Today’s NewsStand – May 22, 2018

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

Iowa News

Iowa Poll: Education and health care are major worries for Democratic primary voters
The vast majority of likely Democratic primary voters say cuts to education spending, inadequate and unaffordable health care and inadequate mental health facilities are major threats to Iowa’s future, according to a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll. Other issues that worry a majority of these governor’s race primary voters: privatized Medicaid, restrictions on abortion, water quality, a lack of well-paying jobs and inadequate spending on infrastructure. (Des Moines Register)

St. Luke’s starting on new rehabilitation facility in Cedar Rapids
For eastern Iowa patients needing long term rehabilitation care, St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids is building something new to meet that need. Hospital leaders broke ground for a new $15 million Transitional Care Center Monday morning in northeast Cedar Rapids. The center is designed for short term, but intensive, care following surgeries or other medical procedures where a patient needs more than just care at home. Dr. Clete Younger, medical director for the new center, said the idea is to provide something that follows a hospital stay but stops short of nursing home care. (KCRG)

Lifeserve Blood Center dedicates new lab
Sioux City’s LifeServe Blood Center dedicated a new state-of-the-art lab for blood testing and processing Monday. LifeServe is the sole provider of blood and blood products to more than 120 hospitals located across the tri-state area including Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint St. Luke’s in Sioux City. Spokesperson Claire DeRoin says the new lab located on Line Drive has been in the planning stages for some time. She also emphasizes the importance of donating blood, especially in the summer. (KSCJ)

Council Bluffs woman tackles 166-mile relay segment while battling multiple sclerosis
Michelle Graft was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis just before her 39th birthday. Exercise is important for multiple sclerosis patients, said Dr. James Whalen. Whalen is Graft’s primary care physician at a CHI Health clinic in Council Bluffs. Physical activity helps with muscle strength, circulation and mental health for patients like Graft. A year after her diagnosis, the Council Bluffs woman is running a 166-mile segment of the MS Run the US relay. (Live Well Nebraska)

National News

In rural America, digital divide slows a vital path for telemedicine
Telemedicine can be a critical tool for making Americans healthier. A concerted push to seize the untapped potential of telemedicine could help us tackle today’s health challenges. While the benefits of digital health care are clear, we’ve been too slow to embrace its potential. Those who stand to benefit most from telemedicine disproportionately find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide. Roughly 30 percent of rural Americans lack access to high-speed wireline broadband. (Boston Globe)

Red states find there’s no free pass on Medicaid changes from Trump
Red states are getting a reality check from the Trump administration in just how conservative they can remake their Medicaid programs. Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rejected a request from Kansas to limit Medicaid eligibility to just three years. Medicaid experts said officials in Kansas and other red states were mistaken if they thought they could get the Trump administration to approve changes just because they happen to be conservative. (The Hill)

Obamacare tied to earlier cancer detection in young women
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision allowing adult children to stay on their parents’ health insurance policy until age 26, young women with gynecological cancers were diagnosed and treated sooner, researchers say. In a comparison of young women who would have had access to insurance coverage under the law, and slightly older women who would not have had the same access, researchers found that 3.6 percent more of the younger group had their cancers diagnosed at an early stage. (Reuters)

New report says Medicaid expansion would cover 473,000 more Georgians
A new report estimates that a full Medicaid expansion in Georgia would provide health insurance to 473,000 more residents in 2019. Georgia is among 19 states that have not expanded Medicaid as outlined by the Affordable Care Act. The new analysis, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said that in Georgia, state spending would increase by $246 million, or 6.3 percent, under Medicaid expansion, but ‘‘would be offset largely by savings in other areas, including uncompensated medical care for people who are currently uninsured.’’ (Georgia Health News)

Despite attacks on Obamacare, the uninsured rate held steady last year
Last year, Trump administration officials declared Obamacare “dead,” pulled enrollment ads offline, distributed social media videos critical of the law and sent signals that the law’s requirement to buy health insurance was no longer in effect. But the number of Americans with health insurance stayed largely unchanged. The results of a big, government survey on health insurance status were published Tuesday, and they show that the uninsured rate remained basically flat at 9.1 percent in the first year of the Trump presidency. The numbers suggest a surprising resilience of the health law. (New York Times)