Today’s NewsStand – February 28, 2019

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

Iowa News

Governor says children’s mental health is priority
Governor Kim Reynolds says she is committed to improving mental health care for children. Lawmakers introduced a proposal from the governor’s office in a senate subcommittee Wednesday. It calls for new system for children that is similar to the regional system for adults receiving mental health services. The bill would create eligibility requirements, outline services that would be provided across the state and create a board to oversee the new system. (KCRG)

Axne tours southwest Iowa health care facilities
Congresswoman Cindy Axne heard how some health-care numbers are going in opposite directions. During her tour of Shenandoah Medical Center Saturday, with Chief Executive Officer Matthew Sells, she learned how the center is facing financial challenges as Medicare reimbursement has had decreases, but the center’s expenses have not. Sells told Axne how those financial situations are impacting health care across the country. He said 93 hospitals across the country have closed since 2010 and there are Iowa hospitals “at risk.” (Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil)

Mental health center opening near Marion county
A health care company which provides mental health services to this region of Iowa is opening a new center nearby; but it will still be a challenge for residents of Marion County to get there. Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa gave a presentation to the Marion County Coalition for Change on Wednesday, at the Knoxville Hospital and Clinics; it outlined plans for its first access center in Osceola, a center designed for the intake and evaluation of persons with mental health difficulties. (KNIA)

Clinton district to add mental health experts in schools by next school year
Educators say they’re seeing more students with mental health issues. The Clinton Community School District has a plan to tackle the problem. Currently, the middle school has around 750 students with three counselors. Loots says the number of students dealing with mental health issues continues to grow. To the point, they needed help with outside referrals. However, starting next school year, the district will utilize the services of Life Connections. The mental health service will bring on full-time mental health experts at every school in the district. (KWQC)

National News

Senate bill wants to sweeten deal for states to expand Medicaid
A trio of Democratic senators introduced a bill on Wednesday that would give states that recently expanded Medicaid the same federal funding as those that previously expanded. The legislation from Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia and Doug Jones of Alabama comes as more red states are considering expansion. The States Achieve Medicaid Expansion (SAME) Act of 2019 would ensure those 12 states get the same federal funding as a state that originally expanded. (Modern Healthcare)

Moderate Dems revive effort to stabilize Obamacare markets
A group of moderate House Democrats will make a push this year to stabilize Obamacare’s markets, reviving an effort that fell to partisan bickering in 2017. The New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of 101 centrists, says the House should “immediately” work with Republicans to bring down Obamacare premiums and reverse the Trump administration’s “sabotage” of the health care law. The task force wants to create a national reinsurance program to reduce premiums by helping insurance companies pay claims for high-cost patients. (The Hill)

How ‘completely avoidable’ measles cases continue to climb
The U.S. has counted more measles cases in the first two months of this year than in all of 2017 — and part of the rising threat is misinformation that makes some parents balk at a crucial vaccine, federal health officials told Congress Wednesday. Yet the vaccine is hugely effective and very safe — so the rise of measles cases “is really unacceptable,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health. (Associated Press)