Today’s NewsStand – May 31, 2019

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

Iowa News

MercyOne, Medical Associates of Clinton announce agreement to join forces
An agreement has been reached in which Medical Associates of Clinton soon will join MercyOne Clinton Medical Center. Under the agreement, Medical Associates and MercyOne will work together as an integrated system to expand services, improve access and create a higher level of coordination of care to benefit patients and communities throughout the region. The agreement is to go into effect this summer, according to MercyOne officials. (Clinton Herald)

New CHI clinic opening in Council Bluffs
A new CHI Health Clinic in Council Bluffs will provide a cast of specialists will be a one stop shop for all your health needs. In addition to primary and priority care, patients will have access to specialists in behavioral health, women’s services, pediatrics, urology, dermatology, radiology, ultrasound, physical therapy and a pharmacy. The new clinic is the 46th for CHI Health, which has the largest network of clinics in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area. (KMTV)

Couple tells story to bolster mental health awareness
For Mary Neubauer and Larry Loss, Sept. 25, 2017, will always be the worst day of their lives. It was the day the couple discovered their son Sergei, just four days shy of his 19th birthday had committed suicide. While they were stunned and horrified, they had known this was a possibility for some time. Sergei had been hospitalized twice the previous spring after attempts to kill himself. He had been to inpatient clinics in Arizona and California throughout that summer, finally returning to Iowa in August. (Times Citizen)

National News

Richer Medicare payments for rural hospitals could come at urban centers’ expense
As rural hospital closures roil the country, some states are banking on a rescue from a Trump administration proposal to change the way hospital payments are calculated. The goal of the proposal, unveiled by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma in April, is to bump up Medicare’s reimbursements to rural hospitals, some of which receive the lowest rates in the nation. The proposed tweak, as wonky as it may seem, comes with considerable controversy. (NPR)

Hospital groups call for independent dispute resolution process as part of surprise billing solution
Hospital groups are asking Congress to consider dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and arbitration, as part of a legislative solution to stop surprise medical bills.  A letter from the American Hospital Association, America’s Essential Hospitals, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Children’s Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals is in response to the recently released “No Surprises Act” draft. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Illinois House passes Medicaid reform
The Illinois House has unanimously passed a bipartisan reform package that aims to improve a number of health care programs in the state, including its often griped about Medicaid managed care program. Under the program, the state pays private insurers a set amount per member per month rather than paying for each medical service provided. It aims to improve people’s health and control costs by ensuring all care is appropriate and high quality. But hospitals say it’s costing them money, as medical claims denied for administrative reasons cause significant reimbursement delays. (Crain’s Chicago Business)