Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.
Work requirements proposed for Iowa Medicaid eligibility
A proposal advancing in the statehouse would require some low-income Iowans to work in order to stay enrolled in Medicaid. Most adults under the age of 65 would have to work or volunteer at least 20 hours per week, although disabled Iowans and the parents of young children would be exempted from the work requirements. Opponents say the bill is unnecessary because most people in Medicaid are already working. (Radio Iowa)
New MercyOne West Des Moines maternity center will require certificate of need
MercyOne officials recently learned they will need to get state approval for a new $13 million maternity center planned to open this fall at its West Des Moines medical center. Until recently, MercyOne officials had believed that a “certificate of need” from the State Health Facilities Council would not be required because a maternity center had previously been located at MercyOne West Des Moines Medical Center before the unit was shut down in 2014. However, a newer provision in the state statute now requires that a certificate of need be applied for if a unit has been closed for more than 12 months. (Des Moines Business Record)
Muscatine County weighs options after mental health region application is declined
With less than five months to find a mental health region and with the Southeast Iowa Link (SEIL) region rejecting Muscatine County’s application for acceptance for a second time, the county is looking at its options to provide mental health services in the coming fiscal year. In October, 2019 the supervisors voted unanimously to leave the Eastern Iowa region, citing financial mismanagement. The county currently will not be a member of the region after the end of the fiscal year on July 1. (Quad-City Times)
Health care costs are top priority heading into elections
Americans have a clear message for President Donald Trump and the Democratic candidates vying to replace him: Lower health care costs. The vast majority of Americans rank cutting health care and prescription drug costs as their top priorities heading into election season, regardless of party affiliation, according to a new POLITICO-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health survey. Those topics polled as far more important than passing a major health system overhaul like “Medicare for All” or taking aggressive action to address climate change. (Politico)
Why treat people exposed to virus in Omaha? Why not?
Of all places, why are 13 people potentially exposed to a viral outbreak being treated and observed in Omaha, Nebraska? Because nearly 20 years ago, a few doctors, public health experts and officials realized that nearly no one was meeting a national need for such specialized care and figured, why not Omaha? The biocontainment unit and an adjacent quarantine facility are suddenly a focus of attention because they’re housing people evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan. (Associated Press)
Amid coronavirus fears, a second wave of flu hits US kids
A second wave of flu is hitting the U.S., turning this into one of the nastiest seasons for children in a decade. The number of child deaths and the hospitalization rate for youngsters are the highest seen at this point in any season since the severe flu outbreak of 2009-10, health officials said Friday. And the wave is expected to keep going for weeks. Experts say it is potentially a bad time for an extended flu season, given concerns about the new coronavirus out of China, which can cause symptoms that can be difficult to distinguish from flu without testing. (Modern Healthcare)