Today’s NewsStand – August 1, 2019

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

Iowa News

Amerigroup “global issue” preventing providers from getting Medicaid reimbursements
Amerigroup, one of two managed care organizations operating Iowa’s privatized Medicaid system, is telling health providers they are denying claims because of “a global issue they will be addressing.” A spokesman for the Iowa Department of Human Services tells us: “DHS is aware of an issue, unrelated to the managed care transition, which is limited to very specific provider types.” This latest setback is just the latest chapter of frustration for his group and the people that they serve since Iowa switched to a privatized Medicaid system as ordered by then-Governor Terry Branstad. (CBS2Iowa)

MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center has new device to help check for breast cancer
A Siouxland hospital says it’s the first in the area to offer a minimally invasive procedure to help detect breast cancer at an earlier stage. MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center now has an MRI directed biopsy device. The device has a higher resolution and can identify cancers that cannot be found by mammography, ultrasound or physical examination. Radiologist, Dr. Adnan Qalbani said it makes it better for the patient that has a lesion that needs to be targeted. (Siouxland News)

Ousted Iowa director to file whistleblower case, lawyer says
Jerry Foxhoven, a 67-year-old legal scholar known for his frequent workplace praise of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, will file a whistleblower claim with the State Appeal Board, his attorney Tom Duff said. That’s the first step toward pursuing a lawsuit against state government. It’s the latest development stemming from a personnel decision that has put Gov. Kim Reynolds on the defensive and prompted inquiries by state and federal watchdogs. Reynolds suggested Tuesday she wanted to go in a different direction after two years of Foxhoven’s leadership because of continued problems at the agency. She denied retaliation. (Associated Press/Washington Post)

National News

Paper records most common source for data breaches in hospitals, study finds
Paper and films within hospitals and health systems are the most frequent location for data breaches, according to a study published in the American Journal of Managed Care. Data breaches were analyzed based on hospital region, health system membership, size, type, biometric security use, health IT sophistication and ownership. Results showed that hospitals account for around one-third of all data breaches. Additionally, hospital breaches affect the largest number of people. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Nurse practitioners may alleviate dwindling physician workforce in rural populations
An aging rural physician workforce is nearing retirement age, leaving the rural population at a disadvantage for access to quality health care. Strategies such as expanding medical education programs to rural areas and utilizing the nurse practitioner population may forestall the growing disparities in access to health care for people living in nonmetropolitan areas, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (Clinical Advisor)

Trump Administration announces plan to allow cheaper drug imports from Canada
Americans could import less expensive prescription drugs from Canada under a plan being developed by the Trump administration. “Driving down drug prices requires a comprehensive approach and we must continue to look at all innovative solutions to this challenge,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in an HHS news release Wednesday. Canada and other developed countries can make deals with pharmaceutical companies to bring down prices, but the United States bars Medicare from negotiating drug prices. (US News and World Report)