People With Down Syndrome Are Living Longer, but the Health System Still Treats Many as Kids
The median life expectancy for a U.S. baby born with Down syndrome jumped from about four years in 1950 to 58 years in the 2010s. That’s largely because they no longer can be denied lifesaving care, including surgeries for heart defects. But now, aging adults with Down syndrome face a health system unprepared to care for them.
Mental Health Care by Video Fills Gaps in Rural Nursing Homes
In-person mental health care is hard to arrange in rural nursing homes, so video chats with faraway professionals are filling the gap.
After People on Medicaid Die, Some States Aggressively Seek Repayment From Their Estates
States take drastically different approaches to recovering Medicaid money from deceased participants’ estates. Demands for repayment of Medicaid spending can drain the assets a person leaves behind, depending on where they lived.
Wave of Rural Nursing Home Closures Grows Amid Staffing Crunch
Many small-town care facilities that remain open are limiting admissions, citing a lack of staff, while a wave of others shutter. That means more patients are marooned in hospitals or placed far away from their families.
Addiction Treatment Proponents Urge Rural Clinicians to Pitch In by Prescribing Medication
The number of U.S. health care providers certified to prescribe buprenorphine more than doubled in the past four years, and treatment advocates hope to see that trend continue.
Mental Health Crisis Teams Aren’t Just for Cities Anymore
In many cities, social workers and counselors are responding to mental health emergencies that used to be solely handled by police. That approach is spreading to rural areas even though mental health professionals are scarcer and travel distances are longer.
As State Institutions Close, Families of Longtime Residents Face Agonizing Choices
Iowa, under federal pressure to improve care for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, is set to join 45 other states that have closed most or all of their state institutions for such residents.
Nurse Midwives Step Up to Provide Prenatal Care After Two Rural Hospitals Shutter Birthing Centers
Dozens of Iowa hospitals have closed their birthing units. A team of University of Iowa nurse midwives can’t reopen them, but they’ve found a way to provide prenatal checkups and other crucial services in two towns.
Rural Hospital Rescue Program Is Met With Skepticism From Administrators
A new federal rescue program that pays rural hospitals to shutter underused inpatient units and focus solely on emergency rooms and outpatient care hasn’t generated much interest yet.
Montana Hires a Medicaid Director With a Managed-Care Past
Montana, one of about a dozen states still managing its own Medicaid programs, has a new Medicaid director who championed handing the management of the program to private companies in Iowa and Kansas.