Today’s NewsStand — May 19, 2020

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

Iowa news

It’s time to honor emergency medical service providers

In Webster County and all across America, teams of dedicated professionals stand ready to render medical assistance in emergencies. For some this is their career. For many others, it is a volunteer undertaking that is performed in addition to their normal employment. It’s impossible to overstate how important emergency medical service (EMS) personnel can be to just about any of us in a moment when knowledgeable help is needed fast. Honoring the men and women who handle this vital work is appropriate at all times, but especially so just now. That’s because National EMS Week begins Sunday and continues through Saturday. (The Messenger)

Mysterious illness linked to COVID-19 in children confirmed in eastern Iowa

The medical community is keeping a close eye on a new COVID-19-linked illness affecting children. A spokesperson from MercyOne confirmed Iowa’s first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, in eastern Iowa. A CDC report says the syndrome is associated with COVID-19 and that the cases so far appeared in children who tested positive for the virus. At least three young people have died in New York, where more than 100 cases have been reported, according to NBC News. (WHO-TV)

Mental health therapist concerned about telehealth reimbursements after emergency proclamation ends

Many medical professionals have turned to meeting with patients via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the national emergency proclamation, healthcare providers are able to still get fully reimbursed for those services, but one provider who is concerned about what will happen after that proclamation ends. Outpatient Mental Health Therapist Ann Blake works at Cedar Centre. She’s been working from home since April, meeting with patients. “None of us want to be working for less money obviously,” said Blake. However, she says that could be a reality in the near future for her and other medical professionals that choose to continue working remotely. (KCRG)

National news

Visa suppression puts some rural doctors in danger

Dr. Ala Al Nofal is one of only five pediatric endocrinologists in South and North Dakota combined. A Syrian citizen, Al Nofal is in the US through a special workforce development program for doctors completing their residencies on the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. The program allows him to remain in the US for a maximum of three years until he commits to practice in a doctor-scarcity area. After President Donald Trump issued a temporary immigration ban limiting people from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Syria, from entering the US, Al Nofal’s future in America is uncertain. (Ferrum College Iron Blade Online)

Wisconsin drama evidence of need for good policy, smart public behavior

The scene from Wisconsin provided a perfect illustration of the careful balancing act faced by elected officials as states deal with how to reopen businesses during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Literally hours after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ virus mitigation orders this past week, Wisconsinites poured and packed into bars across the state. If anyone needs a visualization of public health officials’ greatest nightmares during a pandemic, check out photos from Wisconsin bars on Wednesday night: dozens of people packed into small, indoor spaces. (Globe Citizen)

It’s safe to see your doctor, ailing health-care industry tells prospective patients

Health-care providers are facing a dilemma. While some are busy, or even nearly overwhelmed providing care for patients with COVID-19, others have seen a huge drop in the number of patients at their offices, clinics and hospital emergency rooms. Sick people are staying away, even if they’re having heart attacks or strokes. Health-care providers are taking steps to convince people who aren’t suffering from the coronavirus to get the treatment they need. (Marketplace)