Today’s NewsStand – November 4 , 2019

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

Iowa News

Democratic White House candidates make their pitch at Iowa dinner
A parade of 13 Democratic presidential hopefuls vowed on Friday to oust Republican Donald Trump from the White House in 2020, promising a raucous crowd in Iowa they would lead the fight to fulfill longtime party goals like ending income inequality and providing universal health care. Standing alone on a podium-free stage in the middle of a basketball arena, the candidates urged more than 12,000 roaring Democrats to think about what kind of candidate they want to lead the party in the November 2020 election. (Reuters)

Iowa DHS explains plan to combat waiting times for mental health patients
After KCCI aired Thursday night’s story on mental health in Iowa, the Department of Human Services reached out to talk about how it’s trying to solve the mental health problems in Iowa, specifically regarding long wait times. Matt Highland, with DHS, said a law signed in the spring was designed to prevent this issue. He said changes due to the new law are already underway. The law will create crisis mobile response teams, regional crisis stabilization and a 24-hour hotline access to services. (KCCI)

MercyOne accountable care programs release savings, quality data
MercyOne announced it reduced the cost of care by more than $10.3 million for Medicare-enrolled patients in 2018, and provided $5.2 million in payments through the Medicare Shared Savings Program to its participant organizations. The health system also improved the quality of care for its 72,000 Medicare patients, as measured by quality scores of its accountable care organizations. (Des Moines Business Record)

National News

Trump Administration delays rule forcing hospital cost transparency
The Trump administration is delaying a rule that would require hospitals to share secret, negotiated rates because officials said they are working to expand the plan to include insurers. The delay is a reprieve for hospital groups that have said they were prepared to sue to block the rule. But it portends a bigger legal tussle over how far the federal government can go in mandating disclosure of rates that the hospital industry considers contractual trade secrets. (Wall Street Journal)

CMS moves forward with site-neutral payments, slashes 340B payments
CMS on Friday will move forward with site-neutral payments for doctor’s visits, even though a federal judge ruled against the policy earlier this year. The Trump administration will roll out the payments under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System, which will pay doctors the same amount for a basic visit whether it takes place in a hospital outpatient facility or a regular doctors’ office. CMS estimates that the change will cut copays for people on Medicare and slash federal spending by $800 million in 2020. (Modern Healthcare)

Widespread glitches occur on first day of ‘Obamacare’ sign-ups
Trump administration officials say they’re working to resolve problems with HealthCare.gov following reports of widespread technical glitches on the first day of “Obamacare” sign-ups. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a statement Friday that it’s aware that some consumers trying to sign up for health insurance have received error messages from the online system. The agency said its “highest priority” is to fix the issues quickly to provide a “seamless consumer experience.” (Associated Press)