Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 31, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 31, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 31, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Wellmark recognizes UI hospital for demonstrating quality cellular immunotherapy
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has been designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Cellular Immunotherapy – CAR-T, a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced this week. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated hospitals that show a commitment to improving patient safety and better health outcomes, Wellmark said in the announcement. (Des Moines Business Record)

Children’s mental health survey seeks public input
A survey is asking community members about children’s behavioral health across eastern Iowa. The Mental Health and Disability Services of the East Central Region (ECR) will be adding children’s behavioral services for those on Medicaid starting July 1st. The Behavioral Health Survey is looking at what children in the area need most. ECR is seeking help from parents, educators, and health professionals. (KCRG)

Cedar Rapids Family Medicine Residency, created to address shortage, will close in July
A longtime Cedar Rapids-based medical training program, meant to address the shortage of family medicine physicians in the area, will be closing its doors permanently. The Cedar Rapids Family Medicine Residency Program will be discontinued effective July 1, at the end of this academic year, Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint-St. Luke’s Hospital jointly announced earlier this week. Both Cedar Rapids hospitals have supported the Cedar Rapids Medical Education Foundation. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

Trump administration clears the way for Medicaid block grants
The Trump administration wants to dramatically alter the way the federal government gives money to states for Medicaid. On Thursday, Seema Verma, CMS administrator, announced a new pathway for states to receive a capped amount of federal dollars for part of the program. The new demonstration program, called Healthy Adult Opportunity, would not be mandatory for states and would not affect all Medicaid beneficiaries, only adults under age 65 who are not disabled. But for states that adopt the new approach, it could profoundly reshape how Medicaid operates. (Iowa Public Radio)

How state budgets impact Medicaid funding, reveal priorities
As January comes to a close, some states are determining their Medicaid funding streams for the new fiscal year. Obstacles to passing state budgets illuminate states’ competing priorities when it comes to funding their Medicaid programs. In New York, Iowa, and North Carolina, their differing Medicaid structures are influenced by Medicaid funding in different ways based on whether they are expanded or not expanded, privatized or public. Budgets could impact these states’ nursing homes, provider reimbursements, substance abuse care initiatives for opioids, and more. (Health Payer Intelligence

Response to nation’s first coronavirus case draws on lessons from measles outbreak
When the first U.S. case of a new coronavirus spreading throughout China was confirmed last week in Washington state, public health workers were well prepared to respond, building on lessons learned during the outbreak of measles that sickened 87 people in the state in 2019. As of Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed five cases of infection from the new coronavirus in the U.S., including two in California, one in Illinois and one in Arizona. All were linked to people who traveled to the Wuhan region in China. (Kaiser Health News)

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