Today’s NewsStand – September 13, 2019

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

Iowa News

New short-term health plans coming for Iowans, more under consideration
The Iowa Insurance Division has approved the sale of short-term limited-duration health plans, opening the door for more Iowans to obtain health care coverage outside the federal Affordable Care Act marketplace. The state insurance regulator has approved the sale of two 364-day health plans by Golden Rule Insurance Co., a unit of UnitedHealthcare, and United States Fire Insurance Co., the Iowa Insurance Division announced Thursday. These plans are targeted to individuals who are priced out of the individual health insurance market through the ACA, the Obama-era marketplace. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Iowa DHS: New director, no direction
Gov. Kim Reynolds says she doesn’t want to micromanage her next director of the Iowa Department of Human Services. Last week, the governor announced her appointment of Kelly Garcia to lead one of the largest entities in state government. The position was vacated after the governor asked former director Jerry Foxhoven to retire, without offering a detailed explanation for the leadership change. During a recent news conference, Reynolds articulated her light-touch philosophy for overseeing her appointees. Problem is, Reynolds still hasn’t articulated her vision for human services in Iowa. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

MercyOne-North Iowa expanding to freeborn county
It was announced Thursday that the Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition has selected MercyOne-North Iowa to extend its services to the county. The exact location of the clinic was not released, but the plan is for the facility to open in the early summer of 2020. Plans for the new clinic will be delivered in phases – starting with a primary care clinic with enough space for visiting specialists and extended hours for urgent care, including the weekends. Rod Schlader, the president of MercyOne-North Iowa, said there is “great anticipation” for the agreement. (KIMT)

National News

Public charge rule to boost uncompensated care costs, hospitals say
The American Hospital Association (AHA) and five other hospital groups urged a court on Wednesday to stop a Department of Homeland Security final rule that is likely to reduce the number of insured individuals, leading to greater uncompensated care costs for hospitals. Finalized in August 2019, the final rule will expand the government’s ability to determine whether a legal immigrant is or will become a public charge, which makes them inadmissible to the US and ineligible to become a legal permanent resident. (RevCyclce Intelligence)

States pass record number of laws to reel in drug prices
Whether Congress will act this year to address the affordability of prescription remains uncertain. But states aren’t waiting. So far this year, 33 states have enacted a record 51 laws to address drug prices, affordability and access. That tops the previous record of 45 laws enacted in 28 states set just last year. Among the new measures are those that authorize importing prescription drugs, screen for excessive price increases by drug companies and establish oversight boards to set the prices states will pay for drugs. (Kaiser Health News)

Optimists for the win: Finding the bright side might help you live longer
A Boston study published this month suggests people who tend to be optimistic are likelier than others to live to be 85 years old or more. That finding was independent of other factors thought to influence life’s length — such as “socioeconomic status, health conditions, depression, social integration, and health behaviors,” the researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health say. Their work appears in a recent issue of the science journal PNAS. (NPR)