NewsStand, June 10, 2023

NewsStand, June 10, 2023

By siglerr|
|June 9, 2023

Iowa news

With few medical doctors practicing in rural areas, osteopathic physicians are filling the gap

Broad swaths of rural America don’t have enough medical doctors, partly because many of them prefer to work in highly paid specialty positions in cities. In many small towns, osteopathic physicians like Kevin de Regnier in Winterset are helping fill the gap. Osteopathic physicians go to separate medical schools from medical doctors. Their courses include lessons about how to physically manipulate the body to ease discomfort. But their training is otherwise comparable, leaders in both wings of the profession say. (NPR)

Iowa’s HIV numbers hold steady as U.S. figures fall

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports estimated new HIV infections have fallen nationwide from 2017 to 2021, while Iowa’s new infection rate has remained virtually unchanged. State medical director Robert Kruse, M.D., M.P.H., says about 14% of Iowans with HIV are unaware they’re living with the virus. Dr. Kruse says the rate of new HIV diagnoses have increased among many vulnerable groups, including Iowans born outside the U.S. (Radio Iowa)

Iowans face new tests, checks to get food, health care assistance

Iowans receiving public assistance will soon face new asset tests and eligibility checks, the culmination of a years-long push by Iowa Republicans to impose stricter requirements on benefit programs. The move is expected to kick thousands of Iowans off of Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. It has drawn the condemnation of food banks and pantries that say they are already struggling to keep up with the need. To help soften the blow, Gov. Kim Reynolds promised to use federal funding to expand food banks. Senate File 494, which Gov. Reynolds signed last week, will require Iowa families receiving SNAP funds to undergo a new asset test before they can obtain food assistance. Iowans receiving a range of benefits, including from Medicaid and other public health care programs, will face regular checks to make sure they qualify. Supporters argue the new system will save taxpayers money and ensure benefits are going to those who need them. (Des Moines Register)

National news

FDA to allow import of oncology drug amid nationwide shortage

The FDA has worked with Qilu Pharmaceuticals and Apotex Corp. to temporarily import cisplatin, a drug used in chemotherapy, after a national shortage. The FDA said it is carefully assessing the overseas product for quality to ensure it is safe for U.S. patients. The agency issued a “Dear Health Care Provider” letter with details and updated its drug shortage database with more information. (American Hospital Association)

Supreme Court allows overcharging lawsuits against SuperValu, Safeway to proceed

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision to strike two whistleblower lawsuits alleging SuperValu and Safeway knowingly charged Medicare and Medicaid far more than they charged customers for drugs. In a unanimous opinion issued June 1, the court ruled the pharmacies could not claim they did not knowingly violate the False Claims Act as a defense. In the opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the whistleblowers presented evidence the pharmacies considered the prices they reported false. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

As Medicaid purge begins, ‘staggering numbers’ of Americans lose coverage

More than 600,000 Americans have lost Medicaid coverage since pandemic protections ended on April 1. A KFF Health News analysis of state data shows most were removed from state rolls for not completing paperwork. Under normal circumstances, states review their Medicaid enrollment lists regularly to ensure every recipient qualifies for coverage. Because of a nationwide pause in those reviews during the pandemic, the health insurance program for low-income and disabled Americans kept people covered even if they no longer qualified. Now, in what’s known as the Medicaid “unwinding,” states are combing through rolls and deciding who stays and who goes. People no longer eligible or don’t complete paperwork in time will be dropped. (USA Today)

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