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Meet a Hospital Hero: Lupita Chavez

Lupita Chavez has worked at Dallas County Hospital for 17 years as a licensed practical nurse. In the last year and a half, she has transitioned from a full-time position on Dallas County Hospital’s medical surgical floor to full-time as a Hispanic outreach coordinator. Lupita was nominated for her impact to our community through her commitment to Dallas County Hospital’s mission: To improve the health of the people we serve.

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Iowa Well Represented in Healthiest Communities List

Many Iowa counties are among the healthiest communities in the United States, according to new nationwide listings. The 2019 Healthiest Communities Rankings, an annual list compiled by U.S. News & World Report and the Aetna Foundation, measured counties in Iowa and other states on several health-related metrics, such as obesity and smoking rates as well as infrastructure and access to recreational spaces. Ida County, located in west central Iowa between Sioux City and Fort Dodge, was ranked as the nation’s most improved healthiest community.

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How Medicaid Work Requirements Undermine Hospitals

A move in more than a dozen states to impose work requirements as a condition of Medicaid coverage could not only result in people losing health insurance, but could also impact hospitals’ revenue, increase uncompensated care costs and have a detrimental economic effect on local communities, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. Rural hospitals could be especially hard hit, the report noted.

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White House Budget Threatens Health Care

All patients should be confident as they count on their hospital to be their lifeline to access care in their community. And all communities should be able to look to their hospitals as stable hubs for both health care and economic growth. Funding cuts proposed in the White House budget undermine that confidence as they threaten the viability of hospital care.

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Mental Health Bills Lay Foundation For Children’s Success

By introducing Senate Study Bill 1197 and House Study Bill 206, Gov. Kim Reynolds offered Iowa the opportunity to establish the governance structure to implement core mental health services for children and families uniformly across Iowa. After decades of discussion and growing public support, these two bills take a huge step toward establishing a children’s mental health system.

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Secretive ‘Rebate Trap’ Keeps Generic Drugs Out of Reach

In a practice that policy experts say smothers competition and keeps prices high, drug companies routinely make hidden pacts with middlemen that effectively block patients from getting cheaper generic medicines. Such agreements “make it difficult for generics to compete or know what they’re competing against,” said Stacie Dusetzina, an associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

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Report Underscores the Struggle of Rural Hospitals

An estimated 430 rural hospitals, including 17 in Iowa, are in danger of closing unless their financial outlook improves, a situation that has broad ramifications not just for access to health care but those communities’ economic livelihoods. Dozens of rural hospitals have already closed nationwide this decade. About two-thirds of rural hospitals now at high risk of shuttering are considered essential because they serve vulnerable populations, are geographically isolated and employ a sizeable share of residents.

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List of Top Critical Access Hospitals Includes 15 in Iowa

The Chartis Center for Rural Health has unveiled its 2019 Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and 15 Iowa CAHs are included in the list, a number far higher than any other state. CAHs are typically small facilities that serve large rural areas, often one or more counties. Iowa has 82 CAHs. Chartis also announced its Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals and that list includes four Iowa hospitals.

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Online Ads for Skimpy Health Plans Follow Consumers

Consumers shopping for insurance online last fall were most often directed to websites that promote individual health plans that didn’t meet consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act. “It was disturbing, but not unexpected, to find such a high proportion of misleading ads and come-ons, That raises the risk that consumers could be duped into buying health insurance that they think offers comprehensive and secure coverage but does not.”

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