Today’s NewsStand – June 7, 2018

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

Iowa News

In Dubuque, frustrated parents, providers meet with Iowa Medicaid Director Randol
On Wednesday, frustrated caregivers and health care providers met with Iowa Medicaid Enterprise Director Mike Randol at Hills and Dales Community Center. The meeting was intended to give Randol both positive and negative feedback about Iowa’s privatized Medicaid system, but not one person had a positive thing to say about the change, particularly about the managed care organizations that manage patients’ care plans. (KCRG)

Prairie Meadows grant helps purchase new radiology van
Skiff Medical Center’s Radiology department recently upgraded its mobile radiology van, thanks to funding received from a Prairie Meadows Community Betterment grant. Skiff’s mobile radiology program utilizes a minivan to transport X-ray equipment to serve patients in the community at nursing homes, senior living centers and at the Newton Correctional Facility. This is an important service provided to patients who may be too weak to leave their home or may not have transportation to the hospital to have simple radiological procedures or follow-up exams. (Newton Daily News)

UnityPoint-St. Luke’s trains for crisis scenarios
Members of the UnityPoint-St. Luke’s incident command team recently completed special training critical to prepare for any kind of disaster. The training was conducted by the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama. Operated by Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, it’s  one of the only training facilities of it’s kind in the country. UnityPoint-St. Luke’s staffers received training in areas like how to prevent, respond to and recover from real world incidents. Actors were even hired to represent a real life situation. (Siouxland Proud)

National News

Revised Medicaid work requirement bill moves in Michigan
More than 500,000 able-bodied, nonelderly adults in Michigan’s Medicaid expansion program would have to work or meet related requirements to keep qualifying for government health insurance under a revised bill that is expected to become law. Changes made to the bill on Wednesday would allow for three months of noncompliance in a 12-month period, scale back the work requirement from 29 hours a week, exclude traditional Medicaid beneficiaries from having to comply and let community service count as a qualifying activity for no more than three months in a year. (Associated Press/ABC News)

Kate Spade’s apparent suicide demonstrates US needs a mental health care overhaul
The apparent suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade shows that untreated mental illness can affect anyone — regardless of their gender, the color of their skin, or the size of their bank account. Many news reports found that Spade had been suffering with her mental health for a long time. According to the Kansas City Star, Spade’s older sister said that her suicide was, “was not unexpected by me.” Most people who meet criteria for a mental disorder or have significant related difficulties do not actively try to find specialty mental health care. (The Hill)

HHS to allow insurers’ workaround on 2019 prices
Federal officials will not block insurance companies from again using a workaround to cushion a steep rise in health premiums caused by President Donald Trump’s cancellation of a program established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar announced Wednesday. The technique — called “silver loading” because it pushed price increases onto the silver-level plans in the ACA marketplaces — was used by many states for 2018 policies. But federal officials had hinted they might bar the practice next year. (Kaiser Health News)

Senate panel schedules vote on controversial drug pricing bill
The Senate Judiciary Committee announced Tuesday that is moving ahead this week on a controversial bill aimed at lowering drug prices. The bill, known as the Creates Act, seeks to crack down on drug companies using tactics to delay the introduction of cheaper generic drugs onto the market. It has been stalled for months amid intense opposition from pharmaceutical companies, despite being sponsored by members of both parties. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a sponsor of the bill, is forging ahead, seeking to lay down a marker through action by the panel. (The Hill)