Today’s NewsStand – September 11, 2019

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

Iowa News

Years later, Iowa health care providers continue to fight AmeriHealth Caritas for $1.4M
Providers of Medicaid services in Iowa say they’re owed up to $1.4 million by an insurance company that left the Iowa Medicaid program two years ago. Documents filed with the Iowa Insurance Division show AmeriHealth Caritas could owe as much as $1.4 million to Iowa hospitals, nursing homes and providers of mental health services. A hospital in Vinton and a nursing home company in Hampton are among Iowa providers that have sued for payment of tens of thousands of dollars. (Des Moines Register)

Advocates urge others to discuss mental health on World Suicide Prevention Day
Suicide rates are increasing, both in Iowa and across the country. But prevention is possible, that’s what mental health advocates want everyone to know on World Suicide Prevention Day. Members from area non-profits, medical staff and city leaders all gathered before Cedar Rapids City Council Tuesday to think of ways to decrease suicide rates. They all agreed it’s time to end the stigma surrounding mental health. Volunteers and staff hope talking to more people about mental health will start to reduce the stigma. (KCRG)

MercyOne partners with Food Bank of Siouxland for local food pantry deliveries
A local hospital is teaming up with the Food Bank of Siouxland to make sure people have enough to eat. MercyOne is the new sponsor of one of the Food Bank’s delivery trucks that is on the road every day taking food to local food pantries. Those trucks rack up a lot of miles and cost a lot to keep running. With this sponsorship, MercyOne’s logo will now be on the back of that truck, helping keep 25,000 food-insecure people fed each day. (Siouxland News)

National News

Fewer children had health insurance in 2018 than year before, census data shows
Nearly half a million more children were uninsured in 2018 than in 2017, according to data out Tuesday from the U.S. Census Bureau. The drop stems primarily from a decline in the number of children covered by public programs such programs as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. For the second year in a row, there was an uptick — 5.5% of children under age 19 did not have health insurance last year. (Iowa Public Radio)

Time is running out to stall Medicaid DSH cuts
Hospitals across the country are gearing up for a fight to once again delay the cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital program slated to take effect next month. The Medicaid DSH program is designed to give safety-net hospitals, which serve a large share of low-income patients and uninsured patients, more financial flexibility. Congress has delayed cuts to DSH funding four times since 2013. The American Hospital Association and other national hospital groups called on policymakers in February to implement another delay for scheduled cuts to the Medicaid DSH program. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Telepsychiatry helps recruitment and patient care in rural areas
Growing problems with addiction and depression have made the country’s shortage of mental health professionals much more acute for rural areas. Geographic isolation exacerbates a vicious cycle. A shortage of doctors means patients can’t get timely care. The health system atrophies, and doctor recruitment gets even tougher. As a potential workaround, telemedicine is one of the most promising and lucrative opportunities in healthcare. The way it has transformed both psychiatric care and recruitment for Meridian is a case study of its appeal. (Iowa Public Radio)