Today’s NewsStand — March 11, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — March 11, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 11, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Remember the human side of the Invest in Iowa Act, and fund mental-health services
Iowa has made tremendous progress in the past couple of years, with approval in 2018 of additional complex-needs mental-health services for adults, and the 2019 establishment of our state’s first children’s mental health system. While some funding was provided when those new laws passed, experts agreed that it wouldn’t be enough in the long term. Lawmakers pledged to provide that funding at a future date. (Des Moines Register)

Coronavirus in Johnson County: Public health officials work to limit spread of COVID-19
Johnson County public health officials are working to determine who has been within 6 feet of the three Johnson County residents who have tested presumptively positive for COVID-19.  In an attempt to limit the spread of the virus, the Johnson County Public Health Department is helping conduct a “close-contact investigation” with the Iowa Department of Public Health. Those who have had exposure to residents who tested positive have been asked by Johnson County Public Health to self-quarantine. (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

New bill aims to create substance abuse, mental health treatment programs for veterans
A new bill in the Iowa legislature could put veterans facing prison time through treatment programs instead. It would create a veteran treatment court program in all seven judicial districts in the state, similar to a drug or mental health court. Supporters say it could help veterans suffering from PTSD or other mental health disorders. “Veterans with PTSD and not wanting to talk to people, I think they are going to open up more and benefit a whole lot more,” said U.S. Air Force veteran Keith Foster told WQAD. The new court program would provide substance abuse and mental health treatment. (KCRG)

National News

Surging health care worker quarantines raise concerns as coronavirus spreads
As the U.S. battles to limit the spread of the highly contagious new coronavirus, the number of health care workers ordered to self-quarantine because of potential exposure to an infected patient is rising at an exponential pace. In Vacaville, California, alone, one case left more than 200 hospital workers under quarantine and unable to work for weeks. With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases mushrooming by the day, a quarantine response of this magnitude would quickly leave the health care system short-staffed and overwhelmed. (Kaiser Health News)

Block-granting Medicaid would cause program funding to plunge, Commonwealth Fund says
The use of block grants for the Medicaid program would lead to both a drastic reduction in funding immediately and over the long term, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund. Medicaid covers about 65 million Americans, or about 20% of the entire population. The report, which was authored by executives from Manatt Health, had a grim conclusion: The funding caps created by block grants “would require states to cut coverage, reduce benefits, increase cost-sharing, lower provider payment rates, or otherwise reduce Medicaid expenditures as compared to current law spending levels.” (Healthcare Dive)

As youth suicides climb, anguished parents begin to speak out
Mental health experts, school leaders and researchers are trying to understand why suicide by children ages 10 to 14 has gone up and up. The suicide rate for that age group almost tripled from 2007 to 2017. Newly released 2018 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a 16% increase over the previous year. While experts point to a host of explanations for the alarming rise, scientific proof about cause isn’t conclusive. Some research shows correlations with social media use, cyberbullying and the internet. (Kaiser Health News)

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