Health

Central Standard
11:23 am
Tue July 8, 2014

The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Sibling Relationships

Kids can be really loving, but they can also fight like cats and dogs.
Credit Ken Wilcox / Flickr, Creative Commons

The bonds and battles between siblings are unique and long-lasting. For some people, their brother or sister is the most treasured person in their life; others can't spend an hour in the same room together. On Monday's Central Standard, we discuss the psychology of these lifelong relationships. 

Guest:

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Health
11:18 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Some Veterans May Lose Needed Health Care If VA Pilot Program In Kansas Ends

Hugh Steadman, a World War II veteran who lives in Great Bend, Kan., used to have to drive two hours to the Veterans Affairs medical center in Wichita, pictured here. That commute shortened to 10 minutes when a pilot program paid for him to see a doctor in Great Bend.
Credit Wikimedia -- CC

 

A pilot program in Kansas allowing veterans who live far from Veterans Affairs hospitals to get care from local doctors may end, threatening veterans like Hugh Steadman with the cutoff of needed medical care.

Steadman, who flew combat missions over Germany as a bombardier during World War II, lives in Great Bend. He used to have to drive two hours to the VA medical center in Wichita, a trip that was getting more difficult for him to make.

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Up To Date
5:07 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Baby Boomers Hold The Highest Rate Of Suicide, Especially in Kansas

Trends in Suicide Rates* Among Persons Ages 25–64 Years, Both Sexes, by Age Group, United States, 1991–2009
Credit Centers for Disease Control

There are 76 million Americans who were born between the mid-40s and the mid-60s. The Baby Boomers have much of the wealth, much of the power, much of the responsibility in our nation today. But, they also now have the highest suicide rate among all age groups. Guest host Brian Ellison talks with Kansas City Star reporter Rick Montgomery about this alarming statistic and how the rate in Kansas has skyrocketed in the last few years.

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Health
3:48 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Rural Kansas Hospital Bolsters Recruitment By Enticing 'Missionary' Doctors

Kearny County Hospital CEO Benjamin Anderson has been to Zomba, Zimbabwe five times in the past four years doing medical mission work. He is pictured here with one of the children from the village.
Credit Tim Walter

Although 25 percent of Americans still live in rural areas, only 10 percent of doctors do, according to the National Rural Health Association, and finding physicians and other medical professionals willing to work in the hinterlands remains a serious, growing problem in Kansas and other parts of the United States.

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Health
3:27 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

KU Medical Center Tests Promising Alzheimer's Drug As Part Of Trial

Dr. Jeffrey Burns uses a PET scan to screen patients for an international drug trial.
Credit Stefani Fontana / KCUR

It’s a form of dementia that afflicts as many as 5.2 million people in the United States. It has no cure.

And as the population ages, the number of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to quadruple over the next 35 years, according to a study from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

That means that by 2050, 1 in 85 people will be living with the disease.

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Health
3:50 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Two Cases Of Rare Chikungunya Virus Diagnosed In Kansas

Two adults in Sedgwick County, Kan., in the south-central part of the state, have been diagnosed with a rare virus after returning from separate trips to the Caribbean.

The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus can result in joint pain and weakness that may last for years, but Kansas health officials say local transmission is highly unlikely.

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Health
5:01 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Medical Groups Clash Over Missouri Bill Creating New Class of Health Provider

Missouri legislators have approved a plan creating a new class of health provider to address the shortage of physicians in rural areas.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Over a fifth of Missourians, especially those who live in rural areas, don't have adequate access to doctors, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Now the state Legislature has approved a plan to address the problem by creating a new kind of health occupation.

The first such plan in the country, it has pitted health providers against one another amid concerns about its effect on the health of patients and the dilution of professional standards.

Medically underserved

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Health
4:06 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

KU Hospital Ranks Among 50 Top-Grossing Nonprofit Hospitals

University of Kansas Hospital
Credit University of Kansas Hospital

The University of Kansas Hospital was one of the nation’s top-grossing nonprofit hospitals last year, according to a recent analysis.

The cost report data, assembled by the American Hospital Directory and cited in a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review, showed the KU Hospital billing its public- and private-pay patients $3.96 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013.

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Health
8:57 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Surprise Halt To Kansas Health Homes Program Dismays Medicaid Providers

Kansas Medicaid providers with expansion plans ready to go after spending months and thousands of dollars preparing for the state’s new health homes initiative said they were “shocked” and “disappointed” that state officials abruptly chose to indefinitely delay much of the program’s implementation while giving the providers less than 24 hours' notice of the state’s decision to hit the pause button.

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Up to Date
4:02 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Sunscreen & Swimming: Staying Safe In And Out Of The Water

Credit State Library of Queensland

July is here and with it come picnics, fireworks, and trips to the local swimming hole. As the holiday weekend approaches, families throughout the Kansas City area are seeking relief from the heat at pools, lakes and rivers. But with a series of recent swimming-related accidents in the region, what should you know about summer safety?

On Tuesday's Up to Date we discuss staying safe in and out of the water - whether you're working on your tan or enjoying a dip.

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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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