Today’s NewsStand – March 6, 2019

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

Iowa News

Mental health takes center stage at MV
Mental health in schools has been an issue raised at local, state and federal levels more frequently in recent years. With Iowa ranked among the worst states in the nation for mental health treatment, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more schools are looking for ways to alleviate the mental health issues faced by children and adults.In order to alleviate the pressure already faced by the district’s administration teams to deal with behavioral issues, Maquoketa Valley Superintendent Doug Tuetken is excited to create a part-time position for a behavioral management strategist for the district. (Dyersville Commercial)

Iowa City VA transportation program second largest in country
Officials at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center say their patients — who sometimes travel hours to reach the Eastern Iowa hospital — don’t always have the means to make the journey. So one program aims to change that. Every Monday through Friday, a fleet of 28 vehicles in the Volunteer Transportation Network provides free rides to patients from their hometowns to appointments at the VA hospital within the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System, the $294.5 million system that serves more than 50,000 veterans. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Despite obstacles, hepatitis C program connects patients to treatment
Iowa has some of the most restrictive conditions in the country for folks seeking hepatitis C treatment through Medicaid. Andy Beeler, services coordinator at the Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition, said he finished treatment last year. Now, he’s running a pilot program to connect people with hepatitis C treatment at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. “It took me about eight years to get treated,” he said, because of restrictions to receive medication. “I wish I had a service available like this to me.” (Iowa City Press Citizen)

New kitchen helps families with children in hospital remain close
A new addition in the pediatric center at UnityPoint Health- St. Luke’s is offering a bit of home comfort for families: a kitchen. The Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Miracle Network teamed up to make the kitchen a reality, allowing families to eat and have meals as their children recover. There’s already a kitchen for families with babies staying in the NICU, but project leaders say there was a huge need for one on the pediatric floor as well. (KITV)

National News

Could your mindset affect how well a treatment works?
Anxiety about side effects can keep people from starting or sticking to drug regimens or medical procedures. A group of researchers at Stanford University wanted to find out whether a simple mindset shift could help patients tolerate an uncomfortable treatment. They learned that when physicians make the effort to reframe potentially unpleasant symptoms in a positive light, it helped patients to stay calm and persevere. (NPR)

Top White House official warns hospitals on surprise medical bills
A top White House policy adviser on Monday warned hospitals that they need to address the issue of surprise medical bills if they don’t want Congress to do it for them. “If hospitals, providers and issuers don’t protect these patients from financial harm, Congress and the administration will need to act,” said Joe Grogan, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. Calls for action against so-called surprise medical bills have been growing, and legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills is seen as one of the most likely areas for bipartisan action on health care this year. (The Hill)

5 tech tools that could change the way hospitals deliver care
As innovations make their way from novelty solutions to mainstream usage backed by clinical evidence, devices, apps, and gadgets are helping bridge the gap to better health care. In an annual roundup, HealthLeaders examines five healthcare technologies that we think are useful and appealing to patient-consumers, while simultaneously creating value for healthcare organizations. The featured devices seem to have potential to transform the way health care is delivered at health systems and hospitals. (HealthLeaders Media)

Americans ready to crack down on drug prices that force some to skip doses
Large majorities of Americans from both major parties support steps to control prescription drug costs such as showing prices in ads, removing barriers to generics and letting patients get less expensive drugs from Canada, a new poll shows. By a 9-to-1 ratio, Republicans, Democrats and independents favor making drug companies show list prices in their advertising, says a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Americans deem prescription costs a big problem, even though most don’t have trouble getting the medicine they need. (Kaiser Health News)