Today’s NewsStand – April 15, 2019

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

Iowa News

UnityPoint Health, MercyOne leaders join DMU board
Des Moines University announced that Karl Keeler, president of MercyOne Central Iowa Medical Center, and Kevin Vermeer, president and chief executive officer of UnityPoint Health, have joined the DMU board of trustees. Their service on the board, which began at its meeting in March, continues the representation of both health systems on the university’s governing board. “The long-standing productive relationship and partnerships we have with Mercy and UnityPoint are vital to our overall success as an academic health center,” said Angela Walker Franklin, DMU president and CEO. (Des Moines Business Record)

State DHS director addresses children’s mental health during stop in Ames
Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven spoke to a room of county providers and health care professionals at The Children’s Well-Being Collaborative Stakeholders Meeting at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center on Friday, delivering news on the progress of legislation that seeks to address children’s mental health in Iowa. Introduced to the Legislature by Gov. Kim Reynolds, Senate Study Bill 1197 and House Study Bill 206 seek to establish a governance structure to implement core mental health services for children and families uniformly across Iowa. (Ames Tribune)

Democratic Representative Dave Loebsack to retire in 2020
Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack announced today that he will retire from the House at the end of his term, potentially setting up a competitive race for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District in 2020. Loebsack’s district, which he will have represented for 14 years by the time he exits Congress, went for President Donald Trump by 4 percentage points in 2016, though it was strongly Democratic in other recent presidential elections. The district was one of the 55 initial targets announced by the National Republican Campaign Committee in February. (Politico)

MercyOne Des Moines works to educate the community
MercyOne Des Moines hosted their first ever pain symposium on chronic pain. The hospital felt it was important to be able to let patients and the community talks with doctors outside of the exam room. Doctors are reaching out to community members, letting them know what other alternatives there are for managing chronic pain. (We Are Iowa)

National News

Obesity becoming No. 1 preventable cancer cause
Smoking has been the No. 1 preventable cause of cancer for decades and still kills more than 500,000 people a year in the United States. But obesity is poised to take the top spot, as Americans’ waistlines continue to expand while tobacco use plummets. The switch could occur in five or 10 years, said Otis Brawley, a Johns Hopkins oncologist and former chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. The rise in obesity rates could threaten the steady decline in cancer death rates since the early 1990s, he said. (Washington Post)

Committee approves AHA-supported drug price transparency bill
The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday approved the Prescription Drug Sunshine, Transparency, Accountability and Reporting Act (H.R. 2113), AHA-supported legislation that would increase transparency with regard to prescription drug pricing. Specifically, AHA applauded the inclusion of the Reporting Accurate Drug Prices Act, which would require all manufacturers to submit pricing data to the Department of Health and Human Services; and the SPIKE Act, which would require drug companies to provide written justification for new drugs with high launch prices. (American Hospital Association)

How to fight ‘scary’ superbugs? Cooperation — and a special soap
Hospitals and nursing homes in California and Illinois are testing a surprisingly simple strategy against the dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs that kill thousands of people each year: washing patients with a special soap. The efforts — funded with roughly $8 million from the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — are taking place at 50 facilities in those two states. (Kaiser Health News)