Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.
Benefit cap set for Iowa Medicaid dental plans
Dental benefits for Medicaid members will be capped starting July 1, state officials announced. Iowa Medicaid Enterprise will be accepting public comment through the end of June. The new rule — in place for members aged 21 and older, or a total of 301,348 members in Iowa — will put in place a benefit maximum of $1,000 of services per member per fiscal year, which runs July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. (Sioux City Journal)
UnityPoint Health, Waterloo School agreement contract will increase school nurses
The number of nurses serving Waterloo Community Schools’ buildings will grow next fall. The Board of Education Monday approved a $1.09 million one-year school nursing agreement with UnityPoint Health. “We’ve really appreciated the partnership with them,” Superintendent Jane Lindaman told board members. It will include eight nurses for the 19 district schools, two more than now. Each school will continue having a health assistant. The administrative oversight staffing will remain the same but will be based at UnityPoint facilities. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)
City of Clive hosting public education meeting on mental health
Mercy Medical Center Des Moines has proposed a standalone mental health hospital in Clive. The city of Clive Manager Matt McQuillien said the city is hosting a public meeting to educate the public on mental health tonight. Speakers at the meeting include: City of Clive Mayor Scott Cirksena, Polk County Supervisor Robert Brownell, Mercy Medical Center Des Moines Vice President of Planning and Business Development Sandy Swanson and Executive Director of National Alliance Mental Illness Iowa Peggy Huppert. (WHO)
CMS releases guidance to states on using Medicaid to address opioid crisis
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday released guidance aimed at helping states leverage Medicaid to combat the opioid epidemic. Specifically, the guidance focused on information related to covering services for infants born exposed to opioids and how to enhance federal funding for telemedicine and programs that keep tabs on patients’ prescriptions. States may also cover addiction treatment services for the parent, if they’re eligible for Medicaid, at the same time the infant is being treated. (The Hill)
Health care will define the midterms. Donald Trump’s move to gut Obamacare guarantees it.
Donald Trump and the Republican Party just put America’s health care squarely on the November ballot. After a year of trying and failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Trump administration, in cahoots with 20 conservative states, has asked the courts to strike down several pillars of the ACA — including its protections for Americans with pre-existing health conditions. These protections are a guarantee to as many as 130 million Americans that no insurance company can deny them coverage just because they (or one of their family members) had a prior illness or medical problem. (USA Today)
How suicide quietly morphed into a public health crisis
The deaths of the designer Kate Spade and the chef Anthony Bourdain, both of whom committed suicide this week, were not simply pop culture tragedies. They were the latest markers of an intractable public health crisis that has been unfolding in slow motion for a generation. The rates have been climbing each year across most age and ethnic groups. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. After decades of research, effective prevention strategies are lacking. (New York Times)
Team-based health care offers proven path to improving Americans’ mental health
Integrated care teams can better address patients’ needs by providing the full range of expertise in a collaborative approach. Having behavioral health specialists within primary-care practices overcomes the problem of patients failing to follow up on a referral to an outside practitioner. Combining mental health services with primary care can save lives while decreasing costs and increasing quality of care. The passage of the Affordable Care Act opened the door to new patient-centered models of care. (Modern Healthcare)