LAWRENCE, Ks. – A little-known provision in the new federal healthcare law is starting to save senior citizens a lot of money. The provision, contained in the Affordable Care Act, took effect at the beginning of this year and now, senior citizens are starting to take notice. As Kansas Public Radio Bryan Thompson reports, that could translate into stronger support for the embattled law.
OVERLAND PARK, Ks. – Kansas may soon be the only state where women can't get an abortion. A new law requires that clinics which provide abortions be licensed by the state. Officials recently indicated no existing abortion providers have met the new state licensing rules, which take effect Friday. But as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, the measure is being challenged in federal court.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Secretary of State has approved a petition for circulation that would raise the state's cigarette tax by a dollar. But as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, the petition is not gaining popularity among some long-time tobacco-tax supporters.
SALINA, Ks. – With the prospect of several weeks of flooding along the Missouri River, many people may be tempted to wade into the water in areas where they think they know the underlying terrain. But the advice from the Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment, Robert Moser?: Don't do it! Bryan Thompson has more.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A new law in Kansas is making it easier for kids who aren't covered under their parent's plans to get health insurance. Finding such child-only health policy plans hasn't always been a problem in Kansas. But as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, difficulties emerged after a federal policy aimed at expanding health coverage to children recently took effect.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation today reauthorizing the state's prescription drug assistance program for low-income seniors for three more years.
Missouri Rx pays half of the cost of prescription drugs, including co-pays and deductibles, for eligible seniors. It's designed to cover the gap in Medicare prescription drug benefits known as the donut hole. The governor says the program will still be needed, even as President Obama phases in his overhaul of the health care system.
OLATHE, Ks. – About one in four adults has a mental health condition, and in places like Johnson County, Kansas, community mental health centers provide important support to such individuals. But lately, such agencies have been trying to do more with less: a growing number of people are turning to them for care; fewer dollars are coming in to pay for it. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more on how the region is dealing with the strain.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – "Neither rain nor sleet," as the old postal slogan goes, would have stopped the Pony Express from its delivery route 150 years ago. But now, after 32 years of consecutive re-enactments, the threat of an equine herpes virus is delaying the mail relay.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – US Senator Claire McCaskill wants to gather more feedback about veterans think about the VA hospital in Kansas City. The Missouri Democrat stopped at the World War One Museum in Kansas City this morning.
Sanitation issues at a VA hospital in St. Louis prompted the first survey there. McCaskill said she'd like to see it expanded.
SALINA, Ks. – A new law that went into effect May 19 allows law enforcement officers in Kansas to find out whether someone they've arrested has been treated for a mental illness. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson has more.
The law is meant to stear suspects with mental illnesses toward treatment programs rather than jail. Previously, mental health centers could not tell officers whether someone had been a patient in most cases.
SALINA, Ks. – A new report from the Pew Center on the States says Kansas is not making any progress in addressing the dental needs of children. As Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson reports, Kansas met only four of the eight benchmarks in the "Making Coverage Matter" report card again this year.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The FDA has approved a new drug to treat hepatitis C, a virus that can cause liver damage and cancer. A second drug is expected to get approval soon, and researchers say both new medications should improve recovery rates for this hard-to-treat disease.
In the U.S., existing medications cure only about 50 percent of patients with Hepatits C. Most have what's known as the genotype 1 form of the virus.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Children's Mercy Hospital has opened a new center for environmental health. The head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, joined local health leaders yesterday for the announcement.
Dr. Jennifer Lowry is medical director of the new center and says it will better coordinate already existing hospital programs, like home assessments for children with asthma and environment-related drug research. The center will also operate a clinic focused on identifying and caring for kids with environmental exposures to substances like lead.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Environmental Protection Agency wants to clamp tighter regulations on pollutants that can cause asthma and other chronic health problems. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was in Kansas City today, promoting the proposed regulations. KCUR's Elana Gordon caught up with Jackson by phone this morning, just prior to her visit. Jackson said the U.S. is at critical point when it comes to environmental health.
KANSAS CITY, Ks. – A broad effort to improve the health of Wyandotte County residents is getting underway.
Joe Reardon, mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, called for the creation of a health task force last year, in response to a study ranking Wyandotte as the least healthy county in all of Kansas.
TOPEKA, Ks. – A conference committee meeting today at the Kansas Statehouse will continue efforts to finalize a budget bill. Mental health organizations, meanwhile, are bracing for possible cuts in state funding.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is among a handful of Blue Cross plans that federal authorities are looking to determine whether agreements with hospitals stifle health care competition.
Spokeswoman Sue Johnson said the local Blue Cross plan received a "civil investigation demand" from the Justice Department last month, asking for information about its use of so-called "most-favored-nation" provisions in contracts with hospitals and other care providers.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The four-mile stretch of Independence Avenue, between Paseo Boulevard and Interstate 435, contains hundreds of businesses: taquerias, mechanics, and check-cashing agencies to name a few. But there's only one place where you can find basic medical care. It's the solo practice of Dr. Elaine Joslyn. Dr. Joslyn's been caring for residents in Kansas City's Northeast neighborhood for over two decades. But as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, doctors like her are becoming increasingly hard to find.
TOPEKA, Ks. – Kansas is now taking part in a multi-state online system aimed at better tracking medication used to make methamphetamine. Attorney General Derek Schmidt and members of the Kansas Board of Pharmacy announced the new controls Monday.
Pharmacies will now link to an online system to see if buyers have purchased the legal limit of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth. Kansas already limits the sale of the medication, but Schmidt says this will strengthen the law.