Health

Health
12:45 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Walgreens Will Offer Medical Services In Collaboration With HCA Midwest

Credit Mike Mozart / Flickr -- Creative Commons

As part of a growing trend linking traditional healthcare providers with retailers, HCA Midwest Health System announced Tuesday that it will offer coordinated care at select Walgreens stores.

HCA, the biggest health system in Kansas City, said the Walgreens Healthcare Clinics will be staffed by nurse practitioners, who will provide care for minor illnesses and injuries, health testing and other non-emergency services.

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Health
11:44 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Where KanCare Meets Obamacare

Shelley Schultz, left, a residential client of Cottonwood, Inc. in Lawrence, talks with registered nurse Pat Turmes, who works at Cottonwood's clinic. Cottonwood's nurses sit down with clients on a regular basis for wellness checks.
Credit Mike Shields / KHI News Service

Gov. Sam Brownback once called Obamacare “an abomination,” and with the federal health reform law now four years on the books bad-mouthing it has become a conservative Republican ritual.

But this week, after more than a year of planning and preparation by Kansas and federal officials, the Affordable Care Act and Brownback’s own KanCare initiative begin coming together in ways that will make the two programs indistinguishable to as many as 72,000 Kansas Medicaid beneficiaries.

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Health
5:16 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

FAQ: High Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling Cuts Into Contraceptive Mandate

Kaiser Health News

In a 5-4 decision Monday, the Supreme Court allowed a key exemption to the health law’s contraception coverage requirements when it ruled that closely held, for-profit businesses could assert a religious objection to the Obama administration’s regulations. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the case.

Q: What did the court’s ruling do?

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Health
3:55 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby Ruling A Win For Kansas City Construction Company

Kansas City-based JE Dunn Construction Co. says it no longer offer some contraceptive coverage to employees based on Monday's Supreme Court ruling.
Credit brains the head / Flickr-CC

A construction company based in Kansas City, Mo., plans to limit the contraceptive coverage it offers employees in the wake of Monday's Hobby Lobby Supreme Court ruling.

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Health
3:42 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Supreme Court Limits Contraceptive Mandate For Certain Employers

Kaiser Health News

A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that at least some for-profit corporations may not be required to provide contraceptives if doing so violates the owners’ religious beliefs.

But the five-justice majority writing in Burwell v Hobby Lobby, et al., took pains to try to limit their ruling only to the contraceptive mandate in the health law and only to “closely held” corporations like the family-owned businesses represented by the plaintiffs in the case.

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Health
2:53 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

CDC report: Alcohol Accounts For One In 10 Deaths Of Working-age Adults

Excessive alcohol use accounts for almost one in 10 deaths among working-age adults in the United States, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, released late last week, found that from 2006 to 2010 excessive use of alcohol killed nearly 88,000 Americans each year. In 2001, the last time CDC researchers reviewed the data, alcohol was blamed for almost 75,800 deaths.

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Health
9:54 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Some Companies Can Refuse To Cover Contraception, Supreme Court Says

Customers enter a Hobby Lobby store in Antioch, Calif., this past spring. The Supreme Court is ruling on the crafts store chain's resistance to portions of the Affordable Care Act. The store's owners cite their religious freedom.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:54 pm

The Supreme Court has ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act's provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.

The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores and those of another closely held company, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., had objected on the grounds of religious freedom.

The ruling affirms a Hobby Lobby victory in a lower court and gives new standing to similar claims by other companies.

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Health
2:01 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Truman Med Breaks Ground On New Hospital Hill Outpatient Center

Business and civic leaders break ground for the new Truman outpatient center on Hospital Hill.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Truman Medical Centers' new outpatient center will provide a range of medical services beyond the acute care for which the system is best known.

At a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday morning, Truman President and CEO John Bluford said the center — a four-story, 90,0000-square-foot building at Truman's Hospital Hill campus costing $29 million — was a symbol of the alliance between Truman and its physician partners.

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Health
11:22 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Cerner Teams Up To Bid On $11 Billion Defense Department Contract

Cerner's headquarters in North Kansas City
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

Cerner Corp. has teamed up with two other government contractors to bid on an estimated $11 billion electronic health-record system for the Defense Department, according to Modern Healthcare magazine.

The publication reports that the Kansas City-based healthcare information technology company has formed an alliance with Leidos and Accenture Federal Services to bid on the 10-year contract for the department’s health system.

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Health
8:30 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Online Tool Helps Match Foster Children, Families

The University of Kansas and a child advocacy group have developed an online tool that helps social workers match adoptive families with children in foster care.

The tool, called Every Child a Priority, or ECAP, uses statistical analysis and technology to figure out which families are most likely to meet a child’s needs.

“Essentially, ECAP is an enhanced matchmaking service for children and families,” Mike Patrick, chief executive at TFI Family Services Inc., said in a prepared statement.

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Health
3:08 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

KC-Area Project Uses Churches For TIPS On Addressing AIDS Among Blacks

LaTrischa Miles (left) and Yvonne Richmond were two of the women who organized the Taking it to the Pews AIDS-awareness project at Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ in Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Mike Sherry / The Hale Center for Journalism

When activists worldwide marked three decades since the emergence of a mysterious immune disease, Kansas City, Kan., participants posted a timeline of key events in the fight against the AIDS pandemic in a building foyer in their community.

Yet this was no ordinary foyer; it was the main entrance to Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ at 2025 N. 12th St. Not only that, but the display in the African American church went up right around Christmastime to coincide with World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

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Health
9:50 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Colyer Urges Public To Report Adult Abuse

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer urged Kansans to report instances of adult abuse during a Wednesday event in Topeka.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer on Wednesday urged Kansans to be quick in letting state officials know when they suspect an older adult is being abused or neglected.

“Elder abuse is something that should not be tolerated,” he said, addressing an early afternoon rally in a parking lot next to the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging.

About 50 people — a mix of state employees and agency case workers — attended the 40-minute rally, one of several events being staged to highlight policy initiatives of Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration prior to the upcoming primary and general elections.

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Health
9:24 am
Thu June 26, 2014

KC Chamber To Tackle Health Issues

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is asking the public what its priorities should be as the first step in a new health initiative.

Healthy KC is a collaboration introduced Wednesday by the Chamber, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and local health leaders. The group will focus on improving health throughout the metro area.

“The message behind the new Healthy KC Commission is, ‘We’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired,’” Chamber CEO Jim Heeter said in a statement Wednesday.

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Health
8:19 am
Thu June 26, 2014

KC Checkup: Five Questions For Scott Lakin

Scott Lakin
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Kansas City is known for lots of things: barbecue, the Country Club Plaza, broad boulevards, the place where Walt Disney grew up.

Less flatteringly, Kansas Citians are fatter, exercise less and smoke more than most of the rest of the country.

As leader of the Mid-America Regional Coalition’s Regional Health Care Initiative, Scott Lakin works to address those unhealthy distinctions. Lakin is a former Missouri state representative and one-time director of the Missouri Department of Insurance.

He answered five questions as part of our monthly series, KC Checkup:

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Health
2:10 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Children's Mercy Hospital Homes In On LGBT Health Disparities

Children's Mercy Hospital is the only hospital in the Kansas City area currently recognized as a 'Leader in LGBT Healthcare.'
Credit wikipedia.org

Different populations have different healthcare needs, and providing optimal care to the estimated 89,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Kansas City is an ongoing challenge for local hospitals and clinics.

Studies have identified the many health disparities faced by the LGBT community, and Kansas City is no exception. A 2012 report by the Missouri Foundation for Health says that LGBT Missourians are more likely to experience poor health outcomes than their heterosexual peers. 

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Health
6:24 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

KC Photo Exhibit Takes Aim At Stigma Associated With HIV And AIDS

Keith
Duane Cramer Duane Cramer Creative

This Friday is National HIV Testing Day, first created almost 20 years ago to encourage members of the public to learn their HIV status. Since then, what it means to be HIV-positive has changed dramatically.

Individuals diagnosed as positive today can expect to live as long as they would without the virus, as long as they receive treatment.

But many HIV patients, especially in African American communities, don't receive the treatment they need, and health advocates blame that on the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS.

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Health
5:43 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Truman Med Could Get Hit With Penalty Over Infection Rates

Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill
Credit Wikimedia-CC

Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill is among 175 hospitals nationwide most likely to be penalized with the loss of Medicare payments because of high rates of infection and other complications.

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services calculated preliminary “hospital-acquired condition” scores from 1 to 10, with one being best and 10 being worst.

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Health
4:37 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Groups Question Changes To Kansas Nursing Home Disclosures

Mitzi McFatrich, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care, has some concerns about a change in the state's nursing home inspection reporting process.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services is changing the way it shares its reports on nursing home conditions with the public.

The new system, officials say, will make the reports more accurate and more accessible.

But for a group that supports nursing home residents and their families, the changes will make it harder to know which homes are the subjects of complaints and investigations of substandard care.

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Health
10:19 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Missouri Measure Would Enact ‘Right to Try’ Drug Program For Dying Patients

If you were dying and had exhausted all conventional treatment options, wouldn’t you want immediate access to a drug that might prove to be a miracle cure?

That’s the promise of legislation that, if signed by Gov. Jay Nixon, would make Missouri the third state in the country - after Colorado and Louisiana – to enact a so-called “Right to Try” law, which aims to get  investigational drugs into the hands of terminally ill patients as quickly as possible.

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Health
9:48 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Report: Expanded Liquor Sales In Kansas Could Have Health Consequences

Credit Matteo Paciotti / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Expanding liquor sales to grocery and convenience stores in Kansas could lead to more underage drinking, according to a new report from the Kansas Health Institute.

The report, called a health impact assessment, is designed to give policymakers information about the potential health consequences of expanded liquor sales.

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Health
4:32 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Rose Brooks Domestic Violence Shelter Opens On-Site Clinic

Women and children escaping domestic abuse often need more than shelter. Many also have serious medical issues.

To address them, Rose Brooks Center, one of the area's largest domestic violence shelters, on Thursday opened a new two-bed health clinic inside its Kansas City facility.

Susan Miller, Rose Brooks' CEO, says the clinic will fill a vital need for the more than 800 women and children sheltered by the agency each year.

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Central Standard
3:26 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Glore Psychiatric Museum Is A Missouri Mental Health Time Capsule

Devices like "fever cabinets" (on view at the Glore Psychiatric Museum) were used to treat mental illness before medical advances rendered them obsolete.
Credit Gina Kaufmann, KCUR

On Thursday's Central Standard, we looked back at the history of intervention in mental health crises, going all the way back to the 19th century. 

The Glore Psychiatric Museum (formerly known as State Lunatic Asylum #2) captures both the treatments of the past and the controversies they sparked. Treatments in mental health hospitals once ranged from a "bath of surprise," which disrupted thought-patterns by dropping the patient into a shockingly cold bath, to lobotomies and fever cabinets.

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Health
11:46 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Survey: Most Buying On Insurance Exchanges Weren’t Previously Covered

Kaiser Health News 

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Health
8:23 am
Thu June 19, 2014

AARP Ranks Kansas 17th In Long-term Care For Disabled And Elderly

Kansas’ efforts to address the ever-burgeoning needs of its aged and disabled populations rank 17th best in the nation, according to a scorecard released Thursday by AARP.

“Seventeenth — that places us in the second quartile of states, or somewhere toward the middle of the road,” says Maren Turner, director of AARP Kansas. “Kansas can do better than that. I mean, who wants to receive middle-of the-road services? Most people don’t.”

Kansas ranked 18th in a similar report last year. It came in ninth in 2011.

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Central Standard
3:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Counting Kansas City's Pollen

Charles Barnes in his laboratory at Children's Mercy.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

On Wednesday's Central Standard, we speak with the person who can explain why you've been sneezing more than usual. Charles Barnes tells us everything we ever wanted to know about pollen, especially how much of it is floating through our air.

Guests:

  • Charles Barnes, Director of the Allergy and Immunology Laboratory at Children's Mercy Hospital
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Health
2:28 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Former Kansas Family Still Hopeful Medical Marijuana Will Help Their Epileptic Son

Ryan and Kathy Reed recently moved from Kansas to Colorado hoping that a marijuana extract legally available in there will help control their son Otis' epileptic seizures.
Credit Trevor Graff / KHI News Service

Ryan and Kathy Reed celebrated their son Otis’ third birthday last week, hoping that better days are ahead for him in the family’s new Colorado home.

Otis suffers from uncontrollable epileptic seizures. His body stiffens with them hundreds of times each day.

The Reeds left Kansas for Colorado in early May to gain access to medical marijuana for Otis. He received his first dose of non-psychotropic marijuana extract – known as Charlotte’s Web – on May 8. In the weeks since, steady increases in the dosage have helped Otis to sleep better but haven’t reduced his seizures.

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Health
11:16 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Obamacare Enrollees In Missouri And Kansas Pay Less Than $100 A Month With Tax Credits

A new report analyzing health plan enrollment through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace shows that most people who signed up — about 70 percent — are paying less than $100 a month for coverage after their advance tax credits are accounted for and nearly half those who enrolled are paying less than $50 per month.

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Health
8:49 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Say What? Many Patients Struggling To Learn The Foreign Language Of Health Insurance

Jessie Yuan, physician at the Eisner Pediatric and Family Health Center in Los Angeles, treats diabetic patient Oscar Gonzales. Gonzalez was unaware he had been switched to Medi-Cal until Yuan informed him about the change.
Credit Anna Gorman / Kaiser Health News

Kaiser Health News

As soon as Deb Emerson, a former high school teacher from Oroville, Calif., bought a health plan in January through the state’s insurance exchange, she felt overwhelmed.

She couldn’t figure out what was covered and what wasn’t. Why weren’t her anti-depressant medications included?  Why did she have to pay $60 to see a doctor? The insurance jargon - deductible, co-pay, premium, co-insurance - was like a foreign language. What did it mean?

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Health
8:44 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Kansas Hospitals Crafting Medicaid Expansion Proposal

Tom Bell, chief executive of the Kansas Hospital Association, says the group plans to submit proposed legislation to expand Medicaid in Kansas.
Credit Kansas Hospital Association

It’s make-or-break time for advocates of Medicaid expansion in Kansas.

Fearing that political events may be conspiring to foreclose the opportunity to use mostly federal dollars to extend coverage to thousands of uninsured poor adults, the Kansas Hospital Association is preparing to shift its lobbying campaign into high gear.

The first step, says Tom Bell, the association’s chief executive, will be to craft an expansion proposal for lawmakers to consider in the 2015 session.

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Health
8:38 am
Tue June 17, 2014

VA Rural Health Care Pilot Under The Gun In Kansas

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran says a Veterans Administration pilot program offering timely quality health care to rural veterans is being allowed to expire in a few months, even though VA officials tell members of Congress no decision has been made.

Moran and four of his colleagues sent a letter to the VA Secretary seeking an explanation. 

The pilot program, called Access Received Closer to Home, or ARCH, is offered through five pilot sites across the country, including one in Pratt, Kan.

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