Today’s NewsStand – August 27, 2019

Iowa News

Stewart Memorial Community Hospital to host mental health first aid training
A behavioral health center based in Spencer will be hosting an eight-hour course at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital (SMCH) in Lake City next month to teach participants what to do in the event of a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aid program is a hands-on, evidence-based class that covers a broad spectrum of mental health issues. Seasons Center first offered the program in May of this year, and the Sept. 10 program will be the fifth they have hosted. Prather says participants consistently report they feel ready to deal with a mental health situation after taking the course. (KCIM)

Therapists joining staff to support students, teachers at Clear Creek Amana School District
Twenty percent of teenagers ages 13 to 18 live with a mental health condition, according to the National Alliance Mental Illness, one eastern Iowa school district is tackling the issue in a new way. The Clear Creek Amana School District is taking a unique, proactive approach to combat mental health struggles on campus. After taking a look at student data, such as truancy numbers, Clear Creek Amana’s Special Services Director, Barb Hunt knew she wanted the district to have more tools for addressing mental health issues. Especially for students who have been identified as at risk of dropping out. (KWWL)

MercyOne, VGM Retail collaborate on hospital gift shop
VGM Retail and Iowa’s MercyOne healthcare system have worked together to develop a hospital gift shop that benefits their local Waterloo Medical Center and Cedar Falls Medical Center. Serving visitors to the hospital and colleagues that work there, a portion of the profits driven by the Gift Shop at MercyOne, Powered by VGM, is paid directly back to the MercyOne Waterloo Foundation and MercyOne Cedar Falls Foundation. Those donations help fund improvements that advance patient care. (HME Business)

National News

Trump Administration: Immigrant sponsors’ income a factor in Medicaid eligibility
President Donald Trump’s administration sent guidelines to states Friday instructing that the income and resources of a legal immigrant’s sponsor should be factored into determining eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP, part of a broader tightening of immigration rules. The public charge rule drew swift rebuke from industry groups such as the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals. Those groups say the public charge rule will act as a deterrent for those who need public services such as health care. (Healthcare Dive)

Opioid abuse treatment rates far higher in Medicaid expansion states
The rate of buprenorphine prescriptions for treatment of opioid use disorder among Medicaid patients was far higher on average in Medicaid expansion states than non-expansion states, a new Urban Institute study found. Between 2011 and 2018, Medicaid prescriptions for buprenorphine maintenance treatment per 1,000 enrollees jumped from 40 to 138 in states that expanded Medicaid to low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act. In non-expansion states, the rate increased from 16 to 41. That includes the combination buprenorphine-naloxone form of medication-assisted treatment. (Modern Healthcare)

Health insurers set to expand offerings under the ACA
Insurers are expanding their Affordable Care Act plan offerings for next year, with the once-troubled business now generating profits, even as the overall individual-insurance market has shrunk. The insurers’ moves reflect the improved finances of the business after sharp rate increases in previous years helped revenue catch up to claims costs. Premium increases for 2020 so far appear likely to be moderate in many markets, after rates were relatively flat or even down this year, analysts and insurers said. (Wall Street Journal)