers continue to try to work around the federal health law’s requirements. That strategy can crop up in surprising places. Like the farm bill. Tucked deep in the House version of the massive bill is a provision that supporters say could help provide farmers with cheaper, but likely less comprehensive, health insurance than plans offered through the Affordable Care Act. It calls for $65 million in loans and grants administered by the Department of Agriculture to help organizations establish agricultural-related “association” type health plans. (Kaiser Health News)

Trump proposes $15 billion spending cuts, targets children’s health program
US President Donald Trump will request a package of $15 billion in spending cuts from Congress today, including some $7 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) championed by Democrats, senior administration officials said on Monday. Senior administration officials said the initial package of proposed cuts was targeted at federal funds that were sitting unspent. It would not affect a two-year budget deal agreed in February. (Reuters)