Today’s NewsStand – February 15, 2019

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

Iowa News

Iowans on Medicaid, food assistance could see more eligibility reviews under this bill
Iowans on Medicaid or food assistance programs would have to undergo eligibility reviews every three months under a measure that cleared its first hurdle Wednesday in the Iowa Legislature. The measure would require Iowans on public assistance programs, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and the Family Investment Program to provide information on their income, employment, residency, incarceration status, lottery winnings and other information to the Iowa Department of Human Services every three months. (Des Moines Register)

Local health stakeholders hear survey results
A collaborate effort is underway to improve the health of Page County residents. Nearly 40 people attended a Community Health Needs Assessment town hall meeting at the Greater Shenandoah Historical Society Museum late Wednesday morning. Shenandoah Medical Center (SMC), Clarinda Regional Health Center and Page County Public Health sponsored the event. SMC CEO Matt Sells says 307 respondents completed the survey, with some important results. (KMA)

Iowa Democrats pitch Medicaid fixes
Long-term patients in Iowa’s Medicaid system would be returned to public management under a package of proposals floated by Iowa Senate Democrats. A pair of Senate Democratic leaders said Thursday they acknowledge private management of the state’s $5 billion Medicaid program is here to stay under all-Republican control at the Iowa Capitol. But minority Senate Democrats said they have legislative suggestions to fix some the problems with private management system that helped make it one of the top issues in the state’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign. (Sioux City Journal)

Law enforcement liaison helps CRPD tackle mental health calls
Cedar Rapids police officers are getting back up when it comes to mental health related calls for service.  In 2017, Foundation 2 and the Cedar Rapids Police Department received $71,182 dollars in Department of Justice grant money to establish a partnership between the two entities in the form of a Law Enforcement Liaison role. Now nearly, two years later, CBS2 news learned how much investing in that role has paid off. (CBS2Iowa)

National News

Another Kansas hospital closes, citing failure to expand Medicaid, low patient volumes
One of three hospitals in Kansas owned by EmpowerHMS announced Thursday it has closed its doors immediately, saying revenue hasn’t been enough to cover payroll. The board of directors of Oswego Community Hospital, located in Oswego in the far southeast corner of the state, announced the decision in an emailed statement. Among the reasons cited by the hospital for its failure was the decision by Kansas legislators and leaders not to expand Medicaid. (Hutchinson News)

Hospitals turn to housing to help homeless patients
A 3-year experiment in providing housing to frequent emergency department patients at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago has been so successful that in 2018, the hospital decided to double the housing program’s size. The Better Health Through Housing pilot project was launched in 2015 and initially provided housing for 25 patients with severe and chronic health problems. The program is one of a growing number of housing projects being supported by hospitals and health systems across the country grappling with the effects of a national housing crisis. (Journal of American Medical Association)

As Americans reject vaccines, health workers abroad risk death to deliver them
In early October, three cases of measles were confirmed in Antanarivo, the capital of Madagascar. The highly contagious virus quickly spread across the island nation; by the next month, thousands of cases had been confirmed. The crisis only grew from there. Madagascar has poor health-care infrastructure and a low vaccination rate. But public health experts say its dangerous measles outbreak still offers a warning for anti-vaccination campaigners in the United States, where a smaller-scale flare-up has led to more than 100 confirmed cases since the beginning of the year. (Washington Post)

Hospital groups ramp up ‘Medicare for all’ opposition
Hospital lobbies are mounting a coordinated effort to dissuade legislators from supporting Medicare for all, a policy health systems argue would cut into profits and ultimately force facilities to shutter. American Hospital Association President Rick Pollack called Medicare for all one of a few “key issues of concern” this year. The ACA, Pollack writes, is a “better framework for ensuring coverage” than Medicare for all would be. (Healthcare Dive)