Today’s NewsStand – May 16, 2019

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

Iowa News

Gov. Reynolds addresses funding question about children’s mental health system
In a sit-down interview with Local 5, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) talked about the new children’s mental health system that was legislated in the 2019 session. “What the problem is or part of the problem is, our parents don’t know where to even begin to start to access the services,” said Reynolds. “And we just need to make sure it’s so with a structure and with a system, it will help parents know where to begin and how to start to access some of the services that we have the 24 seven hotline and just other components of it.” (We Are Iowa)

Woodbury County approaching transition to regional mental health agency
Now a month and a half away from the official switch, Woodbury County officials keep working on details to make sure there is a clean transition from one regional group to another, for the task of connecting low-income and disabled individuals with mental health services. Woodbury County will depart the Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health and Disability Services agency and become a member of the Rolling Hills Community Services Region, in a step that comes with the arrival of the 2019-20 fiscal year on July 1. (Sioux City Journal)

Iowa repository could be a model for drug donation program in Minnesota
A lot of people have experienced the sticker shock that can come from buying prescriptions at the pharmacy. But imagine going without essential medications because you can’t afford them. It’s a problem many patients face. In a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, dozens of plastic bins sit full of unused prescription drugs. A repository there has been operating for 10 years. It does not accept controlled substances or narcotics. But with everything it does collect, it is on track to distribute more than $8 million worth of free medication to patients this year. (KSTP)

National News

Tennessee’s rural hospitals are dying off. Who’s next?
The closure of a local hospital is a very real possibility for the people of Greeneville, a hardscrabble Appalachian community of 15,000 about an hour east of Knoxville. The facilities here, Laughlin Memorial Hospital and Takoma Regional Hospital, have been half-empty and losing money at least four years in a row. New owners recently fused Laughlin and Takoma in a desperate effort to become profitable, and officials admit that both hospitals were likely to close in a few years without intervention. (Nashville Tennessean)

A rural Georgia community loses its hospital – a standalone ER fills the gap
Losing a hospital can put a rural community — and the health of its residents — in jeopardy. For Gilmer County residents, the next best option was Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, about 20 miles down the road. The hospital’s chief executive Denise Ray says her facility really felt it when North Georgia Medical Center closed. She says Piedmont spent $2.2 million building a modern emergency room — much less than it would have cost to build a new one from scratch. The standalone ER opened about a year after the old hospital closed. (Marketplace)

About one-third of hospitals earn A grade on safety, Leapfrog says
Leapfrog, the nonprofit group that grades hospitals on safety, released its annual rankings of 2,600 hospitals and found 32 percent earned an A, 26 percent earned a B and 36 percent earned a C. Less than 1 percent of hospitals graded failed. The accuracy of third-party hospital rankings is unclear, but they can be helpful for patients looking to shop between providers for pre-planned care or procedures. (Healthcare Dive)