Today’s NewsStand – January 30, 2019

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

Iowa News

Lakes area community group sets goals for Healthy Hometown
Various Lakes Area officials, business people and community figures are setting some concrete goals for fostering better health among the local population. It’s been approximately three months since Lakes Regional Healthcare gathered each of the three committees involved in the Health Hometown initiative for a joint meeting. The local group’s three committees align with the Healthy Hometown’s three-pronged approach — eat well, move more and feel better. (Dickinson County News)

Central Iowa nurse surprises transplant patient with new kidney
On Tuesday, an Iowa Methodist Medical Center transplant patient met the person who helped save his life. Terry Slinde received a new kidney August 8, 2018. Little did he know the donor of that kidney was somebody he had met before. Anna Boelman, Slinde’s living organ donor, was Slinde’s nurse during his first kidney transplant, which did not take. Boelman never let Slinde onto her secret, and the two went through the surgery on the exact same day. Now, Slinde and Boelman say they both feel great and are hopeful that others will consider being organ donors. (KCCI)

26 St. Luke’s Birth Center nurses had babies in 2018
It might not seem unusual that a lot of babies were born in 2018 at UnityPoint Health — St. Luke’s Birth Center, and it isn’t, except that 29 of those babies — including three sets of twins — were born to birth center nurses. Kathie Manderscheid, manager of the birth care center, said last year 14 birth care center nurses, 10 neonatal intensive care nurses and one neonatal intensive care nurse practitioner gave birth to 29 babies. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

Texas children’s hospitals say they are facing a crisis
Texas’ children’s hospitals treat the state’s youngest and poorest patients. But the state’s eight nonprofit children’s hospitals say they’re facing a dire future, with their collective Medicaid losses amounting to three-quarters of a billion dollars. For years, the state’s children’s hospitals have been supported with funding from Medicaid, the joint state and federal health care program. But hospital officials say ongoing cuts to the program are leading them to urge lawmakers to pump in $100 million this session to allow them to continue to operate. (Spectrum News Austin)

Drop in hospital-acquired conditions saves $7.7 billion
The rate of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) declined by 13 percent from 2014 to 2017, saving the providers $7.7 billion and preventing 20,500 hospital deaths, according to preliminary data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has set a goal of reducing HACs by 20 percent from 2014 to 2019, which could result in 53,000 fewer deaths and save $19.1 billion in hospital costs, AHRQ said. (Modern Healthcare)

Dems hit GOP on pre-existing conditions at panel’s first policy hearing
The powerful House Ways and Means Committee used its first policy hearing of the new Congress to hammer Republicans on pre-existing conditions, an issue that helped propel Democrats into the majority during the 2018 midterm elections. Democratic panel members highlighted actions by the Trump administration that they argue have hurt people with pre-existing conditions, like the expansion of non-Obamacare plans that could draw healthy people from the markets, raising premiums for those left behind. (The Hill)

Hospitals of the future will not be traditional hospitals
It is easier to move health care to a phone than it is to move hospitals to remote communities. To help power this new disruptive platform we will need a new clinical workforce. Today’s medical education tends to suck the creativity out of students in pursuit of a century-old model of making doctors into robots. A hundred years ago, we needed doctors who could remember details stretching from biochemistry to anatomy. Today we need doctors who can interpret computer analysis and make sense of it for real people. (STAT)