Today’s NewsStand — June 2, 2020

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

Iowa news

Region boosts support for children’s mental health care

Financial support for deploying mobile crisis counselors to schools and paying professionals for at least some of their time collaborating on a child’s care are among the hallmarks of a regional plan for improving children’s mental health services. The children’s behavioral health plan — adopted last month by the East Central Region — provides $370,000 to expand children’s mental health services in the nine-county region in fiscal 2021 starting July 1. Iowa is divided into 14 mental health regions, and the counties in them impose property taxes to support their proportional share of the region’s levy. The levy is assessed to each landowner in the county based on population. (The Gazette)

Some southwest Iowa counties see increase in COVID-19 cases

In southwest Iowa, Crawford County had 14 new cases of COVID-19, according to coronavirus.iowa.gov. The county, home to multiple meatpacking plants — which have been susceptible to coronavirus throughout the state and country — had conducted 1,905 tests, with 27% — 514 — coming back positive. (The Nonpareil)

Iowa Corn delivering pizza to hospitals

Daryl Haack made a special delivery to health-care workers at MercyOne Primghar Medical Center and Clinics on Wednesday, May 27. Haack, who farms near Primghar, is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and was chosen to deliver pizzas from Casey’s to MercyOne Primghar at lunchtime. This project was designed by Iowa Corn and its members to thank health-care workers during the coronavirus pandemic. (NwestIowa.com)

National news

Home alone with COVID-19? A monitoring program can help

Being sick from the coronavirus can be a lonely experience. Most patients recover at home and remain in quarantine to avoid spreading the virus. For many, the illness it causes, COVID-19, is like a bad case of influenza, with fever, headache, coughs and fatigue. But the disease can be unpredictable, sometimes taking an abrupt turn for the worse. That can have dire consequences for people who are home alone recovering and might not be able to get to an emergency room. To address that problem, Sanford Health has developed a home monitoring program for patients recovering from COVID-19. Hospitals have enough beds only for the sickest patients. (Grand Forks Herald)

Key challenges for hospitals in the age of COVID-19

Before the arrival of COVID-19, many hospitals were facing daunting challenges — financial, regulatory and managerial. In April 2020, all three rating agencies lowered the financial outlook to negative, citing increased costs and a reduction in admissions and outpatient visits as creating new financial pressure on hospitals. Those came on top of existing concerns around low reimbursement from government payers and coverage shifts from employer-sponsored insurance to Medicare. What the rapidly spreading virus has wrought, beyond its epidemiological effects, is to severely exacerbate the aforementioned challenges. No health care organization has been exempt from the wrath of the coronavirus. (The Hill)

What will health care look like after COVID-19?

The health care landscape has drastically changed since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the United States. Doctors restructured office waiting rooms and now greet patients daring enough to keep regular visits wearing masks. Hospitals cut elective surgeries, limited visitors and scrambled to provide protection for workers. Tests and annual checkups have been postponed or converted to virtual visits. (Ithaca Journal)