Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 28, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 28, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 28, 2020

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

Iowa News       

UIHC implements protocols for new Coronavirus but risk to Iowans remains low, says IDPH
As the number of confirmed cases of a new Coronavirus rises in the U.S., now up to five, hospitals across the country including the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics are preparing for potential patients. UIHC is part of a network of hospitals in the U.S. for the treatment of patients who have infections that are very contagious or that have a high mortality rate in the midwest region, said Assistant Professor of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Jorge Salinas. (KWWL)

Mental health the topic of Eggs and Issues legislative discussion
Eggs and Issues has been a staple of Oskaloosa Politics for decades now, and this Saturday morning, mental health in Iowa took center stage. Answering those questions for the community was hosted by Oskaloosa Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt, with an expert panel of Lance Roorda, Heather Gross, Jane Busch, and members of Southern Iowa Mental Health. One of the suggestions provided by the panel was to let the local communities decide the funding sustainiability for those services and asked that legislators step away on decisions on helping to fund those services. (Oskaloosa News)

Muscatine County Board works for mental health region transition
At their Jan. 20 meeting, the Muscatine County Board of Supervisors moved forward with several plans to make their anticipated transition out of the Eastern Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region (EIR) in July more successful. After serving for a year as Vice Chair of the EIR, Nathan Mather plans to resign his position as both Chair for 2020 (under the region’s 28E agreement, the Vice Chair becomes Chair the following year) and as Muscatine County’s representative to the EIR. Since Muscatine will only remain in the EIR for another five months, Mather considered it unwise to act as its chair. (Discover Muscatine)

National News

Providers warned to be vigilant as coronavirus fear spreads
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said Sunday clinicians are calling “all day and all night” to report concerns of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). “That’s what we want,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters in a phone briefing. “We want people to have a high index of suspicion and to call if they have a patient they’re concerned about.” The American Hospital Association told its members in an advisory to “be vigilant and follow CDC’s interim guidance.” (Healthcare Dive)

ACA slashed uninsured rate, but number who can’t afford care still rising
Passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and its enactment six years ago helped cut the nation’s uninsured by nearly half, from 49.9 million in 2010 to 25.6 million in 2017. Nevertheless, a huge unmet need remains for many to access medical services, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study, authored by physicians and researchers from Harvard Medical School, the Cambridge Health Alliance and Hunter College, suggests that narrowing provider networks as well as increasing co-payments and out-of-pocket costs may be driving the trend. (Healthcare Dive)

Virtual behavioral health visits improve care access
Behavioral health care is in high demand. Nearly one in five Americans have behavioral health needs, according to the American Hospital Association. And yet, fewer than 30 percent of them are receiving that care, largely because of significant care access burdens. “Behavioral health is one of society’s most unmet needs,” said Eva Borden, managing director of behavioral and medical solutions at Cigna. “Almost half of all US adults will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, but only a fraction of these people actually gets the behavioral health help they need.” (Health Payer Intelligence)

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