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Dr. Mark Johnson: A 2019 Iowa Hospital Hero

Dr. Mark Johnson, emergency department physician at Cass County Health System in Atlantic, was among 11 Iowa Hospital Heroes recognized at the 2019 IHA Annual Meeting in October. Dr. Johnson received his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1984. After completing his residency at the Broadlawns Family Medicine Residency Program, he returned to his hometown of Atlantic in 1987. After many years of working at Atlantic Medical Center and the emergency department (ED), he transferred full-time to the ED in 2012, where he still works today.

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A reality check on artificial intelligence: Are health care claims overblown?

Health products powered by artificial intelligence, or AI, are streaming into our lives, from virtual doctor apps to wearable sensors and drugstore chatbots. AI can help doctors interpret MRIs of the heart, CT scans of the head and photographs of the back of the eye, and could potentially take over many mundane medical chores, freeing doctors to spend more time talking to patients. Yet many health industry experts fear AI-based products won’t be able to match the hype.

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Brain scientists tap into the secrets of living well longer

“Healthspan,” a coinage now gaining traction, refers to the years that a person can expect to live in generally good health — free of chronic illnesses and cognitive decline that can emerge near life’s end. Although there’s only so much a person can do to delay the onset of disease, there’s plenty that scientists are learning to improve your chances of a better healthspan.

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Surprising Swings in Momentum for Surprise Medical Bills Legislation

Surprise bills, the often-exorbitant medical bills that come when a patient doesn’t realize they’ve been seen by a provider outside their insurance network, have in recent months been viewed as public enemy No. 1 on Capitol Hill. After months of hearings and negotiations, millions of dollars in attack ads, full-court press lobbying efforts and countless rounds of negotiations, Congress appeared to be moving toward a solution to the nation’s surprise medical bill problem. Sort of.

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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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