Today’s NewsStand – May 10, 2018

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

Iowa News

National study ranks Iowa mostly prepared to handle public health emergency
A national study says Iowa’s overall health security level is just under the national average. Iowa’s seven out of 10 score represents a decrease in the level of preparedness when compared to recent years with community planning and engagement and health care delivery. The state exceeded the national average in health security surveillance, incident and information management, countermeasure management and environmental and occupational health. “I think that in rural Iowa that our resources are limited and finite so we need to work together,” Clay County Emergency Manager Eric Tigges said. (Spencer Daily Reporter)

Mitchell County facing doctor shortage
By 2030, the Association of American Medical Colleges believes there will be a doctor shortage of about a 150,000 across the U.S. That leaves Shelly Russell of Mitchell County Regional Health Center asking county supervisors for recruitment money to get doctors to call towns like Osage home. “It’s expensive to recruit new providers to your community. Many physicians are coming out with student loan debt so the money would be used for that,” Russell said. Russell explains those at the hospital are going to residencies and medical schools to pitch the idea to soon-to-be graduates. (KIMT)

Buchanan County Health Center nurse spends a half-century in profession
Each year, National Nurses Week serves as an opportunity to recognize outstanding nurses who provide the highest level of quality care to their patients’ each and every day. Buchanan County Health Center (BCHC) is proud to employ more than 100 nursing professionals. A long-time employee of BCHC, Nancy Brewer has been providing compassionate care to her patients as a registered nurse for 50 years. With no end in sight, Nancy reflected on her years spent in nursing. “I’ve enjoyed the many changes over the years and learning new things. You’re never too old to learn.” (Independence Bulletin Journal)

National News

Hospitals aren’t going obsolete, Azar says
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar reassured the American Hospital Association on Wednesday morning that hospitals are not growing less important to the US health care system. Rather, the role hospitals play is shifting as the health care delivery system transforms, Azar said in his speech emphasizing the administration’s push toward a value-based system. “Large-scale hospitals, and especially overnight stays, are taking on more of a specialized role within our system. But hospitals, broadly defined, aren’t growing irrelevant.” (HealthLeaders Media)

Kansas Medicaid plan is too harsh even for the Trump administration
The Trump administration is all too willing to cut Medicaid benefits and the number of people receiving them. They’ve signaled this for one thing by allowing states to end retroactive eligibility and to impose work requirements. But remarkably, Kansas went too far even for this administration. This week, Kansas became the first and so far only state to be refused a Medicaid waiver under the current president. The federal government ruled that no, Kansas can’t kick people off Medicaid, the health care program for low-income Americans, just because they’ve been on it for three years. (Kansas City Star)

Under a Trump proposal, lawful immigrants might shun medical care
The Trump administration is considering a policy change that might discourage immigrants who are seeking permanent residency from using government-supported health care, a scenario that is alarming some doctors, hospitals and patient advocates. Health advocates say such a policy could frighten a far broader group of immigrants into avoiding government-supported health coverage, creating public health problems that could be dire in the long run — for those patients and for U.S. hospitals. (Iowa Public Radio)

Former CMS administrator Andy Slavitt starts venture capital firm
Former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt is launching a new venture capital firm called Town Hall Ventures. Starting the firm with fellow health business veterans Trevor Price and David Whelan, the group said they are looking to invest in health care technology and services companies that impact care delivery for vulnerable populations that don’t always benefit from innovation. In particular, the group said, they want to target care improvements for Medicare and Medicaid patients. (Fierce Healthcare)