Today’s NewsStand – April 5, 2019

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

Iowa News

Iowa extends transitional health plans through 2021
The state insurance commission has extended certain health insurance policies in Iowa that are not compliant with the federal Affordable Care Act. The Iowa Insurance Division announced Thursday that transitional policies — otherwise known as grandmothered health plans — will be extended in Iowa through 2021. The division issued guidance to insurers and their consumers after CMS approved the extension of these plans last week. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

New wound care wing at Pella Regional opens soon
Wound care and hyperbaric medicine at Pella Regional Health Center will open April 10. Director of the New Departments Lesa Mering says the space will offer advanced wound care for people living with chronic, non-healing wounds. Wound care and hyperbaric medicine will be located within the newly renovated section of the hospital at the corner of Jefferson and Hazel streets. (KNIA)

At Genesis, brain injury survivors find help through art
Physician Russell Carlson had a brain aneurysm last summer, and recovery has been difficult. One thing that’s helped him is creating a mask that helps him express his feelings about the injury. The mask, displayed at Genesis Physical Therapy and Wellness Clinic in Bettendorf as part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, is part of a national art program operated in conjunction with Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa. (Quad-City Times)

National News

AHA study finds income, health disparities between hospital outpatients, ASC patients
Medicare patients using hospital outpatients clinic are more likely to be poorer, sicker, and have been previously hospitalized than Medicare patients treated in ambulatory surgical centers, an American Hospital Association study says. The findings come as the CMS initiates site-neutral payments for Medicare that would pay hospitals the same as ASCs and other care venues. “Proposals that treat hospital outpatient departments the same as ambulatory surgical centers and other sites of care are misguided, and ignore the health care needs of the patients and communities we serve,” AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said. (HealthLeaders Media)

Rural America has to drive long distances for emergency care
Getting emergency care for people living in rural areas is increasingly more difficult as hospitals there struggle to stay afloat. According to the Pew Research Center, residents in rural areas on average have to travel more than double the length it takes people in urban areas to get to the hospital for emergency services. Since January 2010, a total of 102 rural hospitals around the country have either modified their services or closed their doors altogether. (Fox News)

Bad diets are responsible for more deaths than smoking, global study finds
About 11 million deaths a year are linked to poor diet around the globe. What’s driving this? As a planet we don’t eat enough healthy foods including whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. At the same time, we consume too many sugary drinks, too much salt and too much processed meat. Of course, there are obstacles to eating well, including access and affordability. (NPR)