Today’s NewsStand — Feb. 6, 2020

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

Iowa News       

MercyOne restores labor and delivery services in West Des Moines
Four years after shutting down its birthing center, MercyOne West Des Moines will bring back delivery and early child care service. Officials with the hospital announced an ambitious, $13.2 million project Wednesday to renovate the vacant seventh floor with 20 suites for labor, delivery and recovery. The floor, which is scheduled to open Oct. 1, will also feature a four-room neonatal intensive care unit and two surgical suites. (Des Moines Register)

Trinity Muscatine hospital set to pause labor and delivery services
Today UnityPoint Health announced that the Trinity Muscatine hospital will be pausing labor and delivery services starting on February 7. We expect this pause to be temporary while we continue conversations toward a long-term sustainable solution the community deserves,” said Robert Erickson, president & CEO of UnityPoint Health – Trinity. Some options for current expecting mothers include the UnityPoint Health – Trinity BirthPlace locations in Bettendorf and Moline, as well University of Iowa hospitals in Iowa City. (Our Quad Cities)

Iowa Specialty Hospital-Belmond among nation’s 22 patient-recommended hospitals
Iowa Specialty Hospital – Belmond has once again received a 5 star rating according to data from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital Compare. Only 407 hospitals received this recognition nationwide. To calculate the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) star ratings, HCAHPS survey information from one hospital is compared to that from other hospitals. The hospital was among the top patient-recommended hospitals in the country, according to the most recent HCAHPS scores. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

National News

HHS defends forcing hospitals to reveal negotiated rates
Patients deserve to know how much their hospital care will cost before they receive care, HHS argued in a brief filed Tuesday in response to a lawsuit challenging the agency’s price transparency rule. HHS argued that Congress intended for hospital prices to be made public, pointing to the Public Health Service Act passed in 2010, which calls for hospitals to share their standard charges. The rule in question defines which standard charges must be made public, the agency said. (Healthcare Dive)

Governors warn Trump rule could lead to big Medicaid cuts
Governors of both major political parties are warning that a little-noticed regulation proposed by President Donald Trump’s administration could lead to big cuts in Medicaid, reducing access to health care for low-income Americans. The rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, would tighten federal oversight and approval over complex financing strategies states have long used to help pay for their share of the $600 billion program. Also targeted are certain payments to hospitals that treat many low-income patients. (Associated Press/US News and World Report)

US officials promise ‘aggressive measures’ to contain coronavirus
Four military bases in Texas, California and Colorado were preparing to house American citizens for up to two weeks as part of a highly unusual federal effort aimed at slowing the spread of the deadly coronavirus. As of late Monday, though, expectations that a large number of Americans who had traveled to parts of China might quickly be held under quarantine had not come to pass. No new travelers from China had been brought to the military bases, federal officials said. (New York Times)