Today’s NewsStand — Dec. 2, 2019

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

Iowa News            

Iowa employers step up to improve workplace health
New research shows that mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, can lead to heart disease – a reason the American Heart Association of Iowa is working closely with employers to help create a culture of health and wellness in the workplace. Wesley Franklin, community impact director for the American Heart Association of Iowa, works directly with employers in Des Moines to improve employee health. He starts by addressing good food choices, exercise and sleep habits. (KMALand)

MercyOne Oakland, Primghar and Hawarden Regional Healthcare add mental health services
MercyOne Oakland and Primghar medical centers and Hawarden Regional Healthcare add health services for patients. At MercyOne Oakland, MercyOne Primghar and Hawarden Regional Healthcare, people can now schedule a video appointment to see a psychiatrist from the convenient location of your local hospital. The benefits of the video appointment will include shorter wait times, convenience, and the best coordination of care. (Siouxland Proud)

Cedar Rapids surgeon among first to use new port da Vinci robotic system
A Cedar Rapids surgeon recently has begun deploying a new surgical robot in UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s operating room, making him among the first physicians in the nation to use the new, advanced technology for certain procedures. Starting in September, Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa urologist Dr. Jon Rippentrop has been performing surgeries using the da Vinci Single Port SP — a robotic system that received FDA-approval for urologic surgeries this past year. The system initially was released to a limited number of hospitals across the world — including St. Luke’s. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

US life expectancy down in recent years after increasing for decades
Life expectancy in the United States has fallen since 2014 after six decades of increasing. The driving force is in middle-aged deaths from drug overdoses, suicides and organ system diseases, according to a wide-reaching report published Tuesday in JAMA. The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers noted the slowdown and eventual decline in life expectancy comes despite the U.S. spending far more than other high-income countries that show better health outcomes. (Healthcare Dive)

Tennessee becomes new front in fight to overhaul Medicaid
Tennessee is the latest battleground for the Trump administration as it tries to implement drastic, conservative changes to Medicaid. While some red states have begun pushing back from imposing work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries in the face of lawsuits, Tennessee is forging ahead with an even more controversial proposal. The administration is currently reviewing a plan from Tennessee to convert Medicaid into a block grant, a proposal that, if approved, could be the first in the nation. (The Hill)

Trump’s drug importation plan faces resistance in US, Canada
President Trump’s proposal to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada faces significant headwinds from U.S. pharmaceutical companies and the Canadian government. Canadian officials warn their country is too small to supply their neighbors to the south with prescription drugs, an argument that American drugmakers quickly seized on after years of aggressively opposing all drug importation efforts. But Trump — eager for a win on drug prices amid the impeachment inquiry and heading into 2020 — is showing no signs of backing off. (The Hill)