Today’s NewsStand – June 6, 2018

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

Iowa News

Reynolds confident in direction of Medicaid privatization
While Governor Kim Reynolds does not have an opponent in the June 5th GOP primary, the crowded gubernatorial field has criticized her handling of the privatization of Medicaid and funding for mental health care services. In an Iowa Public Radio interview, Reynolds shared her view points on these issues. Notably, she believes Medicaid privatization is heading in the right direction. (Iowa Public Radio)

Mitchell County Regional Health construction continues
As progress continues on with the construction and remodel of Mitchell County Regional Health, phase two will consist of a few transitions within the larger phase of the construction. During the past twelve months, the Mitchell County Regional Health Center construction project has focused on the two-story addition to the Osage Clinic, adding approximately 20,000 square feet of clinic space.  Included in the project is an interior hallway for emergency department access and a rooftop heliport above the second floor clinic addition. (KCHA)

Wayne County Hospital doctor named ‘Physician of the Year’
The Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association has named Dr. Joel Baker at Wayne County Hospital and Clinic System as it’s “Physician of the Year.” This award is only given when suitable candidates are presented for consideration. This award is presented to a member osteopathic physician who has exhibited a notable commitment to his or her profession, patients and colleagues. Dr. Baker is a 1993 graduate of Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. (Daily Iowegian)

National News

Judge orders Maine to implement voter-approved Medicaid expansion
A Maine court has ordered the state to move ahead with Medicaid expansion, which was approved by voters last year but blocked by Republican Governor Paul LePage. Michaela Murphy, a Maine Superior Court justice, ruled Monday afternoon that the state must submit a plan to the federal government by June 11 detailing how it plans to expand Medicaid. Maine voters approved expansion in November through a citizen-led ballot measure, but LePage has fought back at every turn. Maine became the first state to expand Medicaid through a voter referendum. (The Hill)

Obamacare plans ask for 19 percent increase in Washington state
Health insurers are asking Washington state regulators to allow them to raise the price of Obamacare premiums in 2019 by an average of 19 percent. Under the latest proposals made public Monday, no county in the state will be left without an Obamacare insurer, a type of medical coverage offered to customers who do not get health insurance through a job or government program. State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler blamed the Trump administration’s changes to Obamacare for the increases. (Washington Examiner)

Medicare’s trust fund is set to run out in 8 years
The financial outlook for Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund deteriorated in the last year, and Social Security still faces serious long-term financial problems, the Trump administration said on Tuesday. The projections are the first from the administration since President Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax cut into law in December. They show no sign that a burst of economic growth will significantly improve the finances of the government’s largest entitlement programs. The Medicare trust fund will be depleted in 2026, the administration said. (New York Times)

Hundreds of Illinois children languish in psychiatric hospitals after they’re cleared for release
Hundreds of children in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services are held each year inside psychiatric hospitals for weeks or months, even though they have been cleared to leave, a ProPublica Illinois investigation found. Instead of moving on to a foster home or residential treatment center — a less restrictive facility where children attend school and lead more normal lives — these children have languished in secure mental health facilities, the consequence of the child welfare agency’s failure to find them appropriate placements. (ProPublica Illinois)