Today’s NewsStand — Feb. 11, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Iowa Legislature considering Medicaid payment change
A plan to make a change to how doctors and patients use Medicaid could be coming through the Iowa Legislature. State Senator Julian Garrett tells KNIA News there is a law in Iowa that allows doctors to have a direct contract with patients in the private sector for basic medical needs, rather than go through insurance and have the administrative work that goes along with it. Garrett also said he is trying to implement that same principle for those who use Medicaid. (KNIA)

MercyOne Newton Medical Center provided $3.1 million in community benefit in 2018
MercyOne Newton Medical Center provided $3,117,365 in community benefits to Jasper County in 2018, according to a recently completed assessment of those programs and services. That amount, based on 2018 figures, includes $2,979,408 in uncompensated care and $22,288 in free or discounted community benefits that MercyOne Newton specifically implemented to help Jasper County residents. (Newton Daily News)

Coronavirus results negative in two Iowans tested for deadly virus, IDPH says
A pair of Iowans in a self-imposed quarantine after traveling to China have tested negative for the new coronavirus, officials say. The unnamed individuals are still voluntarily under home confinement and were tested last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. The sickness has infected 40,000 worldwide and killed nearly 1,000 people, with most cases occurring in China, concentrated near the city of Wuhan. (Des Moines Register)

National News

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 healthcare for low-income Americans. The arcane fiscal accountability rule proposed by the 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. (Modern Healthcare)

Powerful House committee releases new surprise billing proposal
Leaders of the House Ways & Means Committee on Friday released bipartisan legislation to ban balance billing that excludes benchmark payment and mediation threshold policies that have drawn ire from hospitals and specialty physician groups. The Federation of American Hospitals announced its support of the Ways & Means legislation on Friday. The American Hospital Association is still reviewing the proposal. (Modern Healthcare)

13th American diagnosed with coronavirus as death toll tops 1,000 in China
A 13th American was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus on Monday as the death toll in China topped an ominous 1,000 with health officials struggling to contain the epidemic. The American tested positive for the disease in San Diego, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesperson confirmed to ABC News on Monday evening. The patient had arrived from China on the first evacuation flight to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. The flight landed at the military base on Feb. 5 and the passengers were to be quarantined for 14 days. (ABC News)