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

Iowa News

Youth flag football may not be safer than tackle
A new study from the University of Iowa (UI) Health Care has found that youth flag football may not be safer than youth tackle football. A team of UI researchers studied three large youth football leagues with nearly 3,800 participants comparing the number of injuries, severe injuries and concussions in players on flag and tackle football teams. Sports-related injuries are the leading cause of injury among children and adolescents. Results showed injuries were more likely to occur in flag football than in tackle football, however, there was no significant difference in the severity of the injuries between the two groups. (United Press International)

Small pacemaker brings big energy back to Iowa woman
It’s not every day you hear someone excited about chores, but 81-year old Trudy Hall of Ankeny has good reason. One year ago, Trudy was struggling to complete routine tasks around her home. Doctors quickly discovered the reason, and Trudy volunteered to be a test case for a medical device that had not yet been approved. “They told me that they had a brand new device, a pacemaker, and I thought, ‘oh my goodness,'” said Trudy. It was not just any pace maker-it was the world’s smallest pacemaker, about the size of a pill. The procedure was done at Mercy Medical Center West Lakes in Des Moines and because of the new Micra pacemaker, Trudy’s vitality is back. (WHO)

Man reunites with off duty officers, nurse who saved his life at the gym
Emotions ran high at Mercy Hospital in Omaha as Cory Kleindienst and his wife Kristine reunited with the men who saved Cory’s life at a metro gym. Omaha Police Officer Marc Van Sickle was also working out that day. He said, “I heard a female scream and I went to see what was going on. I saw Cory. He was laying down and he was blue and his hands were blue and his face was blue.” Bluffs Police Detective John Huey was also on the scene. “I saw that Marc was doing the chest compressions and thought right away, we’ve got to have an automated external defibrillator (AED).” A nurse, also at the gym grabbed a nearby AED. They used it to shock Cory back to life. (WOWT)

National News

State approval of increased hospital beds in Florida could end this year
Certificate of Need (CON) has been a heated topic in Florida for years. But Senator Rob Bradley, who is sponsoring a repeal bill in the Senate, say the rules limit competition. “Repealing CON could create a two-tiered health system in Florida,” said Clint Shouppe, who represents BayCare Health System. “One for patients with good-quality insurance and one for Medicaid and charity care patients.” Hospitals offset the costs of charity care patients and low Medicaid rates with patients who have private insurance. And Shouppe said he worries new hospitals could open intending to treat only those whose health plans can pay full price. (Tampa Bay Times)

Montana legislator says hospital prices are out of control
Alarmed by rising health care costs, a Montana legislator is seeking to impose price controls on hospitals and place them under the authority of the state’s public service commission (PSC). Democratic Representative Tom Woods of Bozeman asserted Wednesday before the House Human Services Committee that Montana Hospitals have a virtual monopoly in many communities. He wants the PSC to review any increases in pricing. Montana Hospital Association Vice President Bob Olsen pointedly denied that hospitals were “ripping off consumers.” He said Montana hospital prices rank among the lowest in the country. (Associated Press/Washington Times)

Rural hospitals closing at an alarming rate
According to the North Carolina Rural Research Program, 80 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. On top of that, 673 vulnerable rural hospitals are teetering on the edge, according to a 2016 report by the Chartis Center for Rural Health. Rural America tends to be sicker, older and poorer than the rest of the country. The expansion of the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act provided coverage to millions of previously uninsured people from low-income households, including those in rural areas. By increasing the number of people with health insurance, the Medicaid expansion directly benefitted rural hospitals. (healthline)

New data show the nation’s uninsured rate hit a record low last year
The nation’s uninsured rate tumbled further last year, hitting the lowest rate on record, according to new government data that underscored what is at stake in the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In the first nine months of 2016, just 8.8 percent of Americans lacked health coverage, survey data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. That was down from 16 percent in 2010, when President Obama signed the health care law. But President Trump and GOP congressional leaders have pledged to roll back the law and replace it with something that will provide Americans with more affordable healthcare options. (Los Angeles Times)

Trump administration ushers in changes to Obama health law
The Trump administration took steps Wednesday intended to help calm jittery insurance companies and make tax compliance with former President Barack Obama’s health law less burdensome for some people. But the changes could lead to plans with higher annual deductibles, according to the administration’s own proposal. For consumers, the proposed rules mean tighter scrutiny of anyone trying to sign up for coverage outside of open enrollment by claiming a “special enrollment period” due to a change in life circumstances such as the birth of a child, marriage or the loss of job-based insurance. (Associated Press/Chicago Tribune)


One Response to “Today’s NewsStand – February 16, 2017”
  1. Keith Miller says:

    Hello: Suggestions for efficiency.
    1. Hospitals post customer prices for services available should be standard practice.
    2. Hospital leadership spends much time and resources in attending meetings and lunches.
    3. Regional operated MRI and Cat Scan centers will offer hospitals some efficiency and improved use of resources.
    4. Surgical robotic devices have not been shown to decrease customer prices for procedures when compared to the same procedures w/o robotics devices. The robotic devices require a substantial capital investment.
    5. It is well known that our common illnesses are contributed by the western diet and lifestyle. There is very little attention to the effect on diet and nutrition and lifestyle.
    6. It is reported that 25% of the adult population is overweight or obese. Very little attention is provided in our hospitals.

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