Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 9, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — Jan. 9, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|January 9, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Iowa’s mental health services seeks two leaders instead of one to replace outgoing administrator
The division within the Department of Human Services that handles mental health services in Iowa is splitting its leadership position in two. The Mental Health and Disability Services Division is seeking to hire two administrators to replace the one longtime division administrator who will retire in the coming weeks, a move department officials say will ensure adequate focus on the expanding mental health services in Iowa. The Iowa Council on Human Services approved the initiative in their Wednesday meeting. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Des Moines University first to require coursework on mental health care
Des Moines University is the first medical school in the nation to require courses on mental health care. The osteopathic medical school began offering an elective course on mental health in 2018 through a partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and in two years, that course has become a requirement, according to the report. Called the “Provider Education Program,” coursework includes hearing from a person recovering from mental illness, a family member or friend with mental illness, and a health care provider. The class currently has 200 enrolled students. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Creative Living Center to open in Sibley
Osceola County residents will have a new option to receive counseling and therapy services starting Tuesday. Creative Living Center, a counseling and mental health agency based in Rock Valley, is opening a fifth office on the Osceola Regional Health Center campus in Sibley. The move to open a Creative Living Center office in Sibley is in response to findings from a community needs assessment the hospital conducted identifying a need for more mental health-care services in the county. (Northwest Iowa News)

National News

US hospitals see first decline in outpatient visits since 1983
For the first time in 35 years, US hospitals delivered fewer outpatient visits in 2018 than in the prior year as the competition to provide such care continues to intensify. The American Hospital Association’s 2020 Hospital Statistics report shows the 6,146 hospitals in the U.S. delivered a cumulative 879.6 million outpatient visits in 2018, 0.9% less than in 2017, when they delivered 880.5 million outpatient visits. The data is the first year-over-year decline since 1983, and comes even as health systems work to expand their outpatient offerings beyond hospital campuses. (Modern Healthcare)

Program meant to curb repeat hospital stays fails big test
Researchers thought they had a way to keep hard-to-treat patients from constantly returning to the hospital and racking up big medical bills. Health workers visited homes, went along to doctor appointments, made sure medicines were available and tackled social problems including homelessness, addiction and mental health issues. But a more robust study released Wednesday revealed it was a stunning failure on its main goal: Readmission rates did decline, but by the same amount as for a comparison group of similar patients not in the costly program. (NBC News)

Cancer group finds biggest one-year drop in US death rate
Researchers on Wednesday reported the largest-ever one-year decline in the U.S. cancer death rate, a drop they credited to advances in lung-tumor treatments. The overall cancer death rate has been falling about 1.5% a year since 1991. It fell 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, according to the new American Cancer Society report. That’s the largest drop ever seen in national cancer statistics going back to 1930, said Rebecca Siegel, the lead author. (CNBC)

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