Today’s NewsStand — March 2,, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — March 2,, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 2, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Iowa Senate GOP votes to hire private firm to check welfare eligibility
Republicans in the Iowa Senate want the state to hire a business to determine whether Iowans who get government food assistance or Medicaid coverage are eligible for welfare benefits. Supporters of the plan say a private firm doing this work in other states can quickly flag problems, so the State of Iowa doesn’t extend welfare benefits to people who are not U.S. citizens or people who’re hiding assets or double-dipping by getting benefits in another state. (Radio Iowa)

Miracle Riders unveil new equipment at UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s
Sioux City’s Miracle Riders returned to UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s Wednesday morning to show off a new addition to the hospital. They unveiled a busy board, which helps pediatric patients develop and train their motor skills. That board was funded by the money raised by the riders during their cross-country trip last fall. “Our journey kinda tries to represent what the kids go through the struggles and everything. So, to be able to see our journey help their journey really brings a lot of pride to us, ” Lead Miracle Rider, Matt Thompson, told us. (Siouxland News)

Risk of contracting coronavirus in Iowa remains low, public health official says
The risk remains low that Iowa residents will contract a new strain of coronavirus that is currently spreading around the world,the state’s epidemiologist said Wednesday. Dr. Caitlin Pedati, state medical director and epidemiologist at the Iowa Department of Public Health, said the state has identified no cases of the disease. But Pedati also acknowledged new reports of an international outbreak that could lead to more cases in the United States. Health officials in the U.S. warned Tuesday that the virus could soon become a pandemic. (Nebraska City News-Press)

National News

Telehealth can help fight the novel coronavirus, but US challenges could limit its potential
As the world braces for the spread of disease caused by the new coronavirus, public health officials are calling on clinicians and health systems to embrace a set of tools that are technically already within reach: smartphones. This week, officials from both the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization urged hospitals and clinics to expand their use of telehealth services to help triage the sick and keep the worried well out of already-crowded medical facilities. In the eyes of many clinicians and public health experts, telehealth’s moment has arrived. (STAT)

Lawmakers race to pass emergency coronavirus funding
Lawmakers are moving quickly to try to pass emergency coronavirus funding before a mid-March break, with negotiators eyeing finalizing an agreement by early next week. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) are negotiating an emergency spending package. Shelby told reporters the spending package will provide a “much higher” figure than the $2.5 billion requested by the Trump administration, predicting the final deal will be more than $4 billion. (The Hill)

Colorado forges ahead on a new health care model while the nation waits
Democratic majorities in Colorado’s state House and Senate and a Democratic governor eager to push aggressive health care measures have turned Colorado into one of the foremost health policy laboratories in the country. State lawmakers have taken swift action on many of the same health issues being debated at the federal level, including a government-run health plan known as a public option, surprise medical billing, drug importation and high drug costs. (Kaiser Health News)

Become a hospital advocate. Sign up for IHA Action Alerts.

Click here