Visit our website ⇒

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

Iowa News

ACA repeal could see 230,000 Iowans without health coverage
Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could leave 230,000 Iowans without health care coverage, including 25,000 children, according to a new report out Thursday. “The ACA pretty substantially reduced the number of Iowans who were uninsured,” said Peter Fisher, research director at the Iowa Policy Project, an Iowa City-based nonpartisan not-for-profit. “There was a 37 percent drop since the ACA went into effect,” falling from about 8.1 percent uninsured rate to 5 percent. The state could lose $446 million in federal Medicaid funding in 2019 and a total of $5.4 billion from 2019 to 2028 if the ACA is repealed. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

CRHC celebrates five-year anniversary in new facility
Clarinda Regional Health Center (CRHC) officials gathered with the public Wednesday evening to celebrate a milestone. An anniversary event was held inside the hospital’s front lobby to highlight five years that CRHC has been operating in its new facility, located at 220 Essie Davison Drive. Chris Stipe is the CEO of CRHC. He says the transition has been highly successful and that the hospital has not looked back since. “The entire design was all about our patients,” Stipe said. Stipe adds he feels CRHC offers world class health care, which is a direct reflection of the hospital’s medical staff. (KMA)

UnityPoint Health-Waterloo announces $3.1 million directed to Allen College
UnityPoint Health-Waterloo and Allen College officials are announcing the receipt of the largest donor gift in the history of the nursing and health sciences education institution. The estate of Edward W. Jesse, Jr., a Jesup area farmer, is donating a total of $3,063,099.13. The gift comes in the form of an endowed scholarship fund that will provide scholarships for Allen College students well into the future. In addition to endowed scholarships, the Allen College initiatives include securing and renovating buildings for expanding programs. (UnityPoint Health-Allen College)

UIHC expands with high tech
Being the first known virtual hospital service in the state, the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC) and Van Buren County Hospital launched its service in November last year. They have recently announced the program to the public. “The need for the virtual hospitalist service is twofold,” said Kate Klefstad, the digital health service line manager at the Signal Center for Health Innovation. “It comes from the outside, and it also comes from the inside.” The outside component of the service is the Van Buren County Hospital, and the inside component is the technology and resources, she said. (Daily Iowan)

National News

Hospitals encourage ‘do no harm’ approach to COPN reform in Virginia
Considering the vast uncertainty hovering over the future of health care at the federal level, Virginia’s hospitals are asking the state’s lawmakers to take a “do no harm” stance on state health policies. During a news conference at the General Assembly Building on Wednesday, the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association encouraged legislators to restrain themselves during this year’s session, particularly regarding Certificate of Public Need (COPN) reform. Hospitals claim COPN protects them in light of the billions they spend every year providing charity care to state residents. Opponents of the program claim it stifles competition and limits access. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Colorado hospitals could close if Obamacare is repealed and not replaced, execs say
Hospitals across Colorado could be forced to cut back services or even close if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed without an adequate replacement, several health care executives in Colorado warned on Wednesday. Across Colorado, as many as eight hospitals “could have sustainability problems” if the ACA is repealed without a similar replacement, said Steven Summer, the president and CEO of the Colorado Hospital Association. If the act is repealed without an adequate replacement, Summer and others said hospitals would not only have to cut back on those new services but also partially absorb the costs of treating more uninsured patients. (Denver Post)

Criticizing Kansas, feds deny extension of KanCare privatized Medicaid program
Federal officials have rejected Kansas’ request to extend its privatized Medicaid program, KanCare, saying it has failed to meet federal standards and risked the health and safety of enrollees. Kansas is “substantively out of compliance with federal statutes and regulations” according to investigators from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The state’s failure to ensure effective oversight of the program put the lives of enrollees at risk and made it difficult for them to navigate their benefits, the investigators found. Federal authorization for Kansas’ privatized Medicaid system ends at the end of this year. (Kansas City Star)

Committing to mental health
The Boston Globe recently brought to light the desperate need to improve the behavioral health care system to better protect and effectively treat children and adults who have mental health or substance-use conditions. Despite the presence of laudable science-based programs in the Commonwealth, these effective clinical-treatment and recovery-support services must be widely adopted and sustainably funded. There must be continued support for systemic reform, innovative treatment and the reporting of recovery results in order to destigmatize mental illness and ensure timely access to prevention, treatment and support services. (Boston Globe)

GOP governors pitch Medicaid reforms as Cornyn pledges no coverage losses
Republican governors told members of a key Senate panel on Thursday that they want more flexibility when it comes to Medicaid. That was the focus of a roughly two-hour, closed-door meeting among several GOP governors and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee, which is set to play a key role in crafting legislation that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, said concerns about people losing coverage were raised, but he said that wouldn’t happen under a Republican plan. (Morning Consult)

Leave a Comment

Please take a moment to read through our comment policy.

If you would like a photo to appear next to your comment, you'll need to upload a gravatar.