Today’s NewsStand – October 3, 2018

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

Iowa News

AEAs aid in outreach to students with mental health needs
Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs) will host meetings to collect public input for a plan to create a children’s mental health system. The Children’s System State Board, established in April by Governor Kim Reynolds, will review the information and existing resources to develop a strategic plan for a children’s mental health system. Iowa’s AEAs will subsidize costs for school districts to gain access to the Social, Academic, Emotional and Behavior Risk Screener to check all students in kindergarten through sixth grade. (Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil)

Iowa farmers facing increased mental health concerns
Iowa’s agriculture industry has felt years of economic pressure from low commodity prices, and behavioral health experts say recent ups and downs with trade have increased mental-health concerns for Iowa farmers. Michael Rosmann, a national agriculture behavioral specialist, clinical psychologist, and farmer from Harlan, Iowa, said he noticed an increase in farmers reaching out to him for mental health assistance since China imposed retaliatory tariffs in June. (University of Iowa Daily Iowan)

Mollie Tibbetts’ family establishes memorial fund at UI Children’s Hospital
The family of slain University of Iowa (UI) student Mollie Tibbetts has established a memorial fund in her name at the university’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital. According to the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, the fund will benefit Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and provide mental health services. More than $20,000 has already been donated to the Mollie Tibbetts Memorial Fund for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, by more than 270 people. (WHO)

Rock Rapids utilities helping new hospital buy CAT scanner
Some equipment at the new Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital – Avera being built in Rock Rapids is being funded with some assistance from an entity that you may not expect — Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities. The “REDLEG” program is the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant program, which is known as USDA’s REDLEG program. (KIWA)

National News

GAO: These are the rural hospitals most likely to close
More than 60 rural hospitals closed in the last five years—more than double the number of rural hospital closures that occurred in the prior five years, according to a new federal report.An analysis from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) looking at the years between 2013 and 2017 shows rural hospital closures disproportionately occurred in the South and among for-profit hospitals. The closures were also more likely to occur among hospitals that received the Medicare-dependent hospital payment designation, one of the special Medicare payment designations for rural hospitals. (Fierce Healthcare)

Vulnerable House Republican unveils resolution on pre-existing conditions
Representative Pete Sessions (R-Texas) on Tuesday introduced a resolution intended to protect people with pre-existing conditions, illustrating the lengths vulnerable Republicans are going to try to show they favor those protections. The resolution from Sessions is nonbinding, but expresses the opinion of the House that pre-existing conditions should be protected. The resolution does not spell out the details of how pre-existing conditions would be protected in the absence of Obamacare. (The Hill)

Final opioid package: A comparison of the House package, Senate package and final version
On September 25, 2018, House and Senate negotiators agreed on a final legislative package to address the opioid crisis. Following this agreement, the House passed the opioid package on September 28, 2018. The Senate is expected to pass the package in the weeks ahead, and the President is expected to sign the package into law. This deal represents thousands of provisions that were developed and voted on in previous versions of the House and Senate opioid packages. (Mintzlevin)

VA adding opioid antidote to defibrillator cabinets for quicker overdose response
Now the VA, building on a project started in Boston, is moving to add naloxone kits to the AED cabinets in its buildings across the country, an initiative that could become a model for other health care organizations. The cabinets must be sealed and alarmed so staff can tell if they’ve been opened. They must be checked daily and refilled when the naloxone kits expire. Equipping police with nasal spray naloxone is becoming more common across the country, but there has been some resistance to making the drug available in public. (Kaiser Health News)