Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.
Gov. Kim Reynolds signs law aimed at growing broadband access, housing in rural Iowa
Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday signed a law aimed at growing opportunities in rural parts of the state by expanding workforce housing tax incentives and grants to boost broadband. Reynolds signed the “Empower Rural Iowa Act” into law at a local business in Wilton Monday. The proposal passed the Iowa legislature unanimously and marks a legislative victory for one of Reynolds’ priorities. The legislation adds funding to the workforce housing tax credit and targets them to small city projects. It also extends a grant program used to increase broadband access. (CBS2Iowa)
MercyOne to open $10.6 million behavioral center
After nearly two years and $10.6 million, MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center is opening a 27,200 square foot behavioral health center. At the public dedication ceremony, on June 8, visitors will be able to explore the addition next to MercyOne’s Emergency Department and see the three-dozen or so rooms that will house behavioral health patients. The new center will help MercyOne to increase the number of behavioral health care services it can offer to those in the community struggling with mental illness and substance abuse issues, according to Director of Behavioral Health Care Rose Brantner. (Mason City Globe Gazette)
More opioid addiction help coming to Cerro Gordo County, thanks to federal grant
A new regional team to combat opioid addiction is coming together in Cerro Gordo County, thanks to a federal grant. The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, MercyOne North Iowa, Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral Healthcare, and the Mason City Youth Task Force, have been awarded a $200,000 Rural Communities Opioid Response Program planning grant, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Mason City Globe Gazette)
Is our health care spending worth it?
Many people know by now that the United States spends much more on health care than any other country, and that health outcomes are not a lot better (and in many instances worse). That raises the question: Is our health care spending actually worth it? It’s tricky to figure out the extent of the roles that the environment, genetics and social support play in improving health. Nevertheless, the best evidence tells us that health care is still very valuable, even at U.S. prices. (New York Times)
Teen suicide and mental health: America’s deadly, costly problems that have no end in sight
The nation’s medical system falls far short of meeting the demand for teen mental health services because cases of suicide and psychiatric disorders are skyrocketing, underscoring a public health crisis that is already costing Americans billions to combat. Research from federal regulators and medical groups shows the suicide rate for young people ages 10 to 19 rose by 56% from 2007 to 2016, the latest year for which figures are available. Only 40% of young people with major depression got treatment, according to the National Institute for Mental Health. (USA Today)
Many rural Americans struggle with financial insecurity, access to health care
Polling by NPR finds that while rural Americans are mostly satisfied with life, there is a strong undercurrent of financial insecurity that can create very serious problems for many people living in rural communities. The findings come from two surveys NPR has done with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on day-to-day life and health in rural America. One-quarter of respondents (26%) said they have not been able to get health care when they needed it at some point in recent years. (NPR)