Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 2, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 2, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 2, 2020

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

Iowa News       

New state program mails free opioid overdose-reversal kits to Iowans
A new initiative launched by the state public health department aims to increase access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone, but local advocates say the project may present more barriers than state officials hope. The Tele-Naloxone Project was launched statewide earlier this month by the Iowa Department of Public Health in partnership with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Through the program, Iowans can have a naloxone kit — containing Narcan, a nasal spray that can be used to reverse an overdose on opioids — mailed to their address for free. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Community comes together to help celebrate Clark County’s new mental health center
Winter winds and frigid temperatures showed up just in time for the grand opening of Osceola and Clarke County’s newest mental health and medical support access center. That didn’t keep Governor Kim Reynolds, leadership from the state, city, and county, as well as dozens of community members from braving the end-of-the-year chill to come together to celebrate and tour the new Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa facility. (Osceola Sentinel Tribune)

Superintendent fired from post at center for disabled Iowans
The superintendent of an Iowa care center for people with intellectual disabilities has been fired amid a federal investigation into the facility. Jerry Rea was notified in a letter Monday that he was being discharged from Iowa Department of Human Services employment and his position at the Glenwood Resource Center. Rea was placed on paid leave earlier this month. Marsha Edgington, who oversees the state-run Woodward Resource Center, will continue as interim superintendent at Glenwood. (Burlington Hawk Eye)

National News

Vaping, Medicaid and opioids: Top health stories of 2019
A wide range of health care issues drew headlines in 2019, affecting the lives of millions of Americans. Here are some highlights from Side Effects Public Media's coverage across the Midwest: Vaping. In the second half of the year, this crisis exploded onto America's consciousness. Opioids. As addiction continued to ravage America communities searched for creative solutions. Medicaid. States in the Midwest continued to wrestle with the health insurance program aimed mainly at low-income residents. (Iowa Public Radio)

Five health care fights to watch in 2020
Advocates hope lawmakers can beat the odds and move major health care legislation in the new year. 2019 opened with bipartisan talk of cracking down on drug prices and surprise medical bills. But it ended without major legislation signed into law on either front, and a host of other health care battles, including a lawsuit threatening the entire Affordable Care Act, looming over the coming election year. Five health care fights to watch in 2020 are drug pricing, surprise billing, Obamacare, Medicare for all and vaping. (The Hill)

In rural areas without pain or addiction specialists, family doctors fill in the gaps
Rural communities have become the face of the nation's opioid epidemic. Drug overdose deaths are more common by population size in rural areas than in urban ones. And rural doctors prescribe opioids more often by far, despite a nationwide decline in prescribing rates since 2012. Meanwhile, rural Americans have fewer alternatives to treat their very real pain, and they disproportionately lack access to effective addiction medication such as buprenorphine. For rural physicians, the burden of responding to the opioid epidemic falls squarely on their already-loaded shoulders. (NPR)

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