The Newsstand

Today’s NewsStand – August 23, 2019

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

Iowa News

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics researchers raising awareness about epilepsy
The recent death of a Disney star has researchers at the University of Iowa warning people about the risk of “SUDEP,” or Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. In July, Cameron Boyce, 20, died after suffering a seizure in his sleep. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics researchers say SUDEP is still a mystery because it often happens when people are alone. A person can stop breathing after a seizure. Part of their brain that recognizes what’s happening doesn’t trigger to help the person start breathing again. (KCRG)

Second manufacturer joins Iowa’s medical marijuana program
As Iowa’s medical marijuana program this week meets its latest benchmark set by a law outlining its expansion, patients and caregivers can expect more products to become available to them in the future, state manufacturing officials indicate. Not only are more products on the horizon from the new facility in Cedar Rapids, but another state medical marijuana manufacturer — MedPharm Iowa of Des Moines — plans to release vapor-based products, the first of its kind under the program. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Marion parents who lost son to suicide wanted answers from Iowa State University
Kathy Schussler believes her son Dane wanted to live because he was searching for a solution to his problem. The Marion couple sat down to talk Thursday with The Gazette, a day after a jury found the state caused the suicide death of Dane, but also that Dane shared fault. The jury awarded $630,000 but because jurors found Dane shared fault, the award was halved to $315,000. Filing that lawsuit was a trying decision for the Schusslers. But in the end, they decided they wanted to public to know what was going on. Dane’s life, and death, would have a purpose. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

HHS changes privacy restrictions around addition treatment
The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled long-anticipated proposals to pare back extra privacy regulations around addiction that critics claim have exacerbated overdose rates in the opioid epidemic. Senior officials described these regulations, known as CFR Part 2, as “so complex” they have deterred clinicians from getting involved in treating addiction despite the escalating need. Under revisions proposed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and introduced by HHS Secretary Alex Azar and his deputies, records of a substance abuse disorder and treatment would no longer be subject to the extra privacy laws that pre-date HIPAA. (Modern Healthcare)

Opioid treatment is used vastly more in states that expanded Medicaid
The states with the highest Medicaid prescribing rates for the anti-craving drug buprenorphine — Vermont, West Virginia, Kentucky, Montana and Ohio — all expanded the program. States that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act have seen a much bigger increase in prescriptions for a medication that treats opioid addiction than states that chose not to expand the program, a new study has found. The study, by researchers at the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research group, adds to the evidence that the 2010 health care law is playing a significant role in addressing the opioid epidemic. The researchers found that the number of Medicaid-covered prescriptions for buprenorphine, which eases cravings and withdrawal symptoms, increased almost fivefold nationally — to 6.2 million from 1.3 million — between 2011 and 2018. (The New York Times)

Primary care, younger docs more likely to report burnout
Provider burnout has been a long running challenge health systems and clinicians, with the potential to harm patient care and provider well-being. Numerous factors are at play: upheavals in practice structures and routines through consolidation, heavy documentation and charting workloads, the prevalence of EHRs, and policy and regulatory requirements. The new study calculates burnout rates that are higher than some other recent studies, although finding consistency among research, often with different methodologies, is difficult. (Healthcare Dive)