Today’s NewsStand – April 26, 2019

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

Iowa News

Lawmakers heading to Iowa capitol for 2019 session close-down
The scorecard for the 2019 Iowa legislature is nearly complete, as lawmakers head into the weekend intending to conclude this year’s work. House Republican Leader Chris Hagenow of Clive said after 16 weeks of work, the legislature has taken steps to improve broadband access, expand housing in rural areas and use future sales tax revenue for direct property tax relief. House Democratic Leader Todd Prichard of Charles City said Republicans failed to address ongoing problems in the state’s privatized Medicaid program for both patients and health care providers. (Radio Iowa)

Certification training offered for youth mental health first aid
In Mason City, training is being offered to help community leaders identify signs that a young person is suffering from a mental health condition. Representatives from the chamber of commerce, the court-appointed special advocates program and the YMCA came together for youth mental health first aid training from the North Iowa Youth Task Force. Participants received a 3- year certification. There will be a second course – this one aimed at helping adults – held next Tuesday. (KIMT)

Community health center of Mason City pushes Congress for new funding plan
When the Community Health Center of Mason City opened its doors last October they knew dental care was going to be in high demand but they had no idea how severe the need for mental health care was going to be. Chief Executive Officer Ranae Kruckenberg said they’ve already helped more than 2,000 patients in over 5,000 visits. Continuing that level of care might become difficult as they approach the end of their two-year federal funding in October. “When that money runs out we will be paid month to month until that money runs out,” she said. (KIMT)

National News

Patient engagement strategies that prevent hospital readmission
Hospital readmission is a key metric in the value-based care landscape, with many programs looking for organizations to lower their readmission rates in an effort to cut health care costs. Using strong patient engagement strategies, organizations can move the needle on hospital readmission rates. CMS has led the charge addressing hospital readmissions through the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), which since its 2010 inception as a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to an 8 percent reduction in readmissions. (xtelligent Healthcare Media)

What are the top health care concerns for voters? Surprise bills, ACA’s future, poll shows
According to the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Health Tracking Poll, many Americans are worried about the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) protections for people with preexisting conditions. As many as 68 percent of respondents say they do not want to see the Supreme Court overturn their preexisting condition protections, and 54 percent are also in favor of keeping the entire health care law as is. Other health care issues on the minds of Americans include prescription drug costs, protections for preexisting conditions, and surprise medical bills. (Fierce Healthcare)

Medicaid, CHIP enrollment for kids dropped by 861,000 in 2018
An estimated 861,000 fewer children were covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 2018 compared with the year before, according to an analysis by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families drawing on new CMS data. Total Medicaid and CHIP enrollment totaled 72.4 million in January 2019, down about 2.2 million from January 2018, according to the CMS data. Many Medicaid experts attribute the declines to onerous state eligibility redetermination processes and cuts in funding for enrollment education and outreach. (Modern Healthcare)