Today’s NewsStand – April 4, 2019

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

Iowa News

Reynolds should recognize reality of privatized Medicaid: It will continue harming Iowans
The Republican-led 2016 privatization of Iowa’s health insurance program has triggered a series of disruptive, expensive problems. The victims include low-income Iowans, health care providers, state employees, our medical infrastructure and taxpayers. Now UnitedHealthcare, one of the for-profit insurers selected to manage Medicaid, is pulling out of the program. The entire privatization of Medicaid is unreasonable and unsustainable — as evidenced by the abrupt departure of two out of four participating private insurers. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa survey produces troubling numbers on teens, suicide
These deeply disturbing numbers in a recent Iowa Department of Public Health survey should force all Iowans to sit up and take notice: One in 10 Iowa teens report “having a plan to kill themselves,” a 53 percent increase since 2012. One in 20 Iowa teens have attempted suicide within the last year. The study for 2018, which was released in March, included more than 70,000 teens in grades six, eight and 11. Achieving a decline in the troubling, unacceptable statistics about teen suicide in our state must be a priority. (Sioux City Journal)

Henry County Health Center expands
The past year has been a busy one for Henry County Health Center in its mission to expand access to primary care for county residents. Not only has it made renovations to its Orthopedics and General Surgery Clinics and Physicians and Clinics of HCHC Mount Pleasant, but its Mount Pleasant, Wayland and Winfield clinics also have nearly completed the accreditation process to be federally designated as rural health clinics. (Boone News Republican)

National News

Demystifying urban versus rural physician compensation
In physician recruiting, the basic principle of supply and demand has always been a contributing factor in the ultimate compensation package that job-seeking physicians are offered; and the prevailing thinking is that the harder it is to recruit to a location, the more likely it is that newly trained physicians who accept opportunities there will earn more than their urban counterparts. The reality is that the difference will be more in the neighborhood of 5 to 10 percent. (New England Journal of Medicine)

Sen. Grassley: Stop kicking Medicaid’s safety net hospital payments down the road
Medicaid dollars are essential for safety net hospitals to stay in business. For these providers, Medicaid bumps up payments to compensate them for their services. In 2010, hospitals and providers were on board to enact $17.5 billion in payment reductions to the DSH. They accepted that reduction because of the savings hospitals would capture from caring for fewer uninsured patients. The longer these cuts loom, the harder it will be to fix what’s broken. (STAT)

Employers overwhelmingly support ACA’s pre-existing condition protections
A new Mercer survey of 600 employers found that 95 percent support Congress preserving coverage for pre-existing conditions as the Affordable Care Act calls for. The results come as the Trump administration’s Department of Justice wants the courts to strike the entire health law, including pre-existing condition protections. A recent Urban Institute report estimated that the number of uninsured Americans could skyrocket by nearly 20 million if the courts end the ACA. (Healthcare Dive)