A new federal program has awarded the Missouri Foundation for Health $2 million in matching funds to take on the high rates of obesity and tobacco use throughout the state.
The St. Louis based non-profit is one of 11 organizations nationwide to receive the grants, and it plans to distribute the money to several groups across the state to run obesity and tobacco use-prevention programs.
Topkea, KS – New child care laws are now in effect in Kansas.
Since July 1, "Lexie's Law" has been on the books. It requires all day care facilities in the state to be licensed and inspected, as opposed to in the past, when many were not required to be inspected.
All child care facilities in Kansas will be inspected at least once every 12 months under the new law.
Another provision of the law requires the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to develop a web site for parents who are looking for a day care provider.
Topkea, KS – A report released today says more than 40,000 small businesses in Kansas will be eligible for tax credits to help pay for health insurance.
The federal health care law provides the tax credits for businesses with fewer than 25 employees.
Kathleen Stoll is with Families USA, a consumer advocacy group which commissioned the study. In a conference call with reporters, she said small businesses nationwide are struggling to pay for health insurance.
Kansas City, MO – School nurses throughout the region are pushing for teens and pre-teens to get vaccinated for meningitis this summer.
Meningitis is a bacterial or viral disease that inflames the membranes around the brain and spinal chord. It can lead to cognitive problems and the loss of limbs, and is fatal about ten percent of the time.
Jefferson City, MO – The people who challenged a Missouri ballot measure on health care have decided not to appeal a judge's decision dismissing their lawsuit. Attorney Chip Gentry says his clients don't plan to take the case to the Missouri Supreme Court.
Last week a circuit court judge rejected a lawsuit seeking to strike the proposal from the Aug. 3rd ballot. The lawsuit claimed legislators violated the state constitution in the way they drafted the measure.
Kansas City, MO – The U.S Department of Health and Human Services gave final approval yesterday to Missouri's new high risk insurance pool. The decision means a new coverage option is now available for Missourians with pre-existing conditions.
The Missouri Department of Insurance says it will start taking applications today for the pool. Travis Ford is with the department and says eligibility requirements are pretty simple.
Kansas City, MO – Michelle Obama was in Kansas City yesterday, where she addressed the national NAACP convention. The First Lady warned the longest running civil rights group not to take their accomplishments for granted. She said a new threat is facing the next generation of African Americans. And as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, she challenged everyone to 'get up' - literally - and do something about it.
First Lady Michelle Obama's battle cry yesterday was pretty loud and clear:
Kansas City, MO – First Lady Michelle Obama brought her campaign to combat childhood obesity to Kansas City today. She delivered the keynote address at the national NAACP convention, which is in town this week.
Michelle Obama said obesity is a national epidemic. One in every three children in the United States is overweight. And like other problems, she said it's hitting the African American community particularly hard.
Cape Girardeau, MO – Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder filed a personal legal challenge to the federal health care overhaul law today in Cape Girardeau.
The state of Missouri is not suing the federal government. Rather, Kinder is bringing the lawsuit as a private citizen and in his capacity as Lieutenant Governor. He is relying on private donors to fund the challenge, though he did not specify his contributors.
Topkea, KS – Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson returned from a trip to Washington D.C. recently, where he and a coalition of governors urged Congress to extend federal payments that help support the Medicaid program.
The joint state/federal health program benefits aged, low-income and disabled Kansans.
Federal stimulus legislation has helped pay a bigger chunk of the program in recent years than usual. State lawmakers have assumed that would be extended, and built the funding into the state budget for this fiscal year.
Kansas City, MO – For the many people who have pre-existing conditions and struggle to get health coverage, some relief is supposed to come today. July 1st marks the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' start-date for new high risk insurance pools. But in Kansas, like many other states (including Missouri), the pool isn't ready yet. And once it is up and running, it's still going to be quite limited. Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger recently spoke with KCUR's Elana Gordon about the situation and what's accounting for the delay.
Salinas, KS – A Wichita-area doctor and his wife have been convicted of illegally distributing prescription pain killers to patients who overdosed on them. More from Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson.
Kansas City, MO – Psychologists, in-home care providers for the disabled, and drug abuse counselors in Missouri are facing a two percent payment reduction from the state. Last week, Governor Jay Nixon announced the move as part of a response to declining revenues.
Alan Flory is head of Rediscover, a community mental health center in Jackson County. He says there's no simple answer to the state's fiscal situation, but he says the reduction now means Rediscover will have less ability to respond to people in need of immediate help.
Kansas City, MO – Dr. Jasper Fullard founded the Black Health Care Coalition in the mid eighties. The coalition's addressed health disparities and worked to improve access to health services and preventative education throughout the metro area. Now, after three decades of practicing internal medicine in Kansas City, Dr. Fullard is retiring. KCUR's Elana Gordon brings us this profile.
Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
Kansas City, MO – Some major changes are coming to the U.S. health care system. For one, the health care overhaul passed by congress this year is supposed to expand coverage. But for immigrants trying to access health care in Kansas City and around the country, big obstacles remain.
Springfield, Missouri – For families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, it's been a long time coming. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed into law a bill that requires insurance companies regulated by the state to provide coverage to children with autism. KSMU's Jennifer Moore attended the bill-signing press conference in Springfield yesterday and has this report.
Jefferson City, MO – Mental Health officials in Missouri are awaiting word if Governor Jay Nixon will cut their budget even more than lawmakers did this year.
Of the $484 million lawmakers cut from the state budget in April, nearly $26 million came from the Department of Mental Health, which oversees programs dealing with psychiatric health, drug and alcohol abuse, and Medicaid patients.
Kansas City, Mo. – More babies are making it to the full nine-month term in Kansas City. But experts aren't sure why.
Between 1990 and 2006, the rate of pre-term births escalated in Kansas City and around the country. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that rates are now starting to finally go down.
The pre-term birth rate in Kansas City, Missouri dropped by almost two percentage points between 2005 and 2008.
Kansas City, Mo. – About 1.6 million Missourians struggle to understand information about their health. As a result, area health leaders are launching a new initiative to improve health literacy across the state.
The nonprofit group, Health Literacy Missouri, is leading the project. Arthur Culbert is the group's president and says misunderstandings about health care are far too common.
"How many times have you seen a doctor and you walk out and it's like, 'I'm not really sure what he said,'" Culbert says.
Kansas City, Mo. – Federal health officials arrive at the Banister Federal Complex today, the latest part of an ongoing investigation of possible hazards inside the General Services Administration's (GSA's) side of the complex. It's the first time health officials have been called in.
Kansas City, Mo. – Much of the recently passed federal health reform law won't be implemented for several years. But one measure targeting young adults could take effect as early as next week. That's especially good news for college graduates. But the new change may not be as widespread in Kansas City as in other places.
Topkea, Kan. – The number of Kansans without health insurance is expected to drop by 190,000 when the new health care law is fully implemented, starting in 2014. A study released this week shows who will pick up the tab for that expanded coverage. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains.
Kansas City, Mo. – The new federal health law includes changes to insurance rules that could affect as many as a quarter of Missourians.
About 1.2 million people between the ages 18 and 64 have a diagnosed health condition in Missouri. That's according to a new study from the national consumer advocacy group Families U.S.A., which recently analyzed data from government surveys.
Kansas City, Mo. – Many in the health and pharmaceutical industries believe that the greatest possibilities for indigenous knowledge in mainstream society may come from natural healing remedies. Commonly used herbal remedies like aloe vera for burns, St. John's wort for depression and valerian root for insomnia are proven not just by clinical trials, but by thousands of years of traditional use.