Today’s NewsStand – January 31, 2019

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

Iowa News

Nearly 2,400 babies born at St. Luke’s Birth Care Center
A hospital in Cedar Rapids had a baby boom in 2018. UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Birth Care Center saw double in 2018, with 52 sets of twins delivered. According to the hospital, that’s a record for the Birth Care Center at its current location, which dates back to 2001. There were 25 team members from St. Luke’s Women’s and Children’s Center who expanded their own families last year – with three sets of twins. Last year, nearly 2,400 babies were born at St. Luke’s Birth Care Center. (KWWL)

UIHC doctor: Exercise, sunlight, socializing good ways to beat the winter blues
The cold weather has some people battling more than just the cold. The days are shorter, colder, and grayer than the summer. Some people are dealing with what is called the “winter blues.” Dr. Jess Fiedorowicz with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics said it has some depressive syndromes. People lacking energy and motivation in this cold weather. Experts say some ways to beat the winter blues include getting exercise and exposing yourself to sunlight during the day. But don’t go outside if the temperatures are too cold. (KCRG)

New Iowa State University police position helps people with mental illness
In the next few weeks, the Iowa State Police Department will add a new mental health advocate position. It’s something the Ames Police Department has had for nearly four years. Three years ago, the Ames Police Department had 1,400 mental health related calls, a year ago there were 1,600 and last year they had 2,000 mental health calls. This demonstrates the growing need for extra support for individuals with a wide variety of mental illnesses. (WHO)

National News

How the US fails women when it comes to health
In the midst of the “Me Too” movement and a national reckoning on how women are treated, the Commonwealth Fund published a report on the status of women’s health and health care in the US and 10 other wealthy nations. The study revealed that women in the US are three times more likely to die in childbirth than those in Sweden and Norway and are more emotionally distressed than women in Germany or France. It also found that nearly half of US women report problems with their medical bills, compared with only 2 percent of women in the UK. (Commonwealth Fund)

Polar vortex death toll rises as Arctic blast keeps the Midwest in a deep freeze
Millions across the Midwest experienced a freeze normally reserved for the Arctic Circle as temperatures dropped to nearly 50 degrees below zero Wednesday. The frightful cold, bottoming out to record lows Thursday morning, was blamed for several deaths across the region, and fears for the most vulnerable populations soared as night fell. In Iowa City, University of Iowa officials said an “unresponsive” student had been discovered behind an academic hall and later died at the hospital. (Washington Post)

Ads for short-term plans lacking ACA protections swamped consumers’ online searches
Consumers shopping for insurance online last fall — using search terms such as “Obamacare plans,” “ACA enroll” and “cheap health insurance” — were most often directed to websites that promote individual health plans that didn’t meet consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study. The study focused primarily on the marketing of short-term plans, which don’t have to meet most ACA provisions, such as the requirement to cover preexisting conditions. (Kaiser Health News)