Today’s NewsStand – May 15, 2019

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

Iowa News

NAMI considers expansion to area counties
Preliminary conversations are taking place about expanding the NAMI of Northwest Iowa program into Buena Vista and Cherokee counties. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a nonprofit advocacy group originally founded by family members of people diagnosed with mental illness. If the expansion takes place, local counties would benefit through access to NAMI programs like Family to Family, Peer to Peer, Connections, and Homefront for Veterans that are designed to provide people in need with support and resources. (Storm Lake Pilot Tribune)

Mental Health Center opens in Fort Dodge
Community and Family Resources (CFR), a new, state-of-the-art recovery and wellness facility will open in Fort Dodge May 17. CFR leaders and staff will be available from to share stories of how CFR services have saved lives for more than 50 years and help guide visitors through the 38,000 square foot building. CFR will have a Women’s Wing separated from the Men’s Wing, and the adolescents will be on another level. It will also have an Outpatient Clinic, as well as a Medication-Assisted Treatment Clinic, Crisis Stabilization Unit, and Detoxification Unit. (KIOW)

New UnityPoint Health-St. Luke Hospital’s service diagnoses heart condition early
Emery Coughlin’s parents describe her as a happy six-month-old, thanks to what one UnityPoint Health-St. Luke Hospital’s doctor described as an evolved approach to patient care. The doctor caught the irregular heart beat on the monitor almost by chance, which kicked off a multidisciplinary care effort for the unborn child, led by Dr. Dilli Bhurtel, a pediatric cardiologist at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s. Bhurtel was able to diagnose Emery with SVT using a fetal echocardiogram, a test similar to an ultrasound that diagnoses heart conditions in patients still in the uterus. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

Dealing with hospital closure, pioneer Kansas town asks: What comes next?
For the 7,800 people of Fort Scott, about 90 miles south of Kansas City, the hospital’s closure was a loss they never imagined possible, sparking anger and fear. Yet, even as this town deals with the trauma of losing a beloved institution, deeper national questions underlie the struggle: Do small communities like this one need a traditional hospital at all? And, if not, what health care do they need? (Kaiser Health News)

House committee proposes ban on surprise medical bills
Leaders of a U.S. House of Representatives committee on Tuesday unveiled draft legislation to ban surprise medical bills through a cap on any out-of-network charges. Notably, the proposal doesn’t opt for arbitration to resolve pay disputes between hospitals, physicians and insurers — the approach hospitals and specialty physicians favor. Instead, insurers would pay out-of-network clinicians based on what they’d pay similar physicians in their networks. Additionally, hospitals would have to get written permission from patients before letting an out-of-network physician treat them for a scheduled procedure. (Kaiser Health News)

House lawmakers launch effort to block site-neutral payments
Two U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers on Thursday launched a bipartisan effort to override the Trump administration’s site-neutral pay regulation. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) want to block a final CMS rule that went into effect Jan. 1 and cuts Medicare rates for hospital offsite clinics for some outpatient treatments. Their bill is backed by the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, which represents investor-owned systems, and they are looking for senators to introduce companion legislation in that chamber. (Modern Healthcare)