Today’s NewsStand – May 10, 2019

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

Iowa News

Nearly three years later, Iowa’s Medicaid managed care system still drawing scrutiny
Although the 2019 legislative session is closed, Carroll-area residents still had many questions for our local legislators, Senator Mark Segebart and House Representative Brian Best. At the final Carroll Chamber of Commerce forum, questions about Iowa’s managed care organization (MCO) model for Medicaid services was broached. his time the question was about whether Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced a replacement for United Healthcare, who left the MCO pool at the end of March. (KCIM)

UI’s liveWELL wins first place in nationwide academic communities awards
The National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities (BHAC) named the University of Iowa’s liveWELLprogram first place in the 2019 National Wellness Challenge. The National Wellness Challenge award recognizes innovative wellness programs that promote physical wellness, mental health, financial wellness, environmental wellness, and social wellness in colleges and universities. Winners attended the fourth National Building Healthy Academic Communities Summit at The Ohio State University and are promoted to BHAC members. (University of Iowa)

Addressing a mental health care crisis
America’s mental health care system is in disarray. A lack of providers who can diagnose mental health disorders, prescribe medications, and provide therapy leaves millions of Americans who desperately need mental health care out in the cold. These problems are even more acute in Iowa, especially in rural areas, where it’s made even worse by the lack of health care of any type. Only 56 communities in Iowa have a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant who can provide mental health services. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

Private health plans pay hospitals 241% of what Medicare would pay
A new report from the RAND Corporation finds that private health insurance plans pay hospitals more than 240% for health care compared to what Medicare plans would pay. Looking at claims data from nearly 1,600 hospitals between 2015-2017, private plans paid hospitals $13 billion for inpatient and outpatient services. “Hospitals, health systems and other providers do not always have access to detailed data on health plan benefit and beneficiary cost-sharing amounts; rather, insurers hold this information,” wrote the American Hospital Association, in a statement. (RAND Corporation)

Trump urges Congress to take action on surprise medical bills
President Trump is pushing Congress to pass legislation that would protect patients from surprise medical bills. “We’re going to hold insurance companies and hospitals totally accountable,” Trump said Thursday at an event with congressional lawmakers, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and patients who have been hit by surprise medical bills. Administration officials told reporters they are sending a list of principles to Congress that will ultimately form the basis of what they hope will be bipartisan legislation to combat huge, unexpected medical costs. (The Hill)

Delaware hospitals announce coordinated approach to tackle human trafficking
Delaware hospitals are joining forces to combat human trafficking. A coordinated victim identification protocol has been adopted by hospitals in the state that will allow more of those imprisoned by the tragedy of human trafficking to be identified and rescued. The Delaware Healthcare Association’s Human Trafficking Medical Committee unveiled recommendations May 8 for each hospital to adopt as part of a statewide approach to tackle human trafficking. (Milford Beacon)