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

Iowa News

The case for maintaining Iowa’s current Certificate of Need laws
At the heart of Iowa’s health care system are 118 community hospitals that stand ready, day and night, to serve everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. A significant reason for health care excellence in Iowa has been state oversight of institutional health-care services through the Certificate of Need law. Iowa’s Certificate of Need regulations were first enacted in 1977 for the express purpose of providing for the orderly and economical development of health care services, thereby avoiding unnecessary duplication of services, controlling the growth of overall health care costs and ensuring the stability of community hospitals. (Carroll Daily Times Herald)

Region is first in state to use new program, Telehealth, to bring stability to tough situations
The Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region is using technology and a new community-based program to serve people experiencing a mental health crisis. The region’s Mental Health Crisis Response Team uses videoconferencing technology to connect with people in crisis. The team, made up of therapists and social workers, responds to calls from law enforcement officers when they see signs that someone involved in an incident is in a mental health crisis. “It works out well for crisis assessment,” said Suzanne Watson, CEO of the region. “We’re the first region in the state to try this,” Watson said. (Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil)

Kids consider health care careers at expo
About 500 students from area middle and high schools examined careers in health care Thursday and Friday at the Quad-Cities Health Care Careers Expo at the Putnam Museum. Sponsored by the Quad Cities Health Care Alliance, the expo shared with students job and educational opportunities in health care, while addressing the shortage of health care professionals. “This is a community collaborative effort to plant seeds of success in kids who would be interested in a career in health care,” said Nancy Adams, education outreach facilitator for Genesis Medical Center. Expo planners said the shortage of health care professionals could threaten communities in western Illinois and eastern Iowa. (Rock Island Dispatch-Argus)

National News

More funding needed for mental health, disability senior services in Kansas
A Kansas House committee overseeing budgets for social services offered appreciation to programs serving the elderly and people with disabilities or mental illnesses. Legislators may not be able to offer much more than that. Representative Nancy Lusk suggested the committee endorse $2 million in funding that the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services requested to expand mental health crisis centers. One of the centers estimated it saved the state at least $6 million by diverting patients from Osawatomie State Hospital, she said. But the money for the crisis centers isn’t there. The state faces a $320 million deficit in the fiscal year ending July 1 and a projected deficit of $800 million in the following fiscal year. (KCUR)

Georgia hospital ‘provider fee’ bill gains final OK
Legislation needed to renew a fee on Georgia hospitals to help close a more than $900 million gap in Medicaid funding is on its way to Governor Nathan Deal’s desk. The fee directly raises more than $300 million a year. But the state uses that money to qualify for $600 million in matching federal funds giving the bill a $900 million annual impact on the state’s Medicaid budget. Representative Chuck Efstration acknowledging complaints from some that the provider fee could become obsolete if Congress abolishes the Affordable Care Act, said safeguards are built in. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Detroit hospitals see hope for heart attacks with new pump
Five health systems in southeastern Michigan have joined forces to save heart attack victims, using a new tiny heart pump. Since July, doctors from Henry Ford Health System, Beaumont, DMC Heart Hospital, St. Joseph Mercy Health System and St. John Providence Ascension have used Impella pumps, inserted in cardiac patients dealing with cardogenic shock, which has led to an 80 percent survival rate. Since the Detroit Cardiogenic Shock Initiative began in the summer, 30 patients have been treated using this protocol. Twenty-four of them survived. (Detroit Free Press)

Obamacare came to Montana Indian country and brought jobs
he Affordable Care Act created new health coverage opportunities more than half a million Native Americans and Alaska Natives — and jobs have followed on its coattails. In Montana, this is playing out at the Blackfeet Community Hospital. It’s the only hospital on the Blackfeet reservation and now, many Native Americans have been able to afford health insurance on the Obamacare exchange. Last year, Montana expanded Medicaid which has had a lot to do with the number of health care jobs in Montana growing by 3 percent last year, according to state statistics. And schools in Montana, including tribal colleges, are offering more classes in health care fields. (Kaiser Health News)

Health care produces another 18,300 jobs in January in face of ACA repeal
The great health care jobs creation machine kept cranking in January despite industry uncertainty over plans to repeal and possibly replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The industry produced 18,300 new jobs in January, raising overall employment in the sector to 15,617,200, according to the January jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up 374,300 jobs from a year ago and 58,500 from November 2016 when President Donald Trump won the presidency in an upset. Health care was the top job-producing sector over the past two years. (Modern Healthcare)

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