Today’s NewsStand — March 5, 2020

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

Iowa News       

10 things to know about Iowa’s proposed Medicaid work requirements
Iowa would join 20 other states in seeking a form of work requirements for some Medicaid recipients under a bill moving through the state Legislature. The Senate approved the bill, Senate File 2366, on Tuesday. In other states, work requirements for Medicaid recipients have resulted in legal challenges. The Senate bill has the backing of several Republicans but has met opposition from Democrats and many Iowa social service agencies. Here are 10 things to know about Iowa Republicans’ push for Medicaid work requirements. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa House oversight panel plans sessions on Medicaid, Glenwood
The Iowa House Government Oversight Committee is planning two meetings this month with Kelly Garcia, the new director of the Department of Human Services, to address Medicaid managed care and allegations of problems that have surfaced at the Glenwood Resource Center. Garcia’s appearance before the committee March 11 will be to bring lawmakers up to date on the state’s Medicaid managed care program. (Quad-City Times)

Coronavirus hasn’t reached Iowa, but it’s already having an effect on the state
The coronavirus outbreak hasn’t reached Iowa, yet, but the novel virus has already begun to impact daily life. State and local officials are evaluating a range of considerations this week about Iowans’ ability to do regular things like work, learn and congregate. Restrictions remain limited, but they have the potential, in some cases, to upend Iowans’ routines and lives. (Des Moines Register)

National News

Hospitals face worries of supply, staff shortages as coronavirus cases tick up
Hospitals are racing to prepare as top U.S. health officials warn the spread of the coronavirus will only ramp up in coming days. That includes checking supplies of personal protective equipment, as the FDA this week took steps to free up the supply chain. One of the biggest health system group purchasing organizations said it is getting barraged with calls from its members to get updates on clinical guidelines and potential supply chain interruptions. (Healthcare Dive)

ACA spurred ‘widespread improvements’ in protecting patients against financial risk
As the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act nears, researchers writing in Health Affairs have found the law eased cost barriers to coverage and care and lowered the financial risks of illness. The law pushed down the uninsured rate, improved access to care and “led to measurable gains in the financial well-being of poor Americans.” However, the courts and the current executive branch have impeded the ACA’s full potential. The Supreme Court ruling that made Medicaid expansion optional impeded coverage for millions of low-income Americans. (Healthcare Dive)

Vaccine costs emerge as roadblock to coronavirus funding deal
Vaccine affordability has emerged as a final roadblock to getting a deal on billions in funding to combat the coronavirus. Negotiators in Congress are hoping to unveil a funding deal soon, but as of early Tuesday evening,  lawmakers and top staff were haggling over the final sticking points.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the cost of a vaccine was “one of the arguments that’s still being disputed.” (The Hill)