Health

KCUR News
11:08 am
Mon March 28, 2011

Pharma Ads Target Mo. Pseudoephedrine Bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A not-for-profit group that represents the pharmaceutical industry is running radio ads in Missouri to combat legislation that would require a doctor's prescription to buy certain cold medications.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association produced the ads, which urge people to tell lawmakers to "keep government out of your medicine cabinet."

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KCUR News
9:54 am
Mon March 28, 2011

Medical Loss Standard Difficult For Some Companies To Meet

TOPEKA, Ks. – One part of the federal health reform law that went into effect one year ago requires companies to spend most of the premium dollars they collect on health care for their customers, but some companies may struggle to meet that requirement.

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KCUR News
5:27 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

Ks. Senate Passes Fetal Pain Bill

TOPEKA, Ks. – The Kansas Senate has approved a bill restricting abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy. Supporters of the bill say that is when a fetus can feel pain. The legislation has already passed the House and should soon be sent to Governor Sam Brownback. Senator Terry Bruce, a Hutchinson Republican, brought the bill to the Senate floor.

"We are saying that the state believes we have the compelling interest to protect a child from harm when they can feel that pain," Bruce said.

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KCUR News
8:43 pm
Thu March 17, 2011

KC Mayoral Candidates Weigh in on City's Health

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The next mayor of Kansas City will be facing a number of tricky public health issues. KCUR's Elana Gordon recently sought out Mike Burke and Sly James to find out what each would do to improve the health of the city and its residents.

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Kansas City is a place where about one sixth of the population is uninsured, where at least a quarter of all deaths are premature, where one in three residents is obese. But what exactly can a mayor do about any of this?

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Health
12:42 pm
Thu March 3, 2011

Study: Most Plastics Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals

Kansas City, MO –

Most plastic products, from sippy cups to food wraps, can release chemicals that act like the sex hormone estrogen, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study found these chemicals even in products that didn't contain BPA, a compound in certain plastics that's been widely criticized because it mimics estrogen.

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KCUR News
11:56 am
Sun February 27, 2011

District Opens School-Based Dental Clinic

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hundreds of kids in the Kansas City Missouri School District now have a new option for dental care. And, they won't have to travel very far for it.

A new dental clinic opened Feb. 14th inside J.A. Rogers Elementary School, located at 6400 E. 23rd St.

School and health leaders are gathering at the school on Monday to celebrate the opening.

Wendy McNitt, the school's principal, says more than 90 percent of students at the school qualify for free and reduced lunches and don't have much access to dental care.

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KCUR News
1:23 pm
Fri February 25, 2011

Hospital Plans to Open Region's First Heart Transplant Program for Kids

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Within a year or so, Children's Mercy hopes to be doing heart transplants for kids and newborns. Dr. Michael Artman is chair of pediatrics. He says the hospital currently refers a child out for a heart transplant once every six to eight weeks.

"It's not huge, but it's a definite need," Dr. Artman says. "And it seems to be a growing need."

Dr. Artman says medical advances are enabling more and more children born with heart complications to survive, but that can mean they need a heart transplant.

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KCUR News
2:01 pm
Sat February 19, 2011

Psychiatric Hospital to Close 14 Beds

KANSAS CITY, Ks. – The Kansas Department of Social Services plans to close 14 in-patient psychiatric beds at Rainbow Mental Health Facility in Kansas City, Kansas, lowering the number of beds there from 50 to 36. Bill Miskell, a spokesperson for the department, says a recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid review found the public facility does not have enough staff to operate all of its units.

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KCUR News
2:18 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

Ks. House Gives Approval to "Health Care Freedom Amendment"

TOPEKA, Ks. – The Kansas House today (Friday) gave approval to the so-called "Health Care Freedom Amendment" to the state constitution. The amendment is aimed at exempting Kansans from any federal requirement to purchase health insurance. It passed the House with a 91-27 vote but will likely face an uphill battle in the Senate.

Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, is president of the Senate. He generally doesn't favor constitutional amendments.

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KCUR News
10:20 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Missouri Among Nation's Top Mercury Polluters

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A new report suggests that power plants in Illinois and Missouri are among the nation's top emitters of mercury pollution.

Mercury can cause serious health problems for both wildlife and people who eat contaminated fish.

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KCUR News
1:12 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

Births Decline In Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The number of babies born in Kansas City is on the decline after nearly two decades of being on the rise. Births dropped by about three percent between 2007 and 2009. Gerald Hoff, with the health department, says he doesn't have an exact reason for the recent change.

"Best guess is people can't afford to have kids or choose not to because of this economy," says Hoff.

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KCUR News
12:18 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Proposed Rules Could Help Bring Dentists to Kansas

TOPEKA, Ks. – A group of Kansas dentists is hoping the Legislature will take steps to keep more dentists in the state.

Kansas and Missouri have an agreement, in which some students who are Kansas residents can attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City dental school and pay in-state tuition.

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KCUR News
10:29 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Kansas Senate Looks at Insurance for Children

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas Senate will be considering changes to the state's high risk insurance program today. The program, which is separate from the new federal high risk pool, is designed for people who can't get health insurance in the private market due to a pre-existing health condition.

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KCUR News
2:18 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

South Kansas City Gets Safety Net Clinic

Virrinda Eferakeya checks people in for appointments at the new Swope Health South Clinic.
Photo by Elana Gordon.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – South Kansas City is finally home to a safety net health clinic. It recently started seeing patients, but the clinic's been in the works for years.

The Kansas City Missouri Health Department, the Local Investment Commission, and Swope Health Services have been leading the effort. They say South Kansas City lacks affordable primary care options.

Vincent Murry, who lives just a few blocks from new the clinic, agrees.

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KCUR News
12:36 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

New Waiver Offers Some Relief To Missourians With Developmental Disabilities

The office of the Developmental Disabilities Services of Jackson County will select 90 county residents, who are already waiting for services, for the new waiver program.
Photo by Elana Gordon.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Missourians with developmental disabilities have a new option for getting community and home-based services. Governor Jay Nixon met with families and health workers at the Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County office on Friday to highlight the new program's goal: getting care to people before they're in crisis.

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KCUR News
2:18 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Kansas Starts Developing Insurance Exchange

KCUR News
3:04 am
Thu January 27, 2011

Brownback Restructures Kansas Health Policy Authority

LAWRENCE, Ks. – The Kansas Health Policy Authority is being restructured. The Authority administers the state's Medicaid program, oversees health benefits for state employees, and provides health policy advice to elected officials. Governor Sam Brownback wants to cut the agency's staff in half, eliminate its independent board, and reassign the agency's responsibilities. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson reports on some of the implications of these changes.
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KCUR News
2:51 pm
Mon January 24, 2011

Choosing a Long Term Care Facility

Kansas City, MO –

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KCUR News
2:01 am
Thu January 20, 2011

Area Reps Vote On Health Law Repeal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Missouri's fifth district representative Emanuel Cleaver says he doesn't think yesterday's passage of a bill to repeal the federal health care law poses a real threat. The Senate's likely to reject the measure. But Cleaver, a democrat who strongly supports health reform, says he is concerned with GOP plans to try to defund the law in the coming months.

"If the funds are withheld or if significant dollars are withheld, there won't be the change we had hoped for, particularly in poor communities and disaffected communities," Cleaver says.

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KCUR News
9:28 am
Tue January 18, 2011

Proposed Closure of Kansas Facility For Developmentally Disabled Would Be Gradual

Lawrence, KS – The Kansas Neurological Institute (KNI) serves some 150 profoundly disabled adults. If the Kansas Legislature approves the proposal, the facility would be closed gradually. The entire process could take as long as three years, according to Bill Miskell, who's with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

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KCUR News
12:05 am
Mon January 17, 2011

Missouri Lowers Premiums For Pre-existing Condition Pool

Kansas City, MO – Missouri's high risk insurance program has announced it's dropping premiums by as much as twenty five percent.

The state launched the pool this summer as part of the federal health law. But state insurance director John Huff says only a couple hundred people have enrolled in it so far. Huff says lowering the monthly premiums, which range from about $250 to $1,000, will hopefully change that.

"I hope it makes health coverage more affordable and accessible for Missourians - that's the intent," says Huff.

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KCUR News
4:39 pm
Thu January 13, 2011

Brownback Seeks to Close Kansas Health Policy Authority

Salina, KS – Less than five years after it was created, the Kansas Health Policy Authority is on the chopping block. Governor Sam Brownback wants to abolish the agency, and merge its programs into the Department of Health and Environment.

The Brownback administration says doing so would save nearly $3 million dollars in administrative costs. With a budget of almost $1.5 billion, it's one of the largest operations in state government.

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KCUR News
11:56 am
Thu January 13, 2011

Kansas AG Asks To Join Health Care Lawsuit

Salina, KS – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is asking that Kansas be allowed to join a lawsuit to do away with the requirement that most Americans buy health insurance, starting in 2014. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains what might happen if the mandate is eliminated.

 

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KCUR News
11:37 am
Thu January 13, 2011

Testing Begins At KCK School After Student Diagnosed With TB

Kansas City, KS – An eighth grader at Rosedale Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas has been diagnosed with an active case tuberculosis, or TB.

Officials at the school say they can't remember having ever dealt with a case of TB before. They met with several dozen parents last night to discuss the situation. Jannette Ayala has two kids at Rosedale. She says she has several questions about the situation.

"When are they going to do the testing? How soon are they going to get it done? How many other students have it[TB]?"

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KCUR News
10:49 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Missouri House OKs Measure Challenging Health Law

Jefferson City, MO – The Republican-dominated Missouri House has passed a non-binding resolution urging state officials to join a multistate lawsuit challenging the federal health care overhaul and calling on Congress to repeal the law.

The House approved the resolution Tuesday on a vote of 115-46.

The measure calls on Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster to join with other states in suing over the federal health care law passed last year, or to file a separate suit.

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KCUR News
11:47 am
Tue January 11, 2011

Tax Credits Spur Health Coverage For Area Small Businesses

Salina, KS – Expanding health insurance coverage is one of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act. Most of the new health care law takes effect in 2014, but parts of it are in effect now. One such part is designed to make coverage available to a group of people who are among the most likely to be uninsured employees of small businesses.

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KCUR News
10:26 am
Tue January 11, 2011

$2 Million Study Examines Tobacco Use in Missouri

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.

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KCUR News
10:23 am
Tue January 11, 2011

$2 Million Study Examines Tobacco Use in Missouri

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.

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KCUR News
7:18 pm
Mon January 10, 2011

Missouri Starts Licensing Therapists Under New Autism Law

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.
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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.

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