Today’s NewsStand – April 10, 2019

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

Iowa News

Medicaid change leaves members with sense of déjà vu
Iowa’s Medicaid program, and the people dependent on it, were thrown for a loop last week when UnitedHealthcare announced its departure. UnitedHealthcare has more than 427,000 members. Members will receive notices they will be reassigned to one of two other insurers, and then have 90 days to switch if they wish to change to a different managed-care organization. Despite reassurances the transition will be smooth, many Iowans say are frustrated with the lack of consistency in the managed care program since it privatized three years ago. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics works to improve placenta condition
University of Iowa Health Care (UIHC) specialists are seeing an increase in the rate of a pregnancy disorder known as placenta accreta. In an effort to combat the recent rise in the numbers of patients suffering the condition, UIHC is implementing a new protocol to treat complications. The protocol in question involves laying out what appointments incoming patients may need, laboratory tests, imaging, ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging, and any potential scenarios to go over. (University of Iowa Daily Iowan)

Eighteen MercyOne employees named ‘Great Iowa Nurses’
Eighteen nurses from across MercyOne’s state-wide system and its affiliated facilities have been named to the list of 100 Great Iowa Nurses. The 2019 honorees represent the health system’s full spectrum of services and specialties, and have demonstrated outstanding commitment to providing the high-quality, compassionate and personalized care. (Mason City Globe Gazette)

National News

Hospitals, payers decry HHS proposal to change safe harbor for drug rebates
The Department of Health and Human Services has received more than 25,000 comments on the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate safe harbor protections on drug rebates to insurers in Medicare Part D and Medicaid managed care programs. Most payers and providers, including the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association, criticized the plan, saying the change won’t force drugmakers to contain prescription drug costs. (Healthcare Dive)

Study finds fewer heart disease-related deaths in states with Medicaid expansion
There are fewer heart disease related-deaths in states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to new research.  The study, which was presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Sessions last week, focuses on the Medicaid population, as there is a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease and other risk factors in the uninsured population. Therefore, researchers set out to see if gaining health insurance through Medicaid expansion actually helped improve outcomes in lower income populations. (Fierce Healthcare)

US measles tally hits 465, mostly in kids
US measles cases are continuing to jump, and most of the reported illnesses are in children. Health officials say 465 measles cases have been reported this year, as of last week. That’s up from 387 the week before. The numbers are preliminary. The 2019 tally is already the most since 2014, when 667 were reported. The most before that was 963 cases in 1994. (Portland Press Herald)