Today’s NewsStand – August 6, 2018

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

Iowa News

Sioux City Medical Laboratory Science Program graduates eight
The Sioux City Medical Laboratory Science Program conducted its graduation ceremony June 29 at UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s. St. Luke’s College – UnityPoint Health and Mercy Medical Center sponsor the cooperative medical laboratory science education program. Students are accepted into the program after completing at least 90 hours of course work at their respective college or university. The eight graduates have successfully completed an 11-month program of classroom and medical laboratory experience. (Sioux City Journal)

Annual event raises funds, awareness for Iowa Donor Network
Before Emily Markert died in 2014, she asked her mother to make a promise. Markert, of Manson, wanted her mother, Liz Markert, to continue to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation.  Emily Markert suffered from a serious lung condition. But she was able to live almost 15 years longer because of donors. In the weeks before her death, Emily Markert helped organize an event to raise awareness for exactly that — organ donation. In four years, her event, Emily’s Fight, Donate Life, has raised more than $50,000 for the Iowa Donor Network. (Fort Dodge Messenger)

Iowa records first West Nile virus death of 2018
Iowa has its first reported death associated with West Nile virus in 2018. Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Health said Friday the virus claimed the life on an elderly adult from central Iowa. Also, the state agency reported that a second case of human West Nile virus infection has been reported in a Palo Alto County adult male in the age range of 61 to 80 years of age who has recovered. Last year, state officials say 12 Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus and two Iowans died. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

In the war on health care, rural communities are the front lines
Rural hospitals are typically the largest employers in their area, and 57 million Americans rely on them as an important — and often their only — source of care. But right now, their access to care is at risk because too many leaders in Washington, D.C., and Missouri seem to be indifferent to real reforms that would address rural community access to care. Alarms are going off. Are we listening? A recent report on the plight of rural health care is one such siren. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

New Trump administration rule will require hospitals post prices online
Hospitals will be required to post online a list of their standard charges under a rule finalized Thursday by the Trump administration. While hospitals are already required to make this information public on request, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the new rule would require the info be posted online to “encourage price transparency” and improve “public accessibility.” Starting January 1, hospitals will be required to update the information annually. (The Hill)

In weary, post-storm Puerto Rico, Medicaid cutbacks bode new ills
Overall, Puerto Rico faces a crushing debt of more than $70 billion — much of it due to the territory’s historically astronomical Medicaid expenses — on an island where the average household earns $20,000 and diabetes and hypertension are widespread. But physicians, health insurers and former government officials say the drastic cuts demanded defy actuarial science and provide too little money to care for a population still traumatized by Hurricane Maria. (HealthLeaders Media/Kaiser Health News)

Doctors reckon with high rate of suicide in their ranks
Alarms go off so frequently in emergency rooms, doctors barely notice. And then a colleague is wheeled in on a gurney, clinging to life, and that alarm becomes a deafening wake-up call. The medical profession is built on the myth that its workers are all highly conditioned athletes — clocking long hours while somehow staying immune to fatigue and the emotional toll of their jobs. But there’s a dark side to the profession that has been largely veiled — even from doctors themselves: They are far more likely than the general population to take their own lives. (Kaiser Health News)