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

Iowa News

Training never ends for health care workers
Medical advancements mean change is constant in the health care profession. That’s why training never stops for hospital staff. These students already have their degrees and a lot of experience, but for hospital employees, continuing education is part of the job. “We do training for all of the staff in the hospital not just the clinicians that are touching the patients every day. There’s so much that goes on behind-the-scenes in the organization that we’re able to work with the plan ops or the housekeeping department,” said Jackie Jaspers, clinical development manager. In Waterloo, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare’s Clinical Development Department works with staff to ensure everyone meets annual training requirements. (KWWL)

Henry County Health Center boasts 90-year history
Mount Pleasant is home to the Henry County Health Center, a place creating community for those at the center and growing for the future, Shelley Doak, Henry County Health Center public information officer, said. One of the features of the health center is Park Place Elder Living. This is a 49-bed long-term care facility. Doak said it’s a place where elders can not only receive care but also meet and converse with others through activities. The health center also is focused on the health of the general community, Doak said. Two programs are helping the health center do this, Public Health and Healthy Henry County Communities. (KCRG)

National News

Use community to fight diabetes epidemic
An epidemic more deadly than coal dust is sweeping through the dogwood-dappled hollows of eastern Kentucky. The new threat: diabetes.  In Kentucky and across the broad Appalachian region, a third of the population is estimated by health officials to have diabetes, double the rate for the country as a whole. Ads for diabetes counseling and testing clinics have replaced those for supermarkets as a major revenue source in local newspapers, and billboards urging middle-aged people to get tested appear almost everywhere there’s a straight stretch of highway. (Kaiser Health News)

IRS to tax-exempt hospitals: Go easier on medical debt collection
The proposed rules, issued June 22 by the IRS, would apply to the nearly six in 10 U.S. hospitals that operate as tax-exempt, nonprofit charitable hospitals. They would be required to provide additional consumer protections and services to patients who qualify for charity care and medical financial aid. If finalized, the rules would bar the hospitals from using the most aggressive debt collection tactics against low-income patients who don’t pay their medical bills. (Fox Business)

What’s next for physicians after Affordable Care Act ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act has refocused stakeholder attention on the implementation of the law’s provisions but also re-energizes efforts by opponents to repeal parts or all of the statute. “One of the most frustrating things has been having so much uncertainty about how we move forward,” said Glen Stream, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Now “we can focus on the best possible implementation of the Affordable Care Act and its key provisions and work to fix the parts that need improvement.” (American Medical News)

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