Today’s NewsStand – April 8, 2019

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

Iowa News

Health care providers brace for new disruption to Medicaid marketplace
Iowa health care providers already were concerned about the entrance of a new Managed Care Organization to the Medicaid market, then came more unsettling news: UnitedHealthcare would not renew its contract with the state. UnitedHealthcare’s departure is not a first for Iowa since Medicaid managed care was implemented in the state in April 2016. In October 2017, AmeriHealth Caritas pulled out of the marketplace with millions of unpaid claims owed to Iowa health care providers. (Insurance News Net)

New Rock Rapids hospital to open May 1
Lyon County soon will have a new community medical center and clinic. The approximately $28.9 million Avera Merrill Pioneer Health Campus in Rock Rapids is set to officially open on Wednesday, May 1. “Things are coming along very well,” said Avera Merrill Pioneer Hospital administrator Craig Hohn. “We’re kind of in a transition mode right now. We’ve been focusing quite a bit on larger equipment, but we’re now starting to transition to supplies. (NWest Iowa News)

Events planned to raise awareness about organ donations
Events are planned across Iowa this month to raise awareness about the importance of being organ, eye and tissue donors. Deb Thielen, a registered nurse at Van Diest Medical Center in Webster City, says a single donor can save or heal more than 75 patients’ lives, so registering to be a donor is vital. According to the Iowa Donor Network, during January of this year, there were eight organ donors in Iowa, 27 organs recovered for transplant statewide and 78 tissue donors. (Radio Iowa)

National News

Economic ripples: Hospital closure hurts a town’s ability to attract retirees
When a rural community loses its hospital, health care becomes harder to come by in an instant. But a hospital closure also shocks a small town’s economy. It shuts down one of its largest employers. It scares off heavy industry that needs an emergency room nearby. And in one Tennessee town, a lost hospital means lost hope of attracting more retirees. Seniors, and their retirement accounts, have been viewed as potential saviors for many rural economies trying to make up for lost jobs. But the epidemic of rural hospital closures is threatening those dreams in places like Celina, Tennessee. The town of 1,500, whose 25-bed hospital closed March 1, has been trying to position itself as a retiree destination. (NPR)

For hospital patients, bedside tablets and apps are providing some control over care
An increasing number of hospitals are offering “interactive patient-care systems” — a tablet with controls and apps patients can use, including one with access to their hospital medical information. Adult patients can choose to provide access to family members or other caregivers. The apps provide medical information, such as medications and dosage, procedures, daily care schedules, test results and education videos; photos of the patient’s physicians and nurses; and an expected date of discharge, often including what factors must be met for a patient go to home. (Washington Post)

UPS teams up with drone startup to deliver medical samples at North Carolina hospital
UPS is teaming up with drone technology company Matternet to deliver medical samples autonomously across the Raleigh, North Carolina, campus of WakeMed Health & Hospitals. he initiative, part of a three-year Federal Aviation Administration pilot program to test practical applications for drones, has in been in trial mode since August, when Matternet began testing aerial delivery of simulated medical packages between facilities. (Healthcare Dive)