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

Iowa News

Index tracking Iowa economy dips in April
An index used to forecast the direction of Iowa’s economy dipped in April, with three of eight components contributing negatively. April was the first month since November 2011 the index has declined. Despite the drop, the report said that employment outlook through the summer continued to be positive. A separate index that tracks employment increased for the 19th consecutive month in April. (Des Moines Register)

Mercy helicopter makes impact a world away
During a medical conference in Malaysia, Bell Helicopter Corporation presented a proposal for using the Bell 429 as the aircraft of choice for helicopter emergency medical services in that country. This is the same helicopter in use by Mercy One in Des Moines. Mercy assisted Bell in the design of the medical interior of the helicopter for use in HEMS and was the first hospital in the world to use this aircraft for that purpose. (Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines)

University of Iowa opens a QuickCare clinic in Muscatine
Beginning today, area residents have another local health care option when   University of Iowa Health Care’s new Muscatine QuickCare clinic begins operating from 5-7 p.m. Clinic manager Connie Phommaly said the new clinic doesn’t take the place of visits to the regular doctor, but offers area residents after-hours medical care for common illnesses and conditions such as flu, allergies, colds, earaches and rashes. (Muscatine Journal)

Mercy Heart Center to add third cath lab
Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa will add a cardiac and vascular “hybrid” procedure room to its catheterization labs. The lab will allow both cardiac and vascular catheterizations and will improve patient flow and timeliness of the procedures, according to a news release from the hospital. This will be the first hybrid catheterization lab in the state and is part of establishing a vascular institute at the medical center. (Mason City Globe Gazette)

National News

Looming court ruling worries some with health woes
Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is a temporary government program set up to run until 2014, when the Obama health care law is due to take full effect and prevent insurance companies from the common practice of denying people coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions. About 60,000 Americans already are receiving medical coverage through the program, according to the Obama administration. As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule in the next few weeks, Texan Sam Lovett said the choice is very clear for him and others unable to get insurance without the statute’s provisions. (Reuters/Chicago Tribune)

Reshaping Medicaid care to affect many
Georgia is reshaping its Medicaid program, a complex lifeline for 1.7 million vulnerable people that consumes $21 million in state and federal dollars every single day. The state is widely expected to announce a plan this summer that would dramatically expand the use of for-profit insurance companies in a new approach to managing Medicaid. The hope: that the companies would help hold down burgeoning Medicaid costs by emphasizing prevention and better tracking and coordinating care. That should mean fewer poor, disabled and elderly Georgians end up in emergency rooms. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Indiana considering statewide trauma network
The Indiana Department of Health will hold the first of several meetings around the state to explore implementing a statewide trauma system tonight at the Evansville Central Library. The meeting, which will be attended by state officials as well as local stakeholders will discuss the need for a statewide system that deals with traumatic injuries. Currently, Indiana is only one of nine states without a formal trauma system. Like its name suggests, a trauma system is comprehensive plan that would cover the entire state for anyone who has a serious injury. (Evansville Courier & Press)

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