Today’s NewsStand – November 30, 2018

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

Iowa News

Limited Medicaid audit sidesteps concerns
Iowans have fewer numbers to toss around while discussing the effects of privatized Medicaid, but are no closer to answers on the program’s value. A report released this week by State Auditor Mary Mosiman evaluated three wildly different cost-saving projections issued by the state for the fiscal 2018 and determined the methodology, or formula, behind the most recent estimate was the most accurate. Using that formula, Mosiman provided Iowans a new cost-saving projection through September 2018 of $126 million. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Iowa colleges partner up to combat statewide nursing shortage
Nursing is one of the fastest growing careers and the government says there’s not enough students entering the field to replace the baby boomer generation ready to retire. This is why Eastern Iowa Community Colleges and the University of Iowa are partnering up to fill the career shortage. The goal of the partnership is to create a seamless transition for the students at community colleges in Clinton, Muscatine, and Bettendorf. It allows students to finish their associate’s degree in three years followed by an additional year and a half to earn their bachelor’s through the University of Iowa. (WQAD)

Public input sought for physical education and health standards in Iowa
In an effort to educate students and equip them with the skills and knowledge that they need to lead a healthy lifestyle, the Iowa Department of Education is seeking the public’s input on proposed physical education and health standards. “We are the last state to be going through this process and actually putting forth standards at the state level,” said Brian Rhoads, co-chair of the Physical Education and Health Standards Review Team. (WHO)

UI Children’s Hospital prepares next generation of Child Life Specialists
It’s just a home away from home for kids seeking to get better from some of the most tragic illnesses. The University of Iowa (UI) Stead Family Children’s Hospital is also a training ground for the next generation of pediatric medicine providers. In addition to the imagination of play, child life student assistants say the job they’re training for is also about a support system so not just the medical but emotional and developmental needs are fulfilled. (OurQuadCities)

National News

Is Trump pushing health insurance innovation or an ACA rollback?
On his first day in office, as part of his mission to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Donald Trump signed an order promising to give states flexibility “to create a more free and open healthcare market.” The administration on Thursday released an official set of examples to help states flex these powers. It is intended to roll back key elements of Obama-era requirements, which were designed to promote enrollment in ACA plans that cover a broad range of medical needs and meet uniform national standards. (Kaiser Health News)

Short on federal funding, Obamacare enrollment navigators switch tactics
Enrollment is down sharply on the federal health insurance marketplace this fall, and the consumer assistance groups that help with sign-ups think they know why. They don’t have the staff to help as many customers as before because the Trump administration slashed funding. The federal government is spending $10 million this year on navigators who help individuals enroll in coverage. The government spent $36 million in 2017 and $63 million in 2016. (Kaiser Health News)

Anti-vaxxer parents are organizing ‘pox parties’ on Facebook
Simple vaccination-related searches on Facebook surfaces multiple “anti-vaxxer” pages with tens of thousands of followers, as The Daily Beast reported earlier this year. And that’s on top of countless general-interest health groups or pages, like this one, where this kind of content lurks as well. A small number of users post a disproportionately large amount of content in these groups. (Quartz)

An old Minnesota jail is now a leader for inmate mental health
When Clay County officials started planning to replace its jail, the oldest in the state, they gathered around a table to start building a wish list for the new jail’s design. Staffers visited psychiatric wards at local hospitals and used some of what they learned to tell architects what they wanted to see in a behavioral health jail unit. Having mental health professionals at the jail full time will mean that inmates can be assessed immediately and get medication or treatment if needed. (Minnesota Public Radio)