Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 21, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 21, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 21, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Leader of Linn County’s planned mental health center wants to create a better future 
Erin Foster hopes that as the first director of the mental health access center in Linn County — and the multicounty East Central Iowa mental health region — she will help shape a better future for Iowans, including her two children. The Linn County Mental Health Access Center is expected to open in July. But it could be delayed if the nine-county mental health region — to which Linn pays $8 million annually — doesn’t support contributing over $1 million in operational costs for the regional center. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Des Moines man receives hundreds of donated books for local hospital after story goes viral
Last week, KCCI’s Laura Terrell shared the story of Dane Pratt, a MercyOne cardiovascular profusionist who reads to clinically sick children. Since his story went viral, MercyOne has been accepting mountains of books donated from the public and Pratt has made national headlines with his caring gesture. The woman who sparked the public’s interest was Cassie Baker, who snapped a picture of Pratt reading to her 13-month-old daughter, Parker Baker, and posted it to Facebook. (KCCI)

Blue Monday isn’t real, but mental health professionals say winter blues are
Since 2005, the third Monday in January has been coined Blue Monday because of many factors like it being gloomy outside, it’s after the holidays, and New Year’s resolutions may be faltering. But mental health professionals say those factors affect everyone differently and it’s nearly impossible to predict a day to be more depressing than the next. What is real is the winter blues, more clinically known as SAD. It’s a kind of depression that’s formed usually in the winter months when there is less sunlight. (WHO)

National News

Trump administration to soon issue guidance on Medicaid block grants
The Trump administration plans to release guidance as soon as this month for granting states waivers to convert Medicaid funding to block grants, according to two people familiar with the matter, paving the way for a transformation of the 55-year-old program that is likely to reignite a partisan feud. (Wall Street Journal)

Medicaid advocates frustrated by red-state holdouts
The politics of Medicaid expansion are changing as an increasing number of red states are dropping their opposition, but for expansion advocates there is also increasing frustration at the remaining holdouts. To date, 36 states and the District of Columbia have adopted Medicaid expansion, including a handful of conservative strongholds. Just last week, Kansas’s first-term Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly announced a bipartisan compromise with Republican state Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning to pave the way for Medicaid expansion. (The Hill)

MedPAC: 340B hospitals don’t use more expensive drugs
The 340B Drug Pricing Program doesn’t create strong incentives for participating hospitals to use more expensive drugs, according to new federal research. Hospitals that participate in the 340B program spend about $300 more on drugs for prostate and lung cancers, but not breast, colorectal or leukemia-lymphoma cancers, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s staff said at a meeting on Thursday. The higher spending at 340B hospitals seems to be driven by the type of cancer that people are treated for rather than 340B’s financial incentives. (Modern Healthcare)

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