Today’s NewsStand – February 20, 2019

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

Iowa News

Mercy Medical Center donates automated external defibrillators
Ten schools, churches and other organizations in eastern Iowa now have some new, life-saving devices. That’s thanks to a program through Mercy Medical Center. The hospital donated automated external defibrillators (AEDs) this week. Program coordinators say placing AEDs in rural communities can be especially helpful. Mercy Medical Center has now donated 61 AEDs since 2014. Several other local organizations are set to get donations. (KCRG)

Linn County Supervisors to vote on mental health access center
A first-of-its-kind mental health access center will soon be coming to Cedar Rapids, after the Linn County Supervisors plan vote to approve its location, at this week’s meeting. “If you talk with law enforcement they say, ‘that needed to be built yesterday and how fast can you get it built’?” said Linn County Supervisor, Ben Rogers. Mental health services are in high demand. Which often times leaves jail cells and hospital beds picking up the slack, as law enforcement agencies have limited options when dealing with someone in a crisis. (KWWL)

‘I could talk about anything’: Family Connects provides babies with home care
As 4-year-old Sadie bounced around and the family dog, Charlie, watched, Genesis Health System Community Health RN Salli Graham conducted a check-up on 8-month-old Miles Kelly as his mom, Kasey, watched. The check-up included checking his breathing, height (27 inches) and weight (17.2 pounds), and answering the questions Kasey Kelly had. The in-home visit is part of a program run by Genesis called Family Connects, which sends Genesis nurses into homes to assist new parents and families. (Quad-City Times)

National News

Medicaid eligibility crackdown pushes out genuinely needy Missouri families
Missouri Medicaid rolls have been dropping dramatically lately, a phenomenon that state officials say is due to an improving economy. That would be a nice thing to believe, but advocates for the poor say something else is at work: Many of those leaving the system are being expelled by a state eligibility crackdown that’s ensnaring eligible families. Too many stories are circulating about genuinely needy recipients getting dropped without warning, or because they’re unable to quickly comply with requests for voluminous documentation, and then having trouble getting back on. (Columbia Daily Tribune)

These states have the most rural hospitals at ‘high risk’ of closure: report
Unless their financial situations improve, at least 21 perfect of rural hospitals in the US are at high risk of closing, according to a new report from Navigant. In all, at-risk hospitals represent more than 21,000 beds staffed by 150,000 employees and $21.2 billion in total patient revenue. Officials called for solutions such as advancing legislation around telehealth reimbursement and such bills as the Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act. (Fierce Healthcare)

ERs often miss chance to set overdose survivors on ‘better path’
A recent study of Medicaid claims in West Virginia documented the disconnect between emergency rooms and opioid overdoses. They found that fewer than 10 percent of people in the study received, per month, medications like naltrexone or buprenorphine to treat their substance use disorder. It’s an opportunity that’s being missed in emergency rooms everywhere, said Andrew Kolodny, the co-director of Opioid Policy Research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University outside Boston. (Kaiser Health News)