Today’s NewsStand – July 12, 2018

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

Iowa News

BCHC expands emergency room partnership
Buchanan County Health Center (BCHC) on Tuesday announced its expanded partnership with East Central Iowa Acute Care (ECIAC) through increased emergency provider coverage. Beginning in October, ECIAC will provide more than 90 percent of the coverage at the BCHC Emergency Department with a team of board certified emergency physicians and allied health professionals. In addition to its services at BCHC, ECIAC provides full-time emergency coverage at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids and partial coverage at Jones Regional Medical Center. (Oelwein Daily Register)

Special Spaces gives children with life-threatening illnesses a dream room
Special Spaces creates “dream bedrooms” for children with life-threatening illness. The group works with parents and children to design a bedroom that makes the child happy and also helps the parents. That can mean everything from aesthetics like fresh paint, cheerful decorations and cozy pillows to the practical, like plenty of storage to hide away medical supplies and televisions to help distract children who often spend long hours in bed, recovering from procedures. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Why one Iowa hospital uses essential oils in its ER
To help patients fight symptoms of nausea and vomiting in the emergency room (ER), nurses at CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs in Iowa are testing an alternative to traditional medicine: inhaled essential oils. CHI Health Mercy nurses conducted a study earlier this year examining the effects of traditional medicine and inhaled essential oils in reducing nausea. During the trial, nurses offered 52 patients a blend of peppermint, lavender, ginger and spearmint oils. The results of the trial showed half the patients that received the essential oil blend reported an improvement in their symptoms. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

National News

Rural health care put out to pasture
In rural America, some people live miles and miles from the nearest health care provider and an emergency can mean a very long trip to the nearest hospital. That makes critical access hospitals in rural areas very important. For many Americans in rural areas, these hospitals are just about the only place anywhere remotely close to home where they can get health care. Many of these hospitals rely on government programs to pay them in order to make ends meet. If these hospitals fail, the real victims are the patients. Trips to get quality health-care services could get longer. Survivable emergencies could turn deadly. (Bloomberg)

As Arkansas ushers in new Trump-era Medicaid rules, thousands fear losing benefits
In June, Arkansas became the first U.S. state to require that many able-bodied Medicaid recipients do some combination of work, volunteer, job training or schooling a minimum of 80 hours each month to keep their benefits, a sweeping shift in health care rules that will soon be followed by Indiana and New Hampshire. The new measures have triggered fears that thousands could lose their Medicaid benefits, putting already vulnerable laborers deeper into the hole. (Reuters/CNBC)

CMS defends hospital star-rating program, plans only minor changes
Hospitals hoping that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will make drastic changes to its controversial hospital star-rating methodology might be disappointed, as the agency plans only some tweaks to the method in December, Modern Healthcare reported. The agency is planning to reconvene a technical expert panel this summer to review the methodology and assess any issues with potential changes. (Healthcare Dive)

Drugmakers cancel price hikes after California law takes effect
A handful of the world’s biggest drugmakers are canceling or reducing planned price increases in the US, following a new California drug pricing transparency law and continued political pressure over pharmaceutical costs. The California law, which began to take effect earlier this year, requires drugmakers to give insurers, governments and drug purchasers advance notice of large price increases, as a way of publicly pressuring pharmaceutical companies to keep prices down. The California measure is among the most aggressive efforts by states to peel back the secretive process of setting drug prices. (Bloomberg)