Today’s NewsStand — Feb. 24, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — Feb. 24, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|February 24, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Iowa Senate panel advances Medicaid work requirement
endorsed a plan to require more of the Iowans getting health care benefits through Medicaid to work or volunteer in their community. The bill does have exceptions. The parents of young children and disabled Iowans would not be required to fulfill the requirement, but other adults between the ages of 18 and 64 would have to show state officials they’re working 20 hours a week. Schultz said his constituents want the state’s welfare programs to promote the Iowa work ethic. (Radio Iowa)

UnityPoint Accountable Care announces more than $9.5 million in shared savings
UnityPoint Accountable Care (UAC) is announcing more than $9.5 million in shared savings based on quality and cost performance in the Medicare Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Model. As a subsidiary of UnityPoint Health and one of the largest accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the nation, UAC saw total shared savings of $9,534,791.31 for the 2018 calendar year. (PR Newswire)

UI doctors discover new genetic mutation that causes fatal heart arrhythmias
After several children died from sudden cardiac arrests, a team of doctors discovered a genetic mutation to be the cause of their fatal heart arrhythmias — a disorder of the movement of the heart that disturbs its typical contracting rhythm. Ian Law, pediatric cardiologist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said a Mennonite family moved to Iowa in 2013 just before one of the children died suddenly of cardiac arrests. Doctors ran further tests and found other Mennonite children to be at a similar risk for heart problems, Law said, and had been so for years. (University of Iowa Daily Iowan)

National New

Report: Per-person health care spending grew 18% from 2014 to 2018
Average employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) spending rose to $5,892 per person in 2018, according to the Health Care Cost Institute’s annual Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, which analyzes 2.5 billion medical claims to inform the public about trends affecting approximately 160 million U.S. individuals with employer-sponsored insurance. This spending growth outpaced 2017’s growth due to continued price growth combined with an uptick in utilization. (Health Care Cost Institute)

Hospitals struggle to advance social determinants of health
Social determinants are as influential to a patient’s health as their vital signs, said Dr. Sarah Stewart de Ramirez, an emergency medicine physician and vice president for clinical innovation at OSF Innovation. That means they’re important to screen for—and the “cornerstone of any great screening strategy is to routinely offer it,” she said. For now, that’s the bulk of the program, which is the challenge healthcare providers of all stripes face. While it’s one thing to know a patient is struggling with food insecurity, it’s another to actually address it—let alone track improvements over time. (Modern Healthcare)

Aided by machine learning, scientists find a novel antibiotic able to kill superbugs in mice
For decades, discovering novel antibiotics meant digging through the same patch of dirt. Biologists spent countless hours screening soil-dwelling microbes for properties known to kill harmful bacteria. But as superbugs resistant to existing antibiotics have spread widely, breakthroughs were becoming as rare as new places to dig. Now, artificial intelligence is giving scientists a reason to dramatically expand their search into databases of molecules that look nothing like existing antibiotics. (STAT)

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