Jefferson City, MO – Union leaders in Missouri are not happy with a new health insurance plan for state employees. It replaces the current co-pay system with one that requires state workers to pay deductibles. Richard von Glahn is with the Missouri State Workers Union.
"We are frustrated because state employees are gonna be faced with higher out-of-pocket health care costs the Missouri legislature continues to choose policies that balance our revenue crisis on the backs of state workers," says von Glahn.
Kansas City, MO – Missouri students returning to school this fall may have less access to a nurse. That's following the recent end to a nearly two decade-old school health program.
The Missouri Health Initiatives Fund helped support nearly 800 nurses and health care workers in about half of the state's public school districts, mainly rural ones. Some private schools also qualified.
Columbia, Missouri – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is urging consumers to avoid raw eggs while health officials determine the source of recent salmonella outbreaks being reported in several states.
No cases of salmonella linked to the eggs have been reported in Missouri or Kansas.
Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa issued two recalls in the last week of shell eggs that were shipped last month. A third recall by Iowa-based Hillandale Farms was issued today.
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's health department says it's purged infection rate data for hospitals statewide. The move is drawing complaints from consumers who say it frustrates their efforts to adequately assess hospital performance.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports state officials believe the deleted material from 2005 through 2008 costs too much to maintain and is too sensitive for the public to examine for more than a year.
Topkea, KS – The World Health Organization recently declared the H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic to be over, but local health officials say the H1N1 virus will remain a major concern this upcoming flu season.
Misty Kruger is with the Shawnee County Health Agency.
"Based on past pandemics, what they expect to happen is that the H1N1 virus will take on the behavior of the seasonal influenza," says Kruger. "Basically it will continue to circulate, but we do anticipate that it will just kind of blend in like the seasonal flu."
Topkea, KS – Computer access to numerous Kansas Health and Environment records is being restored after a systems failure nearly two weeks ago.
KDHE Secretary Rod Bremby said Monday that server problems were to blame. He said access has been restored to systems handling state vital statistics, immunizations and child care licensing, among others.
Young children dealing with trauma will soon find more support inside area classrooms.
Crittenton Children's Center, a local mental health agency, developed a Head Start trauma program about two years ago. It focuses on treating kids in the classroom environment and training school staff on how to better identify and help kids who've been exposed to violence.
Beginning this week, kids craving a sweet snack or beverage during school are going to have a lot fewer options in Kansas.
The Kansas Board of Education recently approved new vending machine policies that take effect this month. It means soda and certain types of candy will no longer be available during the day at elementary and middle schools or until an hour after lunch in high schools.
A new Center for American Indian Health is coming to the region. KU medical center has received a $7.5 million federal grant aimed at reducing American Indian health disparities.
Compared to the rest of the U.S. population, American Indians are much more likely to suffer from things like diabetes and breast cancer.
Shelley Bointy is project director of the new center. During a news conference at Haskell Indian Nations University on Friday, Bointy said the program will involve an unprecedented amount of community participation at the university level.
Kansas has launched a new insurance program for residents with preexisting health conditions. Similar high risk pools are opening up across the country this month, as part of the federal health law Congress passed earlier this year.
Coverage through the state-based programs is expected to be cheaper than current state pools because of federal subsidies and guidelines.
Missouri started enrollment in its pool a couple weeks ago. Yesterday, the Kansas Department of Insurance announced it's taking applications.
Kansas City, MO – Missouri improved and Kansas held steady in a survey of child well-being in the annual Kid's Count report. The study looks at child poverty, teen pregnancy, high school graduation rates, and other measures.
Missouri ranked 31st among all states, up from 33rd last year.
Kansas was ranked 13th overall, and held on to that status. The number of Kansas children, however, in families at or below the federal poverty level went up 25 percent.
Since President Obama enacted a major federal health law in March, several groups have attempted to challenge its provisions through lawsuits and state legislation. A week from today, Missouri voters will take to the polls in the country's first popular vote on the issue. But as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, the impact of Proposition C is uncertain.
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.