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‘Warm’ Hotlines Deliver Help Before Mental Health Crisis Heats Up

Unlike a hotline for those in immediate crisis, warmlines provide early intervention with emotional support that can prevent a crisis, and a more costly 911 call or emergency room visit. The lines are typically free, confidential peer-support services staffed by volunteers or paid employees who have experienced mental health conditions themselves. Warmlines can also fill a need in rural communities where access to care is limited or provide after-hours support in urban areas.

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Candidates Are Betting Big On Health. Is That What Voters Really Want?

The one thing we know about health care in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race is that it’s a top issue for voters. But it might surprise people that the last time a health overhaul was a major issue in the Democratic presidential primary race ― in 2008 ― it wasn’t the candidate with the most sweeping plan who emerged as the winner.

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Iowa Hospitals Exceed $945 Million in Community Benefit

Iowa hospitals continue to implement strategies that increase value to their patients and communities by offering high-quality care to individuals, addressing health needs and implementing process improvements that bend the cost curve. By seeking out ways to raise quality, reduce waste and increase safety, Iowa hospitals have become value leaders in their communities. A statewide survey by the Iowa Hospital Association shows Iowa hospitals provided community benefits in 2018 valued at more than $945 million.

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More Adolescents Seek Medical Care For Mental Health Issues

The spike in youth mental health visits corresponds with a recent survey that found that members of “Generation Z” — defined in the survey as people born since 1997 — are more likely than other generations to report their mental health as fair or poor. The 2018 polling, done on behalf of the American Psychological Association, also found that members of Generation Z, along with millennials, are more likely to report receiving treatment for mental health issues.

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Ringgold County Hospital ER Director Names 2019 Hospital Hero

The symphony at Ringgold County Hospital may not be as easy on the ears as a group of talented musicians, but what it does have is orchestrated beauty of health care delivery in the emergency department. This department is lead by emergency medical director and Iowa Hospital Hero, Dr. Angela Kerchner. Harmony is what Dr. Kerchner portrays in her work and everyday life. She also brings her therapy dog, Winkey, to visit with patients and relieve anxiety associated with illness.

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States Try A Gentler Approach To Getting Medicaid Enrollees To Work

The Trump administration has approved Medicaid work requirements in nine states, with requests from nine others pending. Arkansas is the only state to implement the requirements, and more than 18,000 enrollees there lost coverage from June 2018 to March 2019 — with little sign many found jobs. Since then, a federal judge struck down the work requirements in Arkansas, Kentucky and New Hampshire. A handful of states are offering alternatives to get more enrollees into jobs to lift them out of poverty and off Medicaid.

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As Vaping Devices Evolve, New Potential Hazards Scrutinized

The smokeless tobacco industry that began with low-voltage cigarette look-alikes has evolved to include customizable, high-wattage machines capable of generating enormous clouds of vapor ― and potentially toxic substances. As the technology continues to change, researchers are finding more evidence that the way vaping devices and e-liquids interact could harm consumers. High-powered devices may overheat vaping liquids to produce toxic chemicals, tobacco experts warn, and the aerosol that is inhaled may be contaminated with dangerous metals from the device.

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Taking Cops out of Mental Health-Related 911 Rescues

Nationally, police officers carry the brunt of responding to mental health issues. In 2017, law enforcement agencies spent $918 million transporting people with severe mental illness, according to a 2019 survey from the Treatment Advocacy Center. It also estimated that officers spend 21% of their time responding to and transferring people for mental health issues.

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Why Hospitals Are Getting Into The Housing Business

Legally and morally, hospitals cannot discharge patients if they have no safe place to go. So patients who are homeless, frail or live alone, or have unstable housing, can occupy hospital beds for weeks or months — long after their acute medical problem is resolved. For hospitals, it means losing money because a patient lingering in a bed without medical problems doesn’t generate much, if any, income.

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