Today’s NewsStand – May 13, 2019

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

Iowa News

Shenandoah trustees honored at IHA Trustee Ceremony
Two Shenandoah Medical Center board members were recently honored at the Iowa Hospital Association Trustee Recognition Ceremony in Des Moines. SMC officials tell KMA News that Ed Kloberdanz and Alissa McGinnis were recognized for completing healthcare-specific education hours over the past two years. Through the certification program, individual trustees and entire hospital boards show their community and stakeholders a commitment to serving in the best interests of the community. (KMALand)

Grimes couple part of 42,000 Iowans fearful for another Medicaid provider transition
UnitedHealthcare plans to exit Iowa’s Medicaid program this summer. Earlier this week, the Medicaid director addressed the community’s concerns at a town hall meeting. “It’s been tough. You know, Alzheimer’s is a difficult disease and [there’s] new challenges all the time,” Nicky Bender said. For the past 10 years she’s been caring for her mother-in-law, Tilly, who is suffering from the disease. Repeatedly, the family was forced to switched different management companies. In those transitions they went months without payments. (WHO)

Looming change in Iowa Medicaid program stirs worry
Despite the state Medicaid director’s efforts to soothe concerns over the privately managed program, members and providers involved with Iowa Medicaid say they are dreading an upcoming transition. Iowa Medicaid Director Michael Randol spoke Friday in Cedar Rapids in the latest of a series of town halls across the state intended to assure Iowans there will be no major disruptions when one managed care organization exits the state program and another joins. This is the second time a Medicaid managed care insurer has exited the state’s program. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

Surprise! Fixing out-of-network bills means someone must pay
President Donald Trump called on Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation this year to end surprise medical bills, in remarks made in the White House’s Roosevelt Room on Thursday. “We’re determined to end surprise medical billing for American patients,” Trump said. Despite broad agreement, a hurdle remains. Insurers and health care providers each oppose the other side’s preferred solution to end surprise bills. That conflict makes it almost impossible for lawmakers to come up with a fix that won’t leave one of the influential groups unhappy. (Kaiser Health News)

Rattled by cyberattacks, hospitals push device makers to improve security
Hospitals are pushing medical-device makers to improve cyber defenses of their internet-connected infusion pumps, biopsy imaging tables and other health-care products as reports of attacks rise. Rattled by recent global cyberattacks, U.S. hospitals are conducting tests to detect weaknesses in specific devices, and asking manufacturers to reveal the proprietary software running the products in order to identify vulnerabilities. In some cases, hospitals have canceled orders and rejected bids for devices that lacked safety features. (Wall Street Journal)

Washington to offer first ‘public option’ insurance in US
Washington is set to become the first state to enter the private health insurance market with a universally available public option. A set of tiered public plans will cover standard services and are expected to be up to 10% cheaper than comparable private insurance, thanks in part to savings from a cap on rates paid to providers. But unlike existing government-managed plans, Washington’s public plans are set to be available to all residents regardless of income by 2021. (Associated Press)