Today’s NewsStand – June 18, 2019

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

Iowa News

Governor asks Iowa Department of Human Services director to step down
At the request of Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven has resigned. Foxhoven — who took over a department beset by criticisms for its role in foster care, Medicaid managed care and various state institutions — left effective Monday. Gerd W. Clabaugh, director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, will serve as the interim director of Human Services, according to a statement from the Governor’s Office. (MDJ Online)

Here’s what you need to know ahead of Medicaid transition
With only a few weeks remaining in June, Iowa Medicaid patients and providers are feeling the stress of approaching deadlines. UnitedHealthcare is set to leave Iowa Medicaid on June 30, but concern still remains about the on-boarding process for Iowa Total Care. United Healthcare must leave Iowa Medicaid no later than June 30. Iowa Total Care, which will effectively act as a replacement, will on-board July 1. Amerigroup will continue to provide coverage. (Mason City Globe Gazette)

Genesis signs with Iowa Total Care, second provider to do so
Genesis Health System has signed an agreement with Iowa Total Care to join its Medicaid provider network in Iowa. The deal means both major hospital systems in the Quad-Cities will now be Iowa Total Care providers when it on-boards July 1. UnitedHealthcare will leave Iowa’s Medicaid system June 30. Beginning July 1, patients will be covered by Iowa Total Care or Amerigroup. The development comes a day before the deadline for patients to select a Medicaid provider for July 1 coverage. (Quad-City Times)

National New

AHA: Fixed reimbursement rates not a surprise medical bill solution
In a recent testimony in front of the subcommittee on health, the American Hospital Association (AHA) strongly opposed proposed surprise medical bill legislation that would establish fixed reimbursement rates for out-of-network care. The Senators backing the draft legislation believe the three-pronged strategy will eliminate surprise medical bills, which impact at least one in five Americans every year. However, the AHA disagreed with most of the proposed surprise medical bill solutions, arguing that the suggestions would harm network adequacy, and therefore, patient care. (RevCycle Intelligence)

Trump admin opens door to fundamental changes in health care benefits
The Trump administration has opened the door to altering how healthcare benefits are provided to millions of employees. A new rule will allow employers to provide workers with funds to shop for coverage on their own, an option that could dramatically upend employer-sponsored coverage. Instead of working with an insurer and allowing employees to pick from a few insurance options, employers will be able to funnel money into a standalone tax-exempt and employees could use those funds to shop for coverage on their own, either on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces or off. (Healthcare Dive)

A look at the issue of mentally ill inmates in jails
The nation’s jails face increasing pressures as they house large numbers of mentally ill and addicted inmates. Some experts say the problem began with deinstitutionalization. In the 1970s, state psychiatric hospitals, many with appalling living conditions, began closing. Mental health care was supposed to shift to community-based centers. But the promise to invest in local services didn’t materialize, leaving many former psychiatric patients without treatment, says Michele Deitch of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. (Associated Press/ Southwest Iowa News)