Today’s NewsStand – July 12, 2019

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

Iowa News

Medicaid director’s faith in managed care unshaken by $386 million cost increase
Iowa Medicaid Director Mike Randol’s belief in privatization is undaunted. Randol agreed the state and federal governments should pay $386 million more to national insurers who are managing Iowa’s Medicaid program. But, he’s still confident taxpayers are saving money by having the work done by private companies instead of state employees. It’s a controversial stance. Critics, including many patient advocates and care agencies, say the privatized Medicaid program has led to cuts in services without providing solid savings. (Des Moines Register)

Mental health training starts for teachers as children’s mental health system takes shape
As Iowa establishes its first children’s mental health system, the state’s nine area education agencies are providing much of the mandated training for educators. John Speer, director of the Cedar Rapids-based Grant Wood Area Education Agency, said that training is underway. State lawmakers allocated $2.1 million to the area education agencies, or AEAs, which provide training and professional development to educators in their regions. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

MercyOne opens pediatric urgent care clinic in Des Moines
MercyOne Des Moines Pediatrics Urgent Care Clinic recently opened near the MercyOne Medical Center campus in Des Moines. The clinic, which is dedicated solely to treating children, specializes in providing after-hours treatment for common conditions such as earaches, fever, pinkeye and minor head injuries. The clinic is staffed by a medical director/pediatrician, Dr. Nivedita Krishnan, and Allison Stewart, an advanced registered nurse practitioner. (Des Moines Business Record)

National News

CMS seeks to reduce state reporting on Medicaid access, pay cuts
The CMS wants to lower states’ requirements for showing that their Medicaid fee-for-service payment rates are adequate to enlist enough providers to offer beneficiaries satisfactory access to care. The rule proposed Thursday would rescind a 2015 Obama administration rule requiring states to file an access monitoring review plan and update it at least every three years. The CMS said the proposed rule would save states money, and that it would issue a separate guidance reminding them that they must ensure beneficiaries have adequate access to care. The public will have 60 days to comment. (Modern Healthcare)

Hospitals block ‘surprise billing’ measure in California
Citing fierce pushback from hospitals, California lawmakers sidelined a bill Wednesday that would have protected some patients from surprise medical bills by limiting how much hospitals could charge them for emergency care. The legislation, which contributed to the intense national conversation about surprise medical billing, was scheduled to be debated Wednesday in the state Senate Health Committee. Hospitals focused their opposition on a provision of the bill that would have limited what they can charge insurers for out-of-network emergency services, criticizing it as an unnecessary form of rate setting. (Kaiser Health News)

Kentucky hospitals collaborate to boost ED health data exchange
The Anthem Foundation has awarded the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) a $250,000 grant to support the implementation of a health IT solution designed to streamline health data exchange between emergency department (ED) personnel and other providers. Kentucky hospitals will use the grant to launch a solution called EDie developed by Collective Medical Technologies. The solution will help to deliver critical patient information to emergency clinicians for better-informed clinical decision making and improved patient health outcomes. (EHR Intelligence)