Today’s NewsStand – April 17, 2019

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

Iowa News

Children’s mental health bill moves to governor’s desk
A bill that would create a mental health services program for children heads to Governor Kim Reynold’s desk after passing the Iowa Senate Tuesday with bipartisan support. The bill would create a mental health system similar to the current on for adults. That would include a board to track and oversee children’s mental health data. A children’s mental health system is one of Governor Reynolds’ top priorities for 2019 and a topic in her Condition of the State three months ago. (We Are Iowa)

Marion health provider adding mental health services
A health care provider in Marion has expanded some of its services to help treat people with mental health issues. Covenant Family Services has added three psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. Right now, in Iowa, as many as 120 thousand people need psychiatric medications to manage their mental health. Covenant says these nurse practitioners will be able to prescribe and manage psychiatric medications for people from children to the elderly. (KCRG)

Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics facility in Garner slated to open in July
Construction on the Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics facility in Garner is about a month behind schedule but is on track to open this summer. Iowa Specialty Hospital-Belmond broke ground in October on the new 8,000-square-foot integrated care clinic. The clinic will offer family medicine, occupational medicine, weight-loss management, women’s health and orthopedics, as well as counseling and therapy through primary care, mental health providers. It will also offer laboratory, radiology and visiting specialists. (Mason City Globe Gazette)

National News

Health care jobs grow at rapid clip, but wages lag amid consolidation boom
Health care employment is growing at a record pace, but wages remain stagnant, which some experts say likely results in part from the trend of consolidating health systems. Hospital employment grew by 14,000 jobs in March, adding up to a total of 120,000 for the combined first quarter of 2019. BLS tallied ambulatory jobs at 27,000 and home health and skilled nursing jobs at 9,000. At the same time, real average weekly earnings for production and non-supervisory employees across sectors grew 0.1 percent over the month. (Healthcare Dive)

Measles outbreak drains resources we may need for a future epidemic or bioterrorist attack
A devastating infectious disease pandemic could kill more people than nuclear war. The reemergence of measles teaches us two things. First, our public health system needs additional resources if it is to control the occurrence and spread of disease throughout the nation. Second, since local governments — including New York City — are having to spend their limited public health resources to contain diseases like measles, they will not be sufficiently prepared for large-scale biological events such as a bioterrorist attack or an infectious disease pandemic. (USA Today)

Workplace wellness programs barely move the needle, study finds
Workplace wellness programs have become an $8 billion industry in the U.S. But a study published Tuesday in JAMA found they don’t cut costs for employers, reduce absenteeism or improve workers’ health. After 18 months, it turned out that yes, workers participating in the wellness programs self-reported healthier behavior. But the efforts did not result in differences in health measures, such as improved blood sugar or glucose levels, how much employers spent on health care or how often employees missed work. (Kaiser Health News)