Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 3, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 3, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 3, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Muscatine’s request to join the southeast mental health region denied; here’s their plan
Muscatine County’s request to join the Southeast mental health region called Southeast Iowa Link (SEIL) has been denied.  This comes after the county decided to pull out form the eastern region back in November.  Muscatine County plans to resubmit another application at their county board meeting next week. They say they are optimistic SEIL will approve their request this time. (WQAD)

Des Moines University seeks funding for medical student mental health class
Officials at Des Moines University are seeking continued state funding for a class that’s helping doctors-in-training feel more comfortable caring for patients with a mental illness. Dr. Lisa Streyffeler, a professor at the osteopathic school, says in the spring of 2018, DMU became the first medical school in the country to offer the course. Dr. Streyffeler says surveys of those students found their approach to caring for patients was more collaborative with both the patient and the patient’s family when compared to surveys completed by students who did not take the class. (Radio Iowa)

Cedar Rapids hospitals report increase in cases of flu, norovirus
The two hospitals in Cedar Rapids say they’re seeing more patients who have one of two viral infections. Officials at Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint St. Luke’s Hospital are reporting that in recent weeks they have seen a jump in the number of people needing treatment for norovirus and the flu at their facilities. At St. Luke’s emergency room, the number of visits has been especially high in the past 10 days. (KCRG)

National News

Behind the troubling rise of uninsured kids in America
More than a million fewer children receive public health insurance now than in December 2017. In some cases, their parents acquired coverage at work. But researchers also see a troubling rise in uninsured children — and say the Trump administration’s policies are partially to blame. Kaiser Health News senior correspondent Sarah Varney and PBS NewsHour producer Jason Kane report from Tennessee, where the rate of uninsured kids has soared. (Kaiser Health News)

Kansas sees shortage of psychiatrists and other mental health providers
Like the rest of the United States, Kansas is seeing an increase in patients seeking mental health treatment. But the state can’t find enough doctors, nurses and therapists to treat them. Providers say the problem is worse in the state’s least-populated rural areas, where clinic jobs can stay open for years at a time. In 2017, to attract more psychiatrists to rural areas, Kansas passed a law that added psychiatry to the state’s medical student loan program. It’s too early to tell whether that’s encouraged more medical students to choose psychiatry and practice in Kansas. (KCUR)

Texas leans on Lyft and Uber to get Medicaid patients to the doctor
Each year, a lack of transportation keeps 3.6 million Americans from medical care. But under a new Texas law, some Medicaid patients will be able to take ride-hailing trips to the doctor’s office. Last summer, lawmakers relaxed regulations to shift funds for non-emergency transportation to ride-hailing companies such as Lyft and Uber. So far, only a handful of states are going this route. (Express News)

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