Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 27, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 27, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 27, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Iowa coronavirus risk low, but officials on alert
As Chicago on Friday reported a case of the coronavirus that is sickening people in China and causing deaths, Iowa officials began to consider what to do if a case is reported here. While they emphasized that the risk to Iowans was low, they were particularly alert to the possibility at the state’s two largest higher education institutions, Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. The two school have proportionately large numbers of students, staff and faculty who visit China. (Des Moines Register)

Countdown to caucuses: Democrats display differences in health care approaches
Health care was a driving issue in the 2018 election, which saw Democrats make significant gains in Iowa and across the country. It remains a top issue for voters interested in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. And it is an issue that displays differences between those Democrats in the expansive primary field. The most clear fault line in the Democratic primary debate is some version of Medicare-for-all, a de facto government-operated health care system, versus expansion of the current health care system plus some version of a public health insurance option. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Mental health regions continue to realign
Changes continue to come for two mental health regions in Northwest Iowa. The regional governance board for Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health & Disabilities Services approved an intergovernmental agreement in December that brings Dickinson County into the mental health region starting on July 1 after the 2019-20 fiscal year. That means Dickinson and O’Brien counties will depart Northwest Iowa Care Connections Mental Health & Disabilities Services at that time and join Lyon, Plymouth and Sioux counties in Sioux Rivers. (Northwest Iowa News)

National News

Virus death toll in China rises as US prepares evacuation
A new viral illness being watched with a wary eye around the globe accelerated its spread in China with 80 deaths so far, while the U.S. Consulate in the city at the epicenter announced it will evacuate its personnel and some other Americans aboard a charter flight. China’s health minister said the country was entering a “crucial stage” as “it seems like the ability of the virus to spread is getting stronger.” The government said early Monday the death toll had risen to 80, with 2,744 confirmed cases. (Associated Press)

Medicaid changes could address maternal mortality driven by social determinants
Medicaid beneficiaries are 82% more likely to experience severe maternal morbidity and mortality than women with private health coverage, according to new research presented at the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission meeting Friday. People of color and women in rural areas are at the greatest risk for severe maternal morbidity and mortality among Medicaid recipients. The findings are consistent with other evidence that race, geography and health affect income and, consequently, Medicaid eligibility. (Modern Healthcare)

Hospital group fights drug shortages by making needed meds
U.S. hospitals fed up with shortages of critical medicines — mostly generic drugs that aren’t profitable — have banded together. Seven hospital systems and three philanthropies formed nonprofit CivicaRx in 2018 to produce what they need. The group now includes 1,200 hospitals nationwide — about 1 in 4 — and already is shipping medicines. Last week, Civica said it’s creating a subsidiary with Blue Cross Blue Shield to produce some generics whose prices have spiked as much as 300% in the 2010s. They’ll be available in two years, not just for hospitals, but for patients, pharmacies and others. (Associated Press)

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