Today’s NewsStand – September 5, 2019

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

Iowa News

Doctors: Flu season could come early this year
Cases of the flu are already showing up in the Des Moines area. “We’re already starting to see people test positive for influenza A,” said Dr. Jennifer Long, with Unity Point Clinic. “There have been a few cases in the metro already.” She said her clinic typically starts administering flu shots in mid-September. This is the first time she has seen cases this early. In Australia, the flu broke out two months before it was expected. The United States uses Australia’s flu season to predict the year’s trends. MercyOne Des Moines’ first shipment of the flu vaccination just arrived on Thursday. (KCCI)

Northwest Iowa educators learn to respond to mental health crises
Boyden-Hull School District educators learned how to respond to mental health crises this week. Northwest Area Education Agency mental health coordinator Jennifer Collins tells Boyden-Hull educators about some techniques that can be used in mental health crises to prevent someone from acting on suicidal thoughts. (Northwest Iowa News)

MercyOne Centerville Medical Center raising awareness during suicide awareness month
September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness month and MercyOne Centerville Medical Center’s Senior Life Solutions program is working to raise awareness. MercyOne Centerville Medical Center’s Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of older adults suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression often related to aging. The Senior Life Solutions program staff is trained in the use of standardized, evidence-based tools for screening patients at risk of suicide. In addition, the staff assists the patient to create a plan to prevent future suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts. (Daily Iowegian)

National News

AHA, Intel urge FCC to broaden rural telehealth pilot participation
Stakeholders from the health care and technology sectors — including players like the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Physical Therapy Association and Verizon — submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overwhelmingly supporting its rural telehealth pilot, with many advising broader eligibility requirements for healthcare providers. The comment period closed Thursday. Lack of high-speed internet connections in rural areas has been a persistent barrier to broader adoption of telehealth services. (Healthcare Dive)

Missouri hospitals join ballot campaign to expand Medicaid
Missouri hospitals on Wednesday helped launch a campaign put Medicaid expansion on the ballot in November 2020. Backers estimate that more than 200,000 uninsured Missourians could qualify for Medicaid if the state expands eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. And hospital leaders are citing rural hospital closures to try to rally support. “Hospital closures in rural communities have increased the distance to lifesaving care for Missourians suffering from traumatic injuries, stroke and heart attack,” said Herb Kuhn, CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association. (Modern Healthcare)

Indiana seeks to impose slower, kinder work requirements on Medicaid recipients
When onetime governor Mike Pence and consultant Seema Verma ran Indiana’s conservative health-care system, they found a creative way to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act when many other red states rejected it. Unlike Kentucky, Arkansas and New Hampshire, Indiana isn’t facing massive pushback against its version of work requirements — so far, there have been no legal challenges against it, unlike the ones that resulted in rulings barring their implementation in other states. (Washington Post)