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

Iowa News

Surgery touched by big-screen technology
Buena Vista Regional Medical Center (BVRMC) in Storm Lake is one of the first health care institutions in Iowa that has the VISERA 4K Ultra High-Definition (UHD) System, a big-screen TV and camera system that delivers four times the pixels, higher resolution, better light and a wider color spectrum than standard high-definition displays. The technology should allow BVRMC surgeons to operate with increased precision and confidence. (Sioux City Journal)

CareNow clinic opens at West Locust Hy-Vee
Medical help is now available at the new Genesis Convenient CareNow clinic in an unexpected location: Hy-Vee on West Locust St. It’s located next to the supermarket pharmacy, a big help when a patient is treated for common ailments, such as sore throat, earache and cold and flu symptoms. While these clinics have rolled out across the country, this is the first partnership with Genesis Health System and Hy-Vee. The clinic is part of the hospital organization’s convenient care network with a new name: Genesis Convenient CareNow. (Quad-City Times)

National News

New attention to struggles of Kansas hospitals fuels Medicaid expansion effort
Renewed attention to the financial struggles of several Kansas hospitals is giving supporters of Medicaid expansion a potentially powerful argument as they work to build a veto-proof majority for a new bill. “The conversation became much more real with the renewed talk about hospital closures,” said David Jordan, director of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas. House Minority Leader Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, said information provided by the Kansas Hospital Association has convinced him that expansion would be a “lifeline” to many of the state’s struggling hospitals. (KCUR)

Scott Walker’s plan to drug test Medicaid applicants would backfire
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is proposing changes to the state’s Medicaid program, also known as BadgerCare, that would require drug testing and treatment for some applicants. An official in the Walker administration said the measure aims to help individuals transition to work. Jon Peacock, research director at Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, said the program would actually work against Walker’s previously stated goal to decrease the number of uninsured Wisconsinites. (Madison Capital Times)

Trump’s threat to gut Obamacare on his own worries Minnesotans
President Trump is warning he may try to withhold $7 billion in health care subsidy payments until Democrats agree to negotiate an Obamacare replacement bill. Local observers in Minnesota say that could be disastrous to people who depend on that aid. Earlier in his presidency, he took steps to end another key provision: ceasing enforcement of the mandate to carry health insurance. Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper recently warned that weakening or eliminating the mandate would be problematic for the already troubled non-group market for insurance. (Minnesota Public Radio)

South Carolina hospital system’s telehealth efforts show change is hard but not impossible
Palmetto Health, a six-hospital system headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, has been working to push its telehealth efforts. As some care seems to be moving away from hospitals directly and into retail clinics and telehealth apps, forward-thinking organizations are beginning to experiment with new modes of care delivery. With change comes uncertainty, but some like Tripp Jennings, chief value and informatics officer at the health system, believe that organizations need to work through the uncertainty to stay relevant in today’s landscape of changing health care expectations. (Healthcare Dive)

Ryan, Trump-aligned groups change focus in health care ad campaigns
Political groups aligned with President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan are doling out millions of dollars to defend House Republicans who are taking heat at home for supporting the GOP’s now-stalled plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. The moves show a shift in the groups’ focus, from targeting skeptics of the health care plan to focusing on its supporters, which have faced pressure from both the political right and left. (Morning Consult)

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