Today’s NewsStand – August 20, 2019

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

Iowa News

Cedar Valley Recovery Services to close three locations, blaming Medicaid payment problems
At least 150 patients, receiving outpatient care at Cedar Valley Recovery Services at three locations, will no longer have a place to go for help. According to the owner, who did not want his name to be used, locations in Cedar Falls, Marion and Dubuque will be closing soon. The owner said his company is having trouble receiving payments through Iowa’s privatized Medicaid system. He said reimbursements for services already provided are either much lower than expected or are coming very late. (CBS2Iowa)

Thompson named CEO of Clive Behavioral Health
MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center has named Mary Sparks Thompson chief executive officer of its Clive Behavioral Health facility, effective Sept. 3. The new 100-bed facility, now under construction with an expected opening in July 2020, will provide much-needed additional inpatient and outpatient mental health services in Iowa. It will be located at 1450 N.W. 114th St., across from the MercyOne Clive Health Plaza and MercyOne Rehabilitation Hospital. (Des Moines Business Record)

Iowa Methodist among top hospitals for consumer loyalty
UnityPoint Health-Iowa Methodist Medical Center was recognized by health care research organization NRC Health by being named to the 2019 NRC Health Top 100 Consumer Loyalty List. NRC Health surveys more than 310,000 households in the United States, measuring their engagement with health care brands in their communities. Organizations that win the Consumer Loyalty Award score exceedingly well on seven metrics of patient loyalty, including Access, Engagement, Experience and Net Promoter Score. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics was also recognized during the 25th Annual NRC Health Symposium held this week in Nashville, Tenn. (Des Moines Business Record)

 National News

Here’s what hospital groups had to say about CMS’ plan to update Star Ratings
The Trump administration will finalize an update of its quality measurement methodology for its Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings in 2021. CMS last updated the ratings this spring. At the time, health care groups including the American Hospital Association (AHA) called for major changes to how the federal hospital rating website calculates its comparisons for consumers and called for the site to be taken down until the changes are made. Yesterday, CMS has posted a summary of the more than 800 comments received on potential technical changes to the Hospital Compare ratings received during a public comment period. (Fierce Healthcare)

The collapse of a hospital empire and towns left in the wreckage
The money was so good in the beginning, and it seemed it might gush forever, right through tiny country hospitals in Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and into the coffers of companies controlled by Jorge A. Perez, his family and business partners. He offered what they could not resist: hope, and the promise of survival. Then a few major health insurance companies got suspicious, as did some government officials. Blue Cross Blue Shield and other insurers started filing lawsuits, stopped making reimbursements and shut off the spigot. Now, with funding from the lab-billing venture dried up, 12 of the hospitals have entered bankruptcy and eight have closed their doors. (Kaiser Health News)

Signs of trouble – and progress – as Obamacare 2019 open enrollment nears
The latest health insurance data gives new ammunition to the Trump administration as it touts the latest bad news on Obamacare, but supporters of the law say there are positive signs for the state and federal marketplaces as 2019 open enrollment nears.  A study out Thursday showed the number of uninsured people increased in 2017 for the first time since the Affordable Care Act exchanges opened in 2013. Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported 2.5 million people left the Obamacare health insurance exchanges between 2016 and 2018. (USA Today)