Today’s NewsStand – February 13, 2019

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

Iowa News

Local legislators want to see renewed commitment to mental health care in Iowa
Mental health care and managed care of Medicaid continue to be hot topics during the 2019 Iowa legislative session. Mental health, however, is not the only health care-related issue legislators are facing this session. They are also working to find solutions to late payments and shortfalls from the current MCOs that are having a detrimental effect, not only on the providers, but on the very people they are meant to serve. (KCIM)

Woodbury County approves agreement to join Rolling Hills mental health region
After two unanimous votes and a scrawling of signatures on a sharing agreement Tuesday, Woodbury County in July will officially be in a new regional group that connects low-income and disabled individuals with mental health services. The work by county officials to pull out of the Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health and Disability Services agency and become a member of the Rolling Hills Community Services Region spread out over two years. (Sioux City Journal)

How Montgomery County Memorial Hospital made population health possible
Earlier this year, the IT staff of the Red Oak, Iowa-based Montgomery County Memorial Hospital (MCMH) was spending hours a day on simple tasks, like backing up and encrypting hospital records. The daily gridlock, which resulted from its legacy data platform, installed in 2011, was eating up IT resources and keeping the hospital from implementing new projects. But at the end of April, the hospital found a way to streamline its back-end processes, improve data management and drive investment in more progressive healthcare services. (HealthTech)

U of I Hospitals use new tech to treat sepsis faster
According to the CDC, nearly 1.7 million people develop sepsis every year. Before this new technology, lab techs would have to culture the blood on plates, waiting 24 hours for the bacteria to grow to determine just what it was. Then, another 24 hours to figure out the best way to treat it. A team at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics who are treating sepsis faster. They look to see if they can narrow the therapy down to target the therapy just for the bacteria so they don’t kill a lot of other bacteria in the meantime. (KWWL)

National News

What other states can teach Kansas and Missouri about expanding Medicaid
Health care advocates in Kansas and Missouri are hopeful that 2019 will be the year that hundreds of thousands of people can get health care coverage through expansion of Medicaid. Now that many states have had expanded Medicaid for several years, there’s a small but growing body of evidence about its actual costs. About five years ago, lawmakers in Iowa opted to expand Medicaid. Within the first year, the uninsured rates for nonelderly adults dropped in half. Just as striking was expansion’s effect on the state’s economy. (KBIA)

Other states likely to follow Utah’s partial Medicaid expansion
The Utah Legislature on Monday passed a bill to replace the voter-approved Medicaid expansion with a skinny expansion, a move that may encourage other states to seek similar scaled-back expansions with full federal funding. Experts said if the CMS grants Utah’s request for full funding of a partial expansion, other states are sure to want the same. Republican leaders in Georgia are already discussing that. The Trump administration previously rebuffed partial expansion waiver requests from Arkansas and Massachusetts. (Modern Healthcare)

Nearly 1 in 7 US kids, teens has a mental health condition, and half go untreated
Half of children with a mental health condition in the United States go without treatment, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. The researchers analyzed data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health. Of the 46.6 million children ages 6 through 18 whose parents completed the survey, 7.7 million had at least one mental health condition — such as depression, anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — and only half received treatment or counseling from a mental health provider in the 12 months prior to the survey. (CNN)

Hospitals should focus on productivity gains to reduce costs, report finds
Hospitals are looking for ways to cut costs and strengthen financials, and labor and administration costs are a big part of their expenses. In a recent Healthcare Financial Management Association/Navigant survey, 89 percent of hospital CFOs predicted their organizations’ labor budgets would grow, and 18 percent expected an increase of more than 5 percent. A separate Navigant analysis estimated U.S. hospitals could save $25.4 billion annually by streamlining supply chains and eliminating unnecessary costs. (Healthcare Dive)