The Feed

Health Crisis: Rural Americans Most Vulnerable to Suicide

While the highly publicized deaths of celebrities frequently shock America, rural areas are suffering the most. Each year, thousands of Americans in small towns take their own lives after suffering — often for years — without adequate access to mental health professionals. It is time our elected officials and leaders of health care organizations examine the very system that is no longer able to serve rural Americans. In an era when drug use is skyrocketing in small communities, we should re-examine our priorities to stop more people from dying.

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Iowa Hospital Creates New Job to Address Human Trafficking

Teresa Davidson, a nurse practitioner at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, has been hired as Mercy’s anti-human trafficking coordinator. She is responsible for leading the hospital’s efforts to strengthen the comprehensive response to victims of human trafficking. “We know there is a great need for community response and collaboration on this growing problem,” said Davidson. “Human trafficking is really a modern-day form of slavery and there’s a huge need for a united effort to address the safety needs of the victims and develop a comprehensive response to the problem.

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The Governor Ray Way Seems Lost Today

Iowans will remember Governor Robert Ray for his character. His politics were focused on common sense public policy that worked for all Iowans. When Gov. Ray successfully advocated for Iowa toddler Katie Beckett to receive a home and community-based Medicaid waiver so she could leave the hospital and be cared for in her home, he observed, “It makes you feel good that things like this do develop; it makes you realize that government can be humanized.”

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Meet a Hospital Hero: Jessica Justi

Jessica Justi loves nursing because of the impact she has on the lives of patients and their families. Her influence has been felt far and wide, from the neighbors she serves at Sanford Sheldon Medical Center and throughout the Midwest through telemedicine. As nursing inpatient manager, Jessica not only provides exceptional patient care, she is a trusted leader, overseeing the emergency department staff and is a member of the facility’s nursing leadership team.

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How Iowa’s Individual Insurance Market Went from Bad to Worse

Iowa’s new law exempting certain health plans from state and federal regulation will make a bad situation worse for the state’s individual insurance market. The law is supposed to give individual market consumers access to cheaper, non-Obamacare health plans. But it’s likely the law will lead to further market segmentation as only healthier Iowans will benefit from these unregulated plans.

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Iowa’s Medicaid Mess is All Too Familiar

Much like Iowa, things have not gone well with Medicaid privatization in Kansas. And, again like Iowa, promises that the MCOs would save millions of dollars and make people healthier have been called into question. So much so that in April 2017, Kansas legislators directed the state’s independent auditors to find out whether KanCare is working. Their conclusion: It’s not.

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5 Things to Know about Medicaid Work Requirements

A lawsuit before the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., will determine whether tens of thousands of low-income adults in Kentucky will have to find jobs or volunteer in order to retain their health coverage. But the ruling could have far-reaching implications affecting millions of enrollees nationwide and determining how far the Trump administration can go in changing Medicaid without congressional action.

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Pre-existing Condition Coverage Denial is Back on Table

In the wake of failed efforts to gain support for their health plan last month, the White House is negotiating to put repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) back on the table. While the previous proposal would have already driven up health care costs and stripped millions of coverage, the new proposal is reported to include provisions that would undo protections for the more than 130 million Americans who have a pre-existing health condition.

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Essential to Health, Food Assistance Faces Uncertainty

The new Farm Bill aims to restrict eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP (food stamps) recipients across the country. Without SNAP, food banks like The Crisis Center in Johnson County could not meet client need. Food banks are designed to be a supplemental food source, not a replacement for food stamps. SNAP can provide 12 meals for every one meal a food pantry can provide. Already, The Crisis Center is nearing capacity, distributing almost 2 million pounds of food annually.

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