Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.
DHS director: Iowa Total Care is committed to state Medicaid program
Department of Human Services (DHS) Director Kelly Garcia said despite recent payment issues, she is confident that Iowa Total Care is committed to the state’s Medicaid program. DHS announced earlier this month it is withholding nearly $44 million from Iowa Total Care – one of the two managed care organizations for the state’s Medicaid program. The department says the company has failed to resolve more than 100,000 provider claims. (Iowa Public Radio)
Heading into Iowa: Where do the Democratic candidates stand on health care coverage?
As Democratic presidential hopefuls gather in Iowa for the seventh debate, health care will remain the most important topic of debate for many Americans. No doubt, all six candidates will talk about their proposals for health reform. Where do Democratic presidential candidates onstage in Iowa stand? (The Hour)
Iowa medical school first to require coursework on mental health care
Des Moines University is the first medical school in the nation to require courses on mental health care. The osteopathic medical school began offering an elective course on mental health in 2018 through a partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and in two years, that course has become a requirement. (Becker’s Hospital Review)
Study: Medicaid expansion linked to 6% decline in opioid overdose deaths
Medicaid expansion was linked to a 6% reduction in opioid overdose deaths, according to a new study. The study in an online version of the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that counties in states that accepted the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act had a 6% lower rate of opioid overdose deaths compared to counties in states that did not expand Medicaid. (The Hill)
High-deductible plans jeopardize financial health of patients and rural hospitals
Plans with annual deductibles of $3,000, $5,000 or even $10,000 have become commonplace since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as insurers look for ways to keep monthly premiums to a minimum. But in rural areas, where high-deductible plans are even more prevalent and incomes tend to be lower than in urban areas, patients often struggle to pay those deductibles. (Kaiser Health News)
Fewer US adults believe vaccines are important, survey finds
Americans in 2019 were 10% less likely to believe vaccinating children is important than in 2001, according to a Gallup poll published Jan. 14. Results were based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 2-15, with a random sample of 1,025 adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (Becker’s Hospital Review)