Today’s NewsStand – January 23, 2019

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

Iowa News

Cannabidiol treatment may expand in Iowa
Medical cannabidiol may soon become available as a treatment for a certain type of autism in Iowa. The Iowa Board of Medicine on Feb. 8 will discuss adding “severe, intractable pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors” to the conditions the oil, commonly referred to as CBD, can be used to treat. In a public hearing Tuesday, the board reviewed two comments in favor of that addition from a physician and physician’s assistant. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Allen Hospital NICU cuddlers help babies, staff
As a grandmother of six, Connie Meyer knows a thing or two about cuddling babies. She’s using those skills, along with some extra training, to help sick babies in UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The hospital debuted its NICU Cuddlers program in early December, and Meyer is one of eight volunteers who spend time snuggling some of the hospital’s tiniest and most vulnerable patients. Cuddler programs have popped up at hospitals across the country, born of research on the power of human touch for healing and development. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

Rib healing procedure speeds up recovery time using titanium plates
Pieces of titanium are changing how and how fast ribs can heal through a procedure call rib plating. It’s a procedure offered at Mercy Medical Center that one former patient says instantly improved his recovery after fracture several ribs. “The last thing I recall before I went unconscious was a light brown flash,” said Daniel Reilly, the first Mercy Medical Center patient to go through the rib plating procedure. (CBS2Iowa)

National News

Trump administration approves Medicaid work requirements in Arizona
The Trump administration has approved Arizona’s request to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries. Arizona is the eighth state to receive permission to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries, but will be the first to allow an exemption for members of federally recognized tribes. The work requirements can take effect beginning January 1, 2020, and will impact about 120,000 people. (The Hill)

Telemedicine enables providers to reach rural patients
A shortage of mental health providers, coupled with rising demand for services, is pushing many Kansans to turn to telemedicine for treatment. The tools are being used for everything from medication management to talk therapy and crisis intervention, and new legislation going into effect this year could expand services to Kansans. The Kansas Telemedicine Act provides parity for telemedicine, defines what telemedicine is, who can provide it and prohibiting insurance providers from excluding telemedicine services. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

Health care organizations ask CMS to push back application deadline for overhauled MSSP
Big-name health care organizations are asking the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to push back the application deadline for its new accountable care organizations (ACOs), allowing interested providers more time to account for complex changes. In the letter, groups including the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and the Health Care Transformation Task Force warn that, for many ACOs, meeting that deadline “will be challenging, if not impossible.” (Fierce Healthcare)