Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.
Broadlawns Medical Center announces next chief medical officer
Broadlawns Medical Center has named Yogesh Shah as the organization’s next chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs, effective Jan. 6, 2020, the organization announced today. Shah succeeds Vincent Mandracchia, who retires in February after a 25-year career at Broadlawns, including 13 years in senior leadership. In his new role, Shah will assume oversight of the medical staff, credentialing, quality and risk management, and patient outcomes. (Des Moines Business Record)
Awareness, action and funding urged for Iowa children’s mental health crisis
On average, three children are evaluated for mental health issues every day at Iowa Lutheran Hospital’s emergency department. At the same time, Iowa’s mental health experts say that 80% of children in the state who are struggling with mental health needs never receive treatment. The creation of a framework for a Children’s Mental Health System in Iowa this year through the passage of House File 690 was a good beginning, but there is still a significant amount of work remaining to increase awareness and funding for all levels of mental health care. (Des Moines Business Record)
Iowa doctor launches campaign to ‘replenish kids’ mental health’
When emergency room doctor Jeffrey Brown saw the work of “accidental fundraiser” Carson King and his impact for the children at the Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Brown decided to use the momentum to create his own campaign — for all the kids. Brown said he was inspired to begin a campaign similar to King’s. On Dec. 5, Brown posted a photo to his personal Facebook account in his emergency room scrubs holding a sign that read, “Kids’ mental health needs replenished” and his Venmo account name, with the hashtag “For ALL the Kids.” (University of Iowa Daily Iowan)
Supreme Court seems sympathetic to insurers in Obamacare case
No clear split between conservative and liberal Supreme Court justices emerged Tuesday as justices heard arguments over whether the federal government could renege on Congress’ promise to pay health insurance companies billions to motivate them to participate in the Obamacare marketplaces. Health insurers hope to recoup $12 billion they believe is owed to them from that Affordable Care Act incentive program. During the hour of oral arguments, six justices appeared to favor the insurers’ argument. Samuel Alito seemed to side with the Trump administration. (Kaiser Health News)
More state laws back telehealth, but many stop short of mandates
A total of 42 states and Washington, D.C. have passed laws encouraging health insurance plans to cover telehealth services, although the specific provisions in the laws vary. Far fewer states — just 16 — address reimbursement specifically. Of those, ten states have payment parity requiring health insurers pay the same rates for virtual and in-person services, while the remainder set a rate ceiling, floor or outline instructions for negotiating payment rates. (Healthcare Dive)
Will glitches in Medicare’s ‘plan finder’ leave some seniors stuck in the wrong plan?
Saturday is the deadline for most people with Medicare coverage to sign up for private drug and medical plans for next year. But members of Congress, health care advocates and insurance agents worry that enrollment decisions based on bad information from the government’s revamped, error-prone Plan Finder website will bring unwelcome surprises. Beneficiaries could be stuck in plans that cost too much and don’t meet their medical needs — with no way out until 2021. (Iowa Public Radio)