Today’s NewsStand – September 17, 2019

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

Iowa News

Mental health care programs expand to 21 new school districts in Iowa
More than 70,000 students in eastern Iowa school districts will have access to more mental health services starting this fall. On Monday, the Grant Wood Area Education Agency announced new pilot programs to help students. It will serve 21 new school districts that have few mental health services. The idea started about a year ago when Grant Wood AEA set a goal to expand access to mental health care. That’s especially for rural areas, where waiting lists to see a counselor can reach seven months. (KCRG)

Hawarden Regional Healthcare spreads mental health awareness for seniors
September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month and Hawarden Regional Healthcare’s Senior Life Solutions program is working to raise awareness. HRH’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 program staff includes a board-certified psychiatrist, licensed social workers, a registered nurse and other health care professionals dedicated to the emotional well-being of the seniors in the community. (Northwest Iowa News)

‘Rock the Stigma’ event shines light to mental health and suicide prevention
September is National Suicide Awareness Month and to shed light on the stigmas on mental health local organizations teamed up to Rock the Stigma. Over the weekend, the Siouxland Mental Health Center hosted their 3rd annual Rock the Stigma event at a local coffee shop, the Koffie Knechtion. Along with local vendors, live music, food trucks, and kid’s activities. The goal of today’s event was to shine a light on the stigma surrounding suicide. (KMEG)

National News

AHA: Proposed CMS rule hinders Medicaid reimbursements
American Hospital Association (AHA) is concerned that the recent CMS proposal to relax the 2015 mandatory Medicaid access monitoring review plans will limit providers’ ability to confront Medicaid reimbursement failures and remove needed oversight of states’ access to care. AHA argued that the access monitoring review is the only platform that providers and beneficiaries still have to confront reimbursement failures.  The association concluded that CMS should seek out stakeholders’ opinions on the best approach to access monitoring. (Health Payer Intelligence)

Debt-collection lawsuits from hospitals receive federal attention
CMS Administrator Seema Verma and consumer advocates are speaking out about recent media reports that highlighted hospitals’ medical debt collection practices and lawsuits they filed against patients. In response to the media reports, Ms. Verma expressed her viewpoint. “We are learning the lengths to which certain nonprofit hospitals go to collect the full list price from uninsured patients,” she said during a Sept. 10 American Hospital Association meeting in Washington, according to published remarks. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Air ambulances woo rural consumers with memberships that may leave them hanging
Insurance seldom covers air ambulance trips and consumers often are surprised to get a bill showing they are responsible for the bulk of the cost. However, both Medicare and Medicaid control the price of the service, so enrollees in those government insurance programs face much lower out-of-pocket costs or have none. AirMedCare Network, which includes 340 bases across mostly rural America, has more than 3 million people enrolled in memberships, said Seth Myers, president of Air Evac Lifeteam, one of the medevac companies under the AirMedCare Network umbrella. (Kaiser Health News)