Today’s NewsStand – June 13, 2018

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

Iowa News

Iowa veteran running for mental health awareness
A veteran from Bettendorf is spreading awareness about mental health care of veterans. Brian Geerts spent the past 16 days running across Iowa, carrying an American flag. A crowd cheered him on as he ended his 359-mile run at Veterans Memorial Park in Bettendorf. Along his run, he talked with people about post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide in veterans. Geerts says it was those encounters that made every mile worth it. “It’s just the beginning of me trying to raise awareness and funds. It was more amazing than I thought it would be,” said Geerts. (WHO)

Drug use among workforce means big cost for some employers in Eastern Iowa
A new nationwide analysis has found drug use among the U.S. workforce remains at its highest rate in more than a decade, increasing concern for many employers. Not only could it be dangerous for workers, but drug use can spell a greater financial loss for local employers. Pramod Dwivedi, director of Linn County Public Health, said the most concerning rate “is the difference in positivity for cocaine in Eastern Iowa as well as marijuana positivity in the Cedar Rapids area compared to the United States and Iowa.” (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Colon cancer survivor points to early screening saving her life
A Quad Cities colon cancer survivor is relieved to see new guidelines about screening for the disease. The American Cancer Society now recommends getting a first screening at 45-year-old for anyone with an average risk of colon cancer. Just before turning 40-years-old, Gina Bubon got some extra tests as part of a medical exam and one of them came back with some unexpected results. Bubon said the first specialist she went to told her she was too young to have colon cancer but she went forward with a colonoscopy only to discover a tumor the size of a baseball. (Our Quad Cities)

National News

Arizona hospital shows path for saving rural health care
When the only hospital serving the southeast corner of Arizona closed three years ago, Jim Dickson, CEO of the nearest hospital, had an idea that he thought would preserve healthcare access in the area. He proposed building a free-standing emergency department with radiology and a lab, plus a clinic for visiting specialists and physical therapy office. But state and federal policy changes are urgently needed to make these new models possible, analysts say. That includes paying for telehealth and facilitating full use of nurse practitioners and other mid-level providers. (Modern Healthcare)

90 percent of commenters oppose Alabama Medicaid work plan
Governor Kay Ivey’s proposal for new work requirements for a small segment of Alabama Medicaid recipients, a policy encouraged by the Trump administration, drew opposition from more than 90 percent of those who sent comments to the state agency. A report issued today by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also found fault with the plan. The report says many parents who follow the new rules and get jobs will still lose their Medicaid coverage because their incomes will rise above the Medicaid eligibility level. (

Children with autism left behind by low Medicaid rates
Medicaid reimburses medical providers less than other payers and recent US Supreme Court cases have narrowed the ability of individuals to challenge Medicaid reimbursement rates. But alongside those rulings have also been a string of federal cases involving a Medicaid benefit for children with autism. “The argument isn’t that the injury is that you haven’t paid an adequate rate, it’s that I’m not getting services I am entitled to,” said Dan Unumb, an attorney and executive director of the Legal Resource Center at Autism Speaks, a group that advocates on behalf of those with autism and their families. (Stateline)

McConnell: ‘Everybody’ in Senate likes pre-existing condition safeguards
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “everybody” in the Senate wants to preserve consumer protections for people with pre-existing conditions, an Obamacare provision that the Trump administration last week said is unconstitutional and should be struck down in court. “Everybody I know in the Senate — everybody — is in favor of maintaining coverage for pre-existing conditions,” McConnell told reporters in the Capitol. Obamacare’s prohibition on insurance companies denying coverage for people with pre-existing conditions is among the most popular provisions of the law. (Politico)