Surviving small – Desperate for doctors

Finding health professionals to practice in Iowa's rural areas can be a serious challenge, experts say. Iowa has more than 360 Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas — a federal designation given when there is one primary care physician per 3,500 residents — many of them in rural areas.

Source: The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA)

Posted on: February 16, 2015

Surviving small: rural healthcare in Iowa – TheGazette

The nation's health care systems are in transition. And while hospitals across the country are grappling with changes to payment systems and quality measures, the tiniest hospitals in rural areas must work even harder to keep up. In Iowa, the rural health care system is made up of 82 Critical Access Hospitals — a special Medicare designation for smaller 25-bed facilities — and 142 rural health clinics, making it one of the largest rural health systems in the country, said Gloria Vermie, director of the State Office of Rural Health Director, which is part of the Iowa Department of Public Health. These facilities care for the more than 1.4 million people — or about 46 percent of the state's population — living in a rural community and are vital economic drivers in the communities they serve.

Source: The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette

Posted on: January 19, 2015

‘Home’ gets a new meaning for mentally disabled

About three dozen residential care facilities for people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities have closed since 2006 as federal health care programs steer money away from them and experts conclude that, with special assistance, most residents would be better off living by themselves or with a few others. Some families of seriously ill or disabled residents worry the new arrangements will lack sufficient support, but industry experts expect the wave of closures to continue.

Source: The Des Moines Register

Posted on: April 7, 2014

Estates billed for insurance costs

Iowa is one of 10 states invoking an obscure part of the Affordable Care Act, an estate-recovery policy for people on expanded Medicaid programs. Nearly 14,000 Iowan's are affected by the policy, which bills an estate for medical bills racked up during nursing home stays or similar care.

Source: The Des Moines Register

Posted on: March 17, 2014

Rules stymie help for autistic kids

The Register continues its Iowa Kids series, looking in to the challenges facing autistic kids and their families. Insurance companies rarely support treatment services and state and federal programs have many limitations.

Source: The Des Moines Register

Posted on: January 28, 2013