Today’s NewsStand – August 7, 2019

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

Iowa News

Regional Medical Center’s Mike Chapman honored as Hospital Hero
A local man who spent years helping others at Regional Medical Center was recently surprised with a special honor. Mike Chapman of Manchester has been honored as a Hospital Hero. The award from the Iowa Hospital Association is given annually to ten current or retired healthcare workers in the state. It recognizes those who have contributed courageously and selflessly to hospitals and their communities. The staff got a chance to see Mike last week when they surprised him with the news that he had been named a Hospital Hero. (KMCH)

Butler County worried lower Medicaid payments will cause cuts to services
In 2016, the Butler Department of Public Health saw roughly $350,000 dollars of Medicaid reimbursement from the state of Iowa each year. Now, it’s more like $190,000. The department met with the Butler County Board of Supervisors Tuesday to discuss how that decrease could affect the county. The board of supervisors is trying to find a way to maintain the level of service provided by the county’s Department of Public Health despite a nearly $260,000 drop in Medicaid payments for at-home services. The county says if they’ve received payments they’ve often been late or just a partial payment. (KWWL)

Mental health experts say mental illness does not equal violence
President Trump addressed the nation Monday following two deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio. “Mental illness and hate pull the trigger, not the gun,” he said during his address at the White House. Those words are troubling mental health experts, including some in the Corridor. A psychologist and executive director of the Linn County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), McCalley-Whitters says language equating the two is harmful. NAMI’s local chapter recently moved to a new headquarters in Cedar Rapids downtown Ecumenical Center. (CBS2Iowa)

National News

Trump shift, backed by states, fuels fear of too few Medicaid docs
The Trump administration wants to drop an Obama-era rule designed to ensure that there are enough doctors to care for Medicaid patients. State health officials say the rule, which requires states to monitor whether Medicaid reimbursement rates are high enough to keep doctors in the program, forces them to spend a lot of time collecting and analyzing data with little benefit. Health care advocates, though, fear that dropping the regulation would enable states to set those payments at a level that would cause some of the 72 million Americans who rely on Medicaid to scramble for health care. (Stateline)

There’s a program to address high drug prices – and it is working, says major hospital company
Americans across the country see the impact of rising drug prices. More than a quarter of Americans admit to not taking their medicines as prescribed at some point in the past year, primarily citing the cost. Fortunately, a bipartisan program created in 1992, the 340B Drug Pricing Program, helps with the strain created from rising drug prices for those most in need. Under the program, drug companies provide discounts on outpatient drugs purchased by eligible healthcare entities that treat many uninsured, vulnerable patients. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Health care leaders seek cybersecurity protections amid medical records breaches
Health care industry leaders are calling for cybersecurity protections for patients, noting that more than 31 million medical records have been breached this year — a number that is steadily growing. “It’s really important that providers and payers make sure their systems are secure, because this is incredibly valuable information,” said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, CEO of the eHealth Initiative and Foundation. More than 31.6 million patient records have been compromised in 285 data breaches between January and June, Protenus found. (Washington Times)