Today’s NewsStand – October 2, 2019

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

Iowa News

Carson King’s viral fundraiser pulls in $2.95 million for University of Iowa Children’s Hospital
Carson King announced Tuesday that his viral fundraiser for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital raised $2,959,336.30 King’s personal Venmo account received more than $920,000 in donations. The remaining money came via fund-matching agreements from Anheuser-Busch and Venmo. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics CEO Suresh Gunasekaran said the exposure is helping people learn about the hospital’s programs. “We are extremely thankful for all the generosity from everyone,” Gunasekaran said. (KCCI)

Variety grant provides new heart and lung machine at MercyOne Children’s Hospital
MercyOne Children’s Hospital has received a $200,000 grant from Variety -the Children’s Charity to fund significant medical equipment for the hospital’s pediatric cardiac care program. The Variety grant will fund essential equipment for the pediatric cardiac care program, including a new heart-lung machine utilized in cardiac surgeries. MercyOne has Central Iowa’s only comprehensive program that specializes in heart disease in infants, children and adolescents. The new equipment will directly benefit hundreds of Iowa’s sickest children. (Des Moines Business Record)

Faculty at Iowa City high schools to undergo training for violence prevention, mental health
Staff members at Iowa City schools will soon take part in new training when interacting with students- and that training could help students in certain crisis situations. The training is intended to help teachers and employees respond to threats of violence inside schools, and help students with mental health. The district received a grant from the state’s Department of Education that gives about $11,000 per school that is awarded the grant. All three high schools in the Iowa City Community School District were eligible for the grant, through the STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program. (KCRG)

National News

New round of Medicare readmission penalties hits 2,583 hospitals
Medicare cut payments to 2,583 hospitals Tuesday, continuing the Affordable Care Act’s eight-year campaign to financially pressure hospitals into reducing the number of patients who return for a second stay within a month. The severity and broad application of the penalties, which Medicare estimates will cost hospitals $563 million over a year, follows the trend of the past few years. Of the 3,129 general hospitals evaluated in the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, 83% received a penalty, which will be deducted from each payment for a Medicare patient stay over the fiscal year that begins today. (Kaiser Health News)

Hospitals, insurers urge CMS to abandon plan to force negotiated price disclosure
Hospitals and health insurers may not see eye to eye on a lot, but they do agree that the federal government’s proposal to make hospitals publicly post payer-negotiated rates for medical services would be bad for business and patients. In comments on the hospital outpatient prospective payment proposed rule, they urged the CMS to abandon the plan. Hospitals also asked CMS to rethink reimbursement cuts to 340B hospitals and for outpatient clinic visits. Hospitals and health insurers unanimously agreed that the CMS’ proposal to require hospitals to post payer-negotiated rates would do little to further price transparency and would likely just confuse patients. (Modern Healthcare)

Screen patients for social determinants of health with the four-part tool
The American Hospital Association has developed a 4-part tool to help health care providers screen patients for social determinants of health (SDOH). Social needs such as housing and food security can have a crucial effect on patient health. By making direct investments in initiatives designed to address SDOHs and working with community partners, healthcare organizations can help patients achieve positive health outcomes in ways beyond the traditional provision of medical services. A collaborative approach to designing social needs screening features health care providers, patients, and community stakeholders. (HealthLeaders Media)