Today’s NewsStand — March 6, 2020

Today’s NewsStand — March 6, 2020

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|March 6, 2020

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

Iowa News       

Four Iowans test negative for coronavirus. Here’s the latest on what you need to know
Public health officials are trying to prepare Iowans for the possibility that the novel coronavirus, currently spreading across the United States, could soon reach the state. Officials at the Iowa Department of Public Health spoke this week with personnel who manage health care facilities, schools and businesses about preparedness guidelines for the disease the virus causes, known as COVID-19. Their communication has included running through scenarios where the virus hits Iowa. (Des Moines Register)

UI researchers use artificial intelligence to identify cancer biomarkers
Physicians and artificial-intelligence technology could team up to treat and diagnose cancer patients in the future, according to a new study by University of Iowa researchers. Researchers at the College of Engineering and their collaborators in the Carver College of Medicine and College of Public Health recently published an article that outlines the research team’s hypothesis that artificial-intelligence technology can identify biomarkers in lung-cancer patients who received radiotherapy and can also predict survival outcomes. (University of Iowa Daily Iowegian)

Nebraska, Iowa prep for possible spring flooding
In the wake of last year’s historic flooding, first responders, local officials and people living in flood-prone areas are reviewing lessons learned from past disasters — and preparing for the possibility that more flooding could occur this spring and summer. They’re beefing up communication channels to relay messages about weather forecasts, river conditions and possible evacuations, sandbagging critical infrastructure and keeping rescue boats gassed up and ready to go. (Omaha World-Herald)

National News

US weighs paying hospitals for treating uninsured coronavirus patients
The Trump administration is considering using a national disaster program to pay hospitals and doctors for their care of uninsured people infected with the new coronavirus as concerns rise over costs of treating some of the 27 million Americans without health coverage, a person familiar with the conversations said. In natural disasters such as hurricanes, hospitals and medical facilities can be reimbursed under a federal program that pays them about 110% of Medicare rates for treating patients such as those evacuated from hard-hit areas. (Wall Street Journal)

House swiftly passes bipartisan $8.3B coronavirus package
The House on Wednesday passed an $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus package, just hours after congressional negotiators clinched a bipartisan deal to tackle the epidemic. The lower chamber approved the measure with an overwhelming 415-2 vote. It now heads to the Senate, which could clear the bill as soon as Thursday and send it to President Donald Trump for his signature. The two nay votes were from Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Ken Buck of Colorado. (Politico)

Judge blocks Michigan’s Medicaid work requirement
A federal judge on Wednesday blocked Michigan’s Medicaid work requirement, which took effect in January and could have resulted in thousands of low-income adults losing coverage as early as June. US District Judge James Boasberg in Washington vacated HHS’ December 2018 approval of Michigan’s “community engagement” waiver that required Medicaid expansion enrollees to report 80 hours a month of work or other “community engagement” activities to retain their coverage. He is still considering the legality of new premiums and copays under the waiver. (Modern Healthcare)

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