Health

KCUR News
7:30 am
Fri August 27, 2010

New Health Plan for Missouri Workers Upsets Union Leaders

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.

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Health
10:38 am
Wed August 25, 2010

Health Department Retrieves Paper Records as System Recovers

Kansas City, MO – About 120,000 birth certificates and related documents have been trucked to Topeka from storage in a central Kansas salt mine to help health officials out of a jam.

A computer system failed August 5th at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, just as parents were seeking birth certificates and current vaccination records for children heading to school.

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KCUR News
1:41 pm
Tue August 24, 2010

Schools Struggle to Fund Nurses

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.

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KCUR News
7:56 pm
Fri August 20, 2010

State Housing Board Rejects Mental Illness Plan But Redefines Development Criteria

Kansas City, MO – The Missouri Housing Development Commission has rejected a plan to direct a third of the state's low-income housing aid to people who have mental illnesses and are homeless.

The board instead approved a measure to fund two special needs housing developments next year.

Commissioner and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel proposed the original plan. He says the one that passed is a good first step.

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KCUR News
5:46 pm
Fri August 20, 2010

Health Officials to Public: Eat Scrambled Eggs

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.

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KCUR News
10:54 am
Wed August 18, 2010

Missouri Restores Hospital Infection Data

Kansas City, MO – The Missouri Department of Health has announced it plans to restore hospital infection records to its database.

Earlier this week, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported the state was only keeping infection data for the last 12 months, drawing complaints from consumer groups.

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KCUR News
10:09 am
Wed August 18, 2010

Relief Coming for Children's Health Insurance Backlog

Topkea, KS – The Kansas Health Policy Authority has been rewarded by federal health officials for its efforts to boost enrollment in Healthwave, the state's children's health insurance program.

The agency plans to use the $1.2 million federal bonus payment to hire more staff to process applications, according to spokesman Peter Hancock.

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KCUR News
9:36 am
Wed August 18, 2010

Federal Bonus To Speed Application For Children's Insurance

Topeka, KS – The Kansas Health Policy Authority has been rewarded by federal health officials for its efforts to boost enrollment in Healthwave the state's children's health insurance program.

KCUR News
12:27 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

Missouri Purges Data from Hospital Infection Records

By KCUR News/AP

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.

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KCUR News
12:12 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

H1N1 Pandemic Over, Area Health Officials Prepare for Upcoming Flu Season

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."

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KCUR News
11:04 am
Tue August 17, 2010

Kansas Health Department Recouping Records After Systems Crash

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.

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KCUR News
10:12 am
Fri August 13, 2010

Back to School: Kids Face New Vaccine Requirements

Kansas City, MO – Children in Kansas and Missouri are facing new immunization requirements as they return to school this year.

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Health
11:35 am
Thu August 12, 2010

Addressing Violence At A Young Age: Local Head Starts Incorporate Trauma Therapy

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.

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KCUR News
8:36 am
Wed August 4, 2010

Proposition C Passes

Missouri overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure yesterday challenging a key part of the federal health care law.

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KCUR Health News
10:18 am
Mon August 2, 2010

New Rules Limit Junk Food In Kansas Schools

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.

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Health
12:14 am
Mon August 2, 2010

Center To Address American Indian Health Disparities

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.

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KCUR News
12:17 am
Fri July 30, 2010

Enrollment Begins For High Risk Insurance Program In Kansas

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.

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KCUR News
2:36 pm
Wed July 28, 2010

Missouri's Child Well-Being Rank Improves, Kansas' Holds Steady

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.

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KCUR News
4:04 pm
Tue July 27, 2010

Challenge to Federal Health Mandate to Appear on August Ballot

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.

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You remember the health care debate...

"No obama-care! No obama-care!..."

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Health
12:16 pm
Mon July 26, 2010

Treating PTSD: Local VA Doctors Weighs in on Eligibility Changes

Kansas City, MO – New rules adopted by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs should make it easier for veterans to get benefits and medical care for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Up to Date's Steve Kraske sat down with doctors from the Kansas City VA Medical Center to talk about PTSD and what these new changes mean for local veterans.

Find more Health Coverage on KCUR.

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KCUR News
12:04 pm
Fri July 23, 2010

Missouri Foundation Gets $2 Million to Fight Obesity and Tobacco Use

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.

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KCUR News
2:16 pm
Wed July 21, 2010

New Child Care Licensing Laws Now in Effect in KS

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.

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KCUR News
1:58 pm
Wed July 21, 2010

Thousands of Kansas Businesses Eligible for Tax Credit

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.

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KCUR Health
11:41 am
Tue July 20, 2010

School Nurses Step Up Meningitis Vaccine Efforts

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.

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KCUR Health
9:59 am
Tue July 20, 2010

Lawsuit Challenging Missouri Ballot Measure Dropped

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.

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KCUR News
10:58 am
Thu July 15, 2010

New High Risk Insurance Pool Opens Today In Missouri

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.

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KCUR News
5:34 pm
Tue July 13, 2010

Michelle Obama Tells NAACP Convention To Get Up

Michelle Obama speaks to NAACP convention in Kansas City.

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.

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First Lady Michelle Obama's battle cry yesterday was pretty loud and clear:

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KCUR News
6:43 pm
Mon July 12, 2010

First Lady Brings Health Campaign To Kansas City

Photo by Daniel Barber / KCUR.

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.

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KCUR News
5:18 pm
Wed July 7, 2010

Kinder Sues To Block Federal Health Care Law

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.

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