Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 8, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 8, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 8, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Gov. Reynolds wants Iowa to have more ‘teeth’ in making sure Medicaid providers are paid on time
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday that she wants to give the state more power to make sure the insurers working with Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program pay health care providers on time Last week, state health officials for the first time announced plans to withhold money from a private insurance company because of unresolved issues over payments to Medicaid health providers. Reynolds said that goal could be accomplished with a new law or by changing the administrative rules that govern how the state provides health care services. (Des Moines Register)

Mental health, child care and workforce issues likely topics for 2020 Iowa legislature
To hear top state governmental leaders talk, politics won’t play a major role in the upcoming legislative session despite 2020 being a presidential election year. Legislative Democrats seem torn between concerns that Republicans, who control the Senate, House and governor’s office, either will do more “big things” or not much of anything in 2020. Not all of the issues facing the state are “super controversial,” so it may be easier to find bipartisan support for action, said new House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford. He puts mental health, child care and workforce issues under that heading. (Muscatine Journal)

UI hospitals expect better culture to bring better results
Health care workers, like any other typical employees, can fear being punished for making mistakes. But not all industries face the same real-life consequences for letting problems go unsolved as does, say, a hospital that admits some 40,000 patients a year and employs thousands. So Iowa’s largest medical facility — the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics — is looking to instill a work atmosphere across its campus that encourages employees to communicate errors and improve outcomes. There’s a name for the philosophy: A “just” culture. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

Medicaid expansion improved health in Southern states
A new study finds that Medicaid expansion improved people’s health in Southern states, resulting in fewer declines in people’s health. The study published in Health Affairs finds that Medicaid expansion made declines in health status 1.8 percentage points less likely in states that expanded the medical coverage. It examined 12 Southern states, including those that have accepted the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, like Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana, and those that have not, like Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. (The Hill)

Beyond the ACA: Health care legal fights to watch in 2020
All eyes were on the legal drama over the Affordable Care Act as 2019 drew to a close — and while that case remains a focus for this year — a lot more is also at stake. Payers and providers are fiercely contesting a price transparency push from the Trump administration that would force privately negotiated rates out into the open. The administration is also being challenged over regulations regarding risk corridor payments to payers and the expansion of association health plans. (Healthcare Dive)

In reversal, counties and states help inmates keep Medicaid
More local and state officials are working to ensure that low-income residents stay on Medicaid when they go to jail. In recent years, officials have increasingly implemented a stopgap measure to help inmates more seamlessly reactivate their Medicaid coverage upon release from jail or prison. And a bipartisan coalition of county sheriffs, commissioners and judges are now lobbying federal lawmakers to change a long-standing policy and let pretrial detainees retain coverage while in custody. (Stateline)

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