Today’s NewsStand – November 19, 2018

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

Iowa News

Iowa children would be routinely screened for mental illness under new state plan
Iowa children would be routinely screened for mental health issues, under a proposal delivered to the governor and top legislators Thursday. The plan also would expand and organize services for children showing signs of mental struggles. The recommendations came from Governor Kim Reynolds’ children mental health board. The governor has emphasized the need to bolster Iowa’s spotty system for helping children with mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety. (Des Moines Register)

Many Iowa doctors hesitate to help patients enroll in new medical marijuana program
Many Iowa doctors have qualms about helping patients qualify for the state’s new medical marijuana program, which is set launch December 1. The program’s rules ask doctors to certify that patients have specific medical conditions allowing them to participate. So far, only about 325 of Iowa’s 7,000 actively practicing physicians have certified people for the program, confirming that the patients have conditions such as intractable pain, cancer or epilepsy. (Des Moines Register)

Pain management clinic to help patients in North Iowa
Patients in chronic pain in north iowa now have another option and it may require less time in the car. Dean Heideman is a chronic pain expert with Hancock County Health System. He’s worked at the Britt hospital for several years and will now be spending time in Garner as well at the new pain management clinic. From physical therapy to injections, Heideman is able to personalize treatment for patients to improve their quality of life. it’s something he says has been lacking in the Garner community. (KIMT)

National News

Medicaid expansion supporters already looking toward 2020 ballots
The California union that provided major funding for successful ballot campaigns to expand Medicaid in three red states this year is already looking for where to strike next to expand Obamacare coverage in the Donald Trump era. Leaders of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West declined to identify which states they might target in 2020. But the six remaining states where Medicaid could be expanded through the ballot are on the group’s radar: Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming. (Politico)

Lack of competition leads to higher ACA plan premiums in rural areas
The lower premiums in urban areas were partially connected to more competition among plans and providers. Having more plans also means they can spread the financial risk rather than having one or two payers shoulder all of it, leading to lower premiums. However, the Urban Institute said that’s not the only factor in the difference. Beyond payer competition, provider competition is another factor. Rural areas usually have fewer providers, which can lead to higher payment rates to hospitals and physicians, increasing premiums. (Healthcare Dive)

Long-run health impacts of California’s Camp Fire hazy: ‘Simply no precedent’
The short- and long-term health impact of environmental events, such as the Camp Fire in California, on large populations are not well understood, according to experts at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology annual scientific meeting. The Camp Fire ranked among one of the worst natural disasters in the U.S. this century, with the death toll continuing the climb and close to 1,300 people still counted among the missing. (MedPage Today/HealthLeaders Media)