Today’s NewsStand – February 7, 2019

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

Iowa News

UnityPoint is working to disrupt the roller coaster drug market through Civica Rx
While news stories on drug shortages and price spikes typically focus on individual consumers and the retail drug market, the problem has been huge for hospitals, which rely on the availability of hundreds of generic drugs to treat patients every day. UnityPoint Health recently announced its participation as a founding partner in Civica Rx, a brand new not-for-profit drug company that plans to market some of the generic drugs hospitals use most. Governing members of Civica Rx include a few of the biggest players in the US health care industry. (Peoria Journal Star)

Humboldt County Memorial Hospital EMS volunteer, student honored with national award
Samuel Sexe, 18, of Humboldt was named on of Iowa’s top youth volunteers of 2019 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. Sexe, a senior at Humboldt High School, has responded to more than 200 service calls as a volunteer emergency medical technician in his rural community since completing the rigorous training required to become a member of the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital EMS squad.  (Cision PR Newswire)

St. Anthony CEO named Carroll’s Citizen of the Year
The Carrollton Ballroom was filled to capacity Monday night as residents came together to celebrate their successes of the last year and to look forward to the next. And the evening culminates with the announcement of the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year. CEO of St. Anthony Regional Hospital, Ed Smith, joined the banquet via Zoom Video Conferencing from Arizona, to hear the nomination and be recognized as the Citizen of the Year. Smith told the gathered crowd that he was humbled by the award that made Monday even more memorable when it was combined with a first in Smith’s life. (KCIM)

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ brings mental health center stage in central Iowa
The Grammy and Tony Award-winning Broadway show “Dear Evan Hansen” opens Tuesday at the Des Moines Civic Center and brings mental health struggle center stage in central Iowa. “Dear Evan Hansen” tells the story of a young man with severe social anxiety that inhibits his ability to connect with other people and make friends. The relatable struggles of social anxiety and isolation made the musical a hit but look beyond the bright lights of the Broadway production and you’ll find a much darker reality in Iowa. (KCCI)

National News

ER patients with chronic conditions, usually poor, cost NJ hospitals $1billion
A new study from the New Jersey Hospital Association finds some of the state’s poorest areas struggle with the most chronic health conditions, costing hospital emergency rooms more than $1 billion in 2017 alone. The  ZIP codes with the highest number of emergency room visits by patients with chronic conditions were in Atlantic City, Jersey City and Trenton. The report found that preventative care can get out in front of many of these chronic conditions if it’s applied in a timely manner. (New Jersey Radio 1015)

Groups quietly mount Medicaid expansion ballot campaign in Florida
Obamacare supporters are mounting a campaign to get Medicaid expansion on the Florida ballot in 2020, potentially elevating the Obamacare program as a key election issue in the presidential swing state. A mix of national and local health care groups, energized by the approval of Medicaid expansion ballot initiatives in three conservative states in November, have been collecting signatures for weeks to support a voter referendum that could cover an additional 700,000 low-income Florida adults. (Politico)

House Dems to mull bills to overturn Trump Obamacare actions
Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday announced that they will hold a hearing next week to consider legislation to overturn conservative actions President Trump has taken on the Affordable Care Act. The panel will consider bills to overturn Trump’s expansion of cheaper, skimpier insurance plans that Democrats deride as “junk plans,” and to restore funding for outreach efforts to enroll people in Obamacare plans, funding that was slashed by the Trump administration. (The Hill)

Hospitals turn to biometrics to identify patients
Biometric technology is coming to the hospital. Biometric systems, which identify people through fingerprints or other physical characteristics, have long been in use in sectors like law enforcement and consumer electronics. Now hospitals are using iris and palm-vein scanning to overcome a growing patient-identification problem. (Wall Street Journal)