Today’s NewsStand – May 2, 2019

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

Iowa News

Reynolds: ‘Major milestone’ law focuses on kids’ mental health
Hailing a “major milestone,” Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law Wednesday a “life-changing” bill passed with bipartisan support that creates and funds the state’s first-of-its-kind children’s mental health system. House File 690 establishes a system just for children, lays out what core services must be provided and creates a state board to oversee it. The law creates a system by 2020 to serve children up to age 18 who have serious emotional disturbances. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

County encourages citizens to promote mental health in May
A recent proclamation by the Jasper County Board of Supervisors says it is the responsibility of “each business, school, government agency, health care provider, organization and citizen” to promote mental health during the month of May. Mental Health Month begins Wednesday and will be recognized the following 31 days by several mental health advocates in Jasper County, including Central Iowa Community Services CEO Jody Eaton, who presented the proclamation before the board of supervisors April 23. Mental health, she said, is important for everyone to think about. (Newton Daily News)

Former ISU star now battles mental health stigma
Everything about Royce White says power. Except for the power to defend against his own inner struggles. After years of battling mental illness, the former Iowa State University star power forward, NBA first-round draft pick, and now author and aspiring mixed marital arts fighter, is sharing his story. The opponent now is the stigma that stands between people and the help they need. “It’s a big social conversation we need to engage,” he said. (Storm Lake Pilot Tribune)

National News

AHA asks DOJ to halt Centene-WellCare merger
The American Hospital Association urged the Trump administration on Wednesday to halt Centene’s $17.3 billion acquisition of WellCare Health Plans, claiming it will reduce competition in Medicaid managed-care and Medicare Advantage services. Centene and WellCare are both major players in government-sponsored health plans, with both having a presence in Medicaid and on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. All told the two insurers would cover nearly 22 million people in Medicare, Medicaid and the exchanges. (Modern Healthcare)

CMS seeking ideas for new ACA innovation waiver concepts 
CMS is seeking feedback from industry stakeholders on new programs and concepts states could try under section 1332 waivers, otherwise known as “state innovation” waivers. These waivers allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to waive certain Affordable Care Act requirements to allow states to try out new initiatives within their insurance markets. CMS Administrator Seema Verma wrote that these waivers offer states greater flexibility to tailor their ACA exchanges and plan oversight to the needs of their residents. (Fierce Healthcare)

How drug companies helped shape a shifting, biological view of mental illness
Historian and Harvard professor Anne Harrington believes that pharmaceutical companies have played an oversized role in determining how mental illness is treated in the United States — leading to a rise in the use of antidepressant drugs. Prior to the 1970s, Harrington says, society tended to distinguish between forms of depression that should be treated medically versus depression caused by “bad stuff going on in your life,” which was thought to be treated best by talk therapy. But as pharmaceutical companies began to market antidepressant drugs, the focus of treatment for many people moved away from talk therapy. (Iowa Public Radio)