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

Iowa News

Iowa’s community hospitals contribute to the economy
Iowa’s community hospitals generate more than 127,000 jobs that add nearly 6.8 billion dollars to the state’s economy, according to the most recent Iowa Hospital Association economic impact report. Floyd County Medical Center in Charles City currently employs 198 people that over $14,500,000 to the economy in Floyd County. In addition, Floyd County Medical Center employees spend over 2,700,000 on retail sales and contribute over $163,000 in state sales tax revenue. Floyd County Medical Center CFO Bill Faust said it’s important for political leaders both in the state of Iowa and in Washington, D.C. remember the impact of local hospitals. (KCHA)

Trinity boosts local economy
UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center is a good example of something that is so vital a part of the immediate environment. Having a first-rate medical center close at hand is essential to the quality of life of every Fort Dodger. Trinity has become a major regional referral center for specialty care. That benefits not only those who call Fort Dodge or Webster County home, but also many others who live in the nearby counties. In Webster County, Unity Point Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center generates about 1,156 jobs and adds $70 million to the Webster County economy, according to the recent Iowa Hospital Association study. (Fort Dodge Messenger)

Iowa Republicans cautious on proposed health care plan
The Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act has drawn criticism from some conservative groups, but so far, Iowa Republicans are staying on the sidelines over the proposal. The House GOP released a copy of its health care proposal late Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, the Club for Growth, Heritage Action for America and FreedomWorks already had weighed in against it. FreedomWorks called it “Obamacare-lite,” and Heritage said insurance consumers wouldn’t see any major difference from the Affordable Care Act. Iowa Republicans in Congress weren’t that harsh. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

National News

Nearly all hospital groups come out against GOP Obamacare replacement
Associations representing virtually every type of hospital wrote to members of Congress on Wednesday to voice their opposition to the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. The associations include the largest — the American Hospital Association — as well as groups representing children’s hospitals, psychiatric hospitals and Catholic hospitals. Deep cuts in what hospitals are paid “while dramatically reducing coverage will reduce our ability to provide essential care to those newly uninsured and those without adequate insurance,” the groups said. “As a result, we cannot support the American Health Care Act as currently written.” (USA Today)

WSHA: GOP health care bill built on ‘faulty’ math
On Monday, House Republican leadership released legislation to repeal and replace major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The major provisions of the legislation follow an earlier version of the Republican leadership plan leaked in February. The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) has a draft analysis of the impact to Washington State. The proposed legislation fundamentally changes how insurance is funded through Medicaid and the insurance exchanges. WSHA’s top priority in the debate about the ACA is to preserve coverage expansions and ensure access to health insurance and care for its residents. (Washington State Hospital Association)

Five ways the GOP health bill would reverse course from ACA
After literally years of promises, House Republicans finally have a bill they say will “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Some conservative Republicans have derided the new proposal — the American Health Care Act — calling it “Obamacare lite.”  It keeps intact some of the more popular features of ACA, such as allowing adult children to stay on their parents’ health plans to age 26 and, at least in theory, ensuring that people with preexisting conditions will still have access to insurance. But there are some major changes in how people would choose and pay for health care and insurance. (Kaiser Health News)

Another delay for Medicaid contracts in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) on Friday announced another delay in the start day for new Medicaid management contracts covering about $12 billion in annual benefits. Because of protests by losing bidders for the contracts that were awarded in January, “the transition to the new agreements scheduled for June 2017 is no longer feasible,” DHS said in a notice. The winning bidders need more time to negotiate contracts with health care providers, DHS said. The new start date for the contracts is January 2018 in three of the state’s five Medicaid managed care zones, the Southwest, Northwest and Northeast. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

LA County health chief wants to ‘catch’ people dropped from coverage
Los Angeles (LA) county arguably has more to lose than any other California county if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed or dramatically scaled back. About 1.2 million LA county residents have signed up for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. Mitch Katz, director of the Los Angeles County Health Agency, believes state and local leaders must find ways to cover some or all of the county’s residents ― and Californians ― who might lose coverage if the law is repealed. Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors called on county health officials to “develop options” to maintain or extend coverage in the county and state if the law is repealed or significantly changed. (Kaiser Health News)

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