Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 22, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Federal opioid shift could have Iowa health implications
Opioids have been the focus of much of the federal effort to fight drug abuse in recent years, raising concerns for some that the effort deprived states with serious meth problems the funding to continue that fight. But a change buried in Congress’ massive spending bill, which was passed late last year, could change that. The change, which had bipartisan support, will allow federal money earmarked to fight opioid addiction to be used in programs that target meth and cocaine as well. Changing the funding has implications that go beyond addiction. (Ottumwa Courier)

Telehospitalist program helps rural medical center
You might see the doctor in a different way at one Iowa hospital, and it could help solve a problem for health care in rural Iowa. The hospital rolled out the telehospitalist program in November. The program uses technology to bring providers to a patient’s bedside on the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift. Hospitalist Medical Director Dr. Alex Cathey demonstrated how it works. “The telehospitalist program is a program that allows trained physicians to interact with patients virtually over the computer. (WHO)

Suicide prevention line on public school ID’s? Iowa lawmakers say yes
Another bill under consideration at the Statehouse could help save lives for young people struggling with a mental health crisis. Earlier this month, a bill was introduced by the Committee on Education that would require public schools to include the National Suicide Prevention Line on student identification cards. Mental illness experts say it’s a step in the right direction. (CBS2Iowa)

National News

Supreme Court declines to fast-track Affordable Care Act review
The Supreme Court has declined to fast-track review of the Affordable Care Act. The Justices today denied a motion by Democratic-led states and opposed by the Department of Justice and Republican states, to review an appeals court decision that sent the case back to a district court in Texas. The appeals court had ruled that the individual mandate was invalid, but sent back to the lower court a decision on whether the rest of the law could stand without it. The American Hospital Association and other hospital organizations urged the Supreme Court to hear the review the case this term. (Healthcare Finance)

Powerful House committee is latest to take stab at ‘surprise’ billing fix
The leaders of a powerful House committee are aiming to break through a legislative quagmire as Congress tries to deliver on the stubbornly elusive goal of protecting patients from “surprise” medical bills. A one-page plan from Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and ranking member Kevin Brady (R-Texas) is at odds with a detailed bipartisan deal struck between key House and Senate committees late last year to settle billing disputes that can leave patients on the hook for thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses. (Politico)

Washington man is 1st in US to catch new virus from China
The U.S. on Tuesday reported its first case of a new and potentially deadly virus circulating in China, saying a Washington state resident who returned last week from the outbreak’s epicenter was hospitalized near Seattle. The man, identified as a Snohomish County resident is in his 30s, was in good condition and wasn’t considered a threat to medical staff or the public, health officials said. U.S. officials stressed that they believe the virus’ overall risk to the American public remained low. (Associated Press)