St. Louis, Missouri – The Missouri Foundation for Health is providing close to $2 million dollars to fund a state-wide survey of tobacco use and its health effects. The largest adult health study ever conducted in the state will reach more than 52,000 Missourians.
The year-long study is a follow-up to a similar one conducted in 2007.
Kansas City, MO – Missouri's autism insurance mandate takes effect this month. The law requires insurance companies to cover autism therapies for children. The state's gearing up to license therapists to do the work, but as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, that process is just getting underway. -------
Missouri's new law requires state-regulated insurance companies to cover up to $40,000 a year in an intensive therapy, called applied behavioral analysis (ABA), for children up to the age of 18.
Prairie Village, KS – For more than a decade, the non-profit Kansas Advocates for Better Care, or KABC, has released an annual report detailing the best and worst performing nursing homes in the state. The findings are based on state inspections over a three year period (the inspections occur once every 12 to 15 months).
Kansas City, MO – Safe Haven laws are designed to protect abandoned newborns from harm or death. Both Missouri and Kansas have had laws on the books for several years. But as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, local children's advocates worry the statutes may be underused. -------
Safe Haven laws allow parents to safely turn over a newborn without fear of prosecution.
Topkea, KS – Governor-elect Sam Brownback today named his choices to head two health and human services agencies.
Dr. Robert Moser will head the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Moser currently works at the University of Kansas School of Medicine's Wichita branch. Before that he worked with Greeley County Health Services.
Moser says one of his priorities will be focusing on preventative medicine.
Kansas City, MO – The idea that a child might die is something that's difficult to grasp, even for hospitals. Children's Mercy in Kansas City has only had a palliative care program for a few years. Rosemary Hubble manages the program. She's a petite woman, originally from Great Britain. But as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, she serves an important - though not prominently featured - role at the hospital.
St. Louis, Missouri – Governor Jay Nixon is calling upon the General Assembly to reauthorize Missouri Rx, the state program that provides prescription drug assistance to low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
Topeka, KS – Kansas could be one of the states that helps develop health insurance exchanges, part of the federal health reform law. The exchanges will be pools of insurance options that Kansans will be able to choose from. As KPR's Stephen Koranda reports, the federal government will be making grants available to states to develop test systems.
By Veronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio (KC updates by Elana Gordon)
St. Louis, Missouri – Pertussis is on the rise in St. Louis County (but not Kansas City). More commonly known as "whooping cough," pertussis has sickened close to 200 St. Louis residents this year, most of them in the past six weeks.
The highly contagious bacterial infection spreads through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Infants, small children, and pregnant women are especially at risk.
Kansas City, MO – Pharmacies in Missouri would not be required to stock the "morning after" pill and could not be sued for it, under legislation proposed in the Missouri House.
The bill is sponsored by State Representative David Sater (R, Cassville), who owned and operated a pharmacy in Barry County for 30 years. He says it would not bar pharmacies from selling the pill, but would guarantee their right not to if the owners so choose.
Springfield, Missouri – With methamphetamine lab busts on the rise in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon is calling on lawmakers to make certain cold medicines available only by prescription. The idea is to limit access to pseudoephedrine, a key meth ingredient. Nixon was in Springfield Tuesday to discuss the proposal. KSMU's Missy Shelton was there and files this report. --------
St. Louis, Missouri – A new study led by the New York University School of Medicine has shown that the directions on over-the-counter liquid medications for kids aren't what they should be. And as St. Louis Public Radio's Veronique LaCapra reports, that could mean kids aren't getting the right dose. --------
Topkea, KS – Cancer is now the leading cause of death in Kansas...even though cancer rates have been going down. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains. --------
For almost 90 years, heart disease has been the number one cause of death in Kansas. But the 2009 annual summary of vital statistics, which was just released by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, now lists cancer as the leading killer.
Topkea, KS – Insurance agents serve as a link between consumers and insurance companies. Some agents are worried that their role may disappear when the nation's new health care law takes full effect in 2014. More from Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson. --------
2014 is when people who don't have group coverage through large employers will begin buying health insurance through a new web based system of exchanges.
Kansas City, MO – Major problems exist when it comes to health in the U.S...whether it be fragmented care or preventable diseases. That's according to Dr. Donald Berwick, head of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Dr. Berwick shared these concerns with area health leaders on a stop in Kansas City yesterday. But as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, Dr. Berwick said major improvements are also possible right now.
Because many artists are self-employed or work jobs that don't provide insurance, they often fall through the cracks when it comes to health care.
Kansas City, MO – Because many artists are self-employed or work jobs that don't provide insurance, they often fall through the cracks when it comes to health care. With the recent overhaul in the nation's health care system, by 2014, most Americans are required to have health insurance or face a fine. A national organization has a goal of insuring every artist, as KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Missouri Health Department has launched a new initiative to curb asthma attacks among kids. Last year, the health problem accounted for more than 3,000 childhood hospitalizations in the city.
Kansas City, MO – The University of Missouri-Kansas City will soon be training more doctors.
The school of medicine has received a nearly four million dollar grant through the recently passed federal health law to expand its residency programs. The funding will add two additional training slots to the school's family medicine and internal medicine programs.
Dr. Todd Shaffer directs the residency program for family medicine. He says the new residents will do some of their training at nearby rural hospitals.
Kansas City, MO – A new audit has found the General Services Administration [GSA] failed to manage health and environmental concerns at the bannister federal complex.
GSA has field offices and a daycare there. The facility also houses a manufacturing plant for nuclear bomb parts. Some of those plant workers have gotten cancer from previously being exposed to contaminants like beryllium.