Today’s NewsStand – April 16, 2019

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

Iowa News

Health officials push measles vaccine after confirmed case in Iowa
At least one person in Iowa has the measles, the first in the state since 2011. Across the country, the number of measles cases is rising drastically. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report at least 555 measles cases in the United States just this year, in 2018 just 387 cases were reported. Workers from Iowa Department of Public Health are checking on others who may have had recent contact with the person infected with measles. Officials said the case is based in northeast Iowa but did not specify the county or the person’s age or gender, citing privacy concerns. (KCRG)

University of Iowa crisis stabilization unit challenges convention
A new unit specialized to serve acute psychiatric needs in Iowa City has reduced the wait time for patients seeking intensive care by 80 percent since it opened in October. Officials from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics also found that about 75 percent of patients who would typically be admitted to the hospital are instead able to go home after seeing a provider. Known as the Crisis Stabilization Unit, the space will help address the issue of patients with acute mental health issues waiting long hours in emergency departments across the country. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

Former ISU basketball player to talk about mental health
Former Iowa State Cyclones men’s basketball player, Royce White, has taken on the cause to help decrease the stigma that society continues to place on mental health issues. Royce will talk about receiving his mental health diagnosis as a high school student, his commitment to transforming how mental health is addressed in our conversations, and ideas to support the mental health needs of our friends, family, and neighbors. (Storm Lake Pilot Tribune)

UI partners with Congolese community for pregnancy health research
Four years ago, a family physician at the University of Iowa (UI) Hospitals & Clinics discovered a pattern of adverse outcomes among the Congolese patients. In an effort to understand and serve the changing demographics of the community, she reached out to UI public-health Assistant Professor Will Story. Together, the pair laid the foundation for community-based participatory research that focuses on understanding prenatal and pregnancy health in the Congolese community by partnering with the latter to learn about people’s needs and concerns. (University of Iowa Daily Iowan)

National News

Teaching, rural hospitals gain from CMS readmission changes
The CMS’ Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program hit academic and rural hospitals with lower penalties in 2019 compared to 2018, after the agency made changes to the program, according to a new study. The research found 44.1 percent of teaching hospitals and 43.7 percent of rural hospitals experienced a lower penalty in 2019 compared to 2018 from the readmissions program. The changes were made to address complaints from hospitals that they are unfairly penalized in the readmissions program because of their complex patient case mix. (Modern Healthcare)

Rural emergency department visits jumped more than 50 percent in about a decade
Visits to the emergency department in rural areas jumped by more than 50 percent since 2005 even as the overall population in rural areas fell—a sign of increasing pressure on rural hospitals as safety-net providers, a recent study published in JAMA Network Open found. Looking at a cross-sectional study of National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey data between 2005 and 2016, researchers found ED visits increased from 36.5 to 64.5 for every 100 people in rural areas, compared with an increase in urban ED visits from 40.2 to 42.8 of every 100. (Fierce Healthcare)

90 new cases of measles reported in US as outbreak continues record pace
The number of new measles cases in the United States rose again this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday, bringing the total number to 555 in 2019. This year’s outbreak is on course to be the worst since the country eliminated measles as an endemic disease in 2000. Health authorities reported 90 additional cases as of April 11, with outbreaks in New York, Washington, California, New Jersey and Michigan, up from 78 the week before. (New York Times)