Health

KC Currents
11:17 am
Tue May 18, 2010

Legal Roadblocks To Copyrighting Natural Remedies

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.

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Missouri Statehouse
10:35 am
Wed May 12, 2010

Missouri To Vote On Challenge To Federal Health Law

Jefferson City, Mo. – A final vote by the Missouri House yesterday has authorized a referendum for August over the state's participation in the new federal health care law.

The referendum states that citizens and employers cannot be compelled to take part in any public or private health care system. It's designed to challenge the new health care law signed by President Obama that requires most Americans to have health insurance or face fines.

GOP House Speaker Pro-tem Bryan Pratt (R, Blue Springs) strongly supported the bill.

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KCUR News
7:05 pm
Thu May 6, 2010

Revised Autism Bill Passes Missouri Senate

Jefferson City, Mo. – A revised bill that would require insurance companies to cover some of the cost of therapy for children with autism has passed the Missouri Senate.

The bill mandates that health insurance companies provide up to $45,000 a year in coverage for kids with autism age 18 and younger. That's $10,000 a year less than the original Senate bill, and it drops those ages 19 and 20 from being eligible.

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KCUR News
10:32 am
Thu May 6, 2010

City To Reduce Funds For Area Health Providers

Kansas City, Mo. – Several area health providers as well as MAST are bracing for funding reductions from the city.

The Kansas City council is scheduled to vote today on about $3.5 million in cuts to area safety net providers. The city currently gives funds to places like Truman Medical Center and Swope Health Center by drawing from a special property tax that voters approved back in 2005.

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KCUR News
5:08 pm
Wed May 5, 2010

Missouri Home Care Workers To Unionize

Jefferson City, Mo. – A majority of home care workers in Missouri have voted in favor of union representation. The results were announced today in Jefferson City, with about 60% of the state's home care workers voting to unionize. The workers provide various services for people who are homebound, such as transportation, shopping, cooking and bathing.

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KCUR News
9:16 am
Fri April 16, 2010

KU Med Plans Expansions For Salina And Wichita

The Kansas Board of Regents heard a report about plans for the KU School of Medicine to expand its medical training programs in Salina and Wichita.

KUMC Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Barbara Atkinson told the regents that once the expansion plans likely pass the accreditation process later this year, the KU School of Medicine will be able to take a major step in addressing the shortage of rural primary care physicians in Kansas.

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KCUR News
4:23 pm
Thu April 8, 2010

Memorial For Local Doctor To Be Held This Weekend

Photos courtesy of Lucy Vaughters

Kansas City, Mo. – Local pediatrician Frank Vaughters was on a medical mission in Haiti when the massive earthquake struck the country in January. After weeks of uncertainty, friends and family received word that his remains have been found. His sister, Lucy Vaughters, says the news has brought some welcomed relief.

"There's some kind of feeling of finality," Vaughters says. "And the truth is a good thing, even though the truth is awful in this case."

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KCUR News
10:47 am
Fri April 2, 2010

Kansas Legislature Approves Pilot Program Mandating Autism Insurance Coverage

Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas legislature has approved a bill requiring autism coverage for state employees.

Senator Tim Owens is an Overland Park Republican who has two grandsons with autism. He says the bill's passage marks a big step forward.

"The state program is a very narrow program of individuals who are involved," says Owens. "But, I would hope that we can move faster than a year or two before that test case proves the value, and then we can open it up to the other families."

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KCUR News
2:40 pm
Thu April 1, 2010

In-Home Service Cuts Take Effect Today

Kansas City, Mo. – As of today, more than 2,500 elderly and disabled Missourians will no longer receive state assistance for in-home services. That includes help with things like cooking and bathing.

Kit Wager is a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. He says the cuts affect low-income people who make too much to directly qualify for Medicaid.

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KCUR News
11:42 am
Thu April 1, 2010

Safety-Net Clinic to Open in South Kansas City

Kansas City, Mo. – A new clinic will soon open in South Kansas City that's intended to make health care easier to access in the area.

After reviewing more than 30 locations, Swope Health Services has announced it's building a new clinic at 88th Street and Troost. Dr. William Pankey is chief medical officer at Swope. He says there's a huge gap when it comes to the availability of safety net health services in that part of the city.

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KCUR News
10:03 am
Thu April 1, 2010

The Health Care Overhaul & Kansas City

Elana Gordon

Kansas City, Mo. –

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KCUR News
11:28 am
Wed March 31, 2010

Missouri House Passes Abortion Legislation

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri House has passed a wide-ranging bill that would create new requirements surrounding abortions. The new requirements include notifying prosecutors anytime a girl younger than 18 seeks an abortion, whether she goes through with it or not.

GOP House Member Brian Nieves of Franklin County says it would reduce the number of abortions performed in Missouri.

"And hopefully, bringing to justice the sick, disgusting people that would actually rape an underage child," Nieves says.

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Kansas Statehouse
5:42 pm
Tue March 23, 2010

Health Care Freedom Amendment Fails In Kansas House

Topeka, Kan. – A so-called "Health Care Freedom Amendment" to the Kansas constitution failed today in the House. The amendment is aimed at exempting the state from federal health care laws that would require Kansans to have health insurance.

Supporters have argued it would send a message that they disapprove of the law signed today by President Obama. But they fell nine votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment.

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Missouri Statehouse
11:19 am
Mon March 22, 2010

MO Lawmakers Stick To Party Line As Health Care Passes

St. Louis, Mo. – Missouri's Congressional delegation stuck mostly to party lines, as the House in a rare Sunday session sent a massive overhaul of the health care system to President Obama.

Republicans are vowing to use the bill against the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. Among their targets is Congressmen Russ Carnahan.

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KCUR News
7:51 am
Mon March 22, 2010

Kansas City University Of Medicine Sues Former President

Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences has filed a lawsuit against its former CEO and president, Karen Pletz.

The university fired Pletz this past winter. The civil suit filed in Jackson County circuit court today alleges that she misused millions of dollars for her own personal benefit.

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KCUR News
11:58 am
Fri March 19, 2010

KU To Open Medical Training Program In Salina

Kansas City, Mo. – The University of Kansas is expanding its medical school to train more rural doctors.

KU's school of medicine has announced it's opening a four year medical program in Salina, Kansas. It's geared towards the practice of rural medicine.

Dr. Michael Kennedy is KU's Associate Dean of Rural Health Education. He says physician shortages are a problem in rural areas because med students from those places often don't go back.

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Missouri Statehouse
3:54 pm
Thu March 18, 2010

Missouri Senate Passes Autism Bill

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has passed legislation requiring group insurance plans regulated by the state to cover autism treatment.

The Senate bill would mandate that companies cover up to $55,000 a year for treatment of autism patients younger than 21.

GOP Senator Scott Rupp of St. Charles County sponsored the legislation.

"We're doing our job in the state, the families are doing their job, the schools are doing their job," Rupp told lawmakers. "When, insurance industry, are you going to start doing yours?!?"

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Kansas Statehouse
10:53 am
Thu March 18, 2010

Moore Backs Health Care Reconciliation, Republicans Oppose

Topeka, Kan. – Kansas third district Representative Dennis Moore says he plans to vote in favor of the health care reconciliation bill when it comes to the floor of the House.

Moore serves on the House Budget Committee, which is charged with reviewing legislation under the rules of reconciliation. That committee has reported the so called Reconciliation Act of 2010 to the House Rules Committee with instructions. That's the last stop before a vote by the full House.

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KCUR News
5:40 pm
Tue March 16, 2010

Kan. & Mo. Lawmakers Continue Push To Block Federal Health Care Bill

Topeka, Kan. / Jefferson City, Mo. – A measure pushing back against the federal government passed in the Kansas House Monday by a vote of 109 to 11. The resolution calls on the federal government to stop passing laws that put mandates on the states.

Proponents have argued the federal government is encroaching on states' rights. The non-binding measure has no legal authority, but Republican Representative Joe Patton told fellow lawmakers it still carries weight.

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KCUR News
11:08 am
Tue March 9, 2010

Violence Prevention Program Gets Boost From Police Department

Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas City Missouri Police Department has announced it's setting aside $300,000 from its budget to support the violence prevention program Aim4Peace. Most public funding for the initiative ran out last spring, but some grants have helped keep it running. Police Captain Rich Lockhart says the department wants to ensure Aim4Peace continues operating because it's allowed for a more holistic approach to fighting crime.

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Kansas Statehouse
1:00 pm
Thu March 4, 2010

Amendment To Block Federal Health Care Legislation Advances in Kansas

Topeka, Kan. – A bill aimed at exempting Kansas from federal health care legislation is moving forward. The bill passed the House Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday.

It's a constitutional amendment, and says the state would be exempt from any federal rules requiring Kansans to have health insurance.

State representative Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, opposes the bill. He says it could limit debate in Kansas on health care legislation before it's even finished in Washington.

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KCUR News
12:57 pm
Thu March 4, 2010

MO House Gives First-Round Approval To Opt-Out Health Care Resolution

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment designed to block compulsory participation in any national health care system.

Supporters of the resolution, including GOP House Member Tim Flook of Clay County, said President Obama and the Democratic-led Congress are trying to expand the role of government in everyday life.

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KCUR News
4:42 pm
Tue March 2, 2010

Assessing Quality: Website Compares Area Medical Practices

Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City residents can compare the quality of area medical practices online now.

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KCUR News
11:40 am
Tue March 2, 2010

One In Three Small Town Residents Uninsured By 2019

Lawrence, Kan. – A new report by a rural think tank says rural Americans will be devastated if Congress fails to overhaul the nation's health care system

KCUR News
10:11 am
Tue March 2, 2010

Tax Committee Looking At Insurance Company Tax Credit

Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas House Taxation Committee is holding hearings this week to get more information on some tax credits. Lawmakers may consider cutting back or eliminating some credits as a way to raise revenue. Lawmakers yesterday heard how getting rid of a credit for insurance companies could cost the state jobs.

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KCUR News
11:47 am
Mon March 1, 2010

Kansas Moves to Outlaw Marijuana-Mimicking Incense

Kansas City, Mo. – In most states marijuana remains illegal. But across the Kansas City region, some people wanting to get high are turning to a legal synthetic version. It's commonly known as K2, but also goes by names like Spice and Yucatan Fire. Now Kansas and some other states, including Missouri, are moving to ban the chemicals in these herbal blends. KCUR's Elana Gordon has more on this relatively new trend and its uncertain future.

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KCUR News
10:24 am
Thu February 18, 2010

Southeast Kansas Still Lags In Health Rankings

Kansas City, Mo. – The first-ever study ranking the health of counties in every state shows the southeast corner of Kansas remains the state's least-healthy region.

KCUR News
12:28 pm
Tue February 9, 2010

State To Re-Examine Needs Of Kansans With Traumatic Brain Injury

Overland Park, Kan. – About one in ten people deal with brain injury. Awareness has gone up in recent years, but it's still a silent epidemic, according to Betsy Johnson. Johnson's a speech language pathologist and director of the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, which is launching a public forum this Wednesday to revise the plan Kansas has for dealing with the issue. KCUR's Elana Gordon caught up with Johnson.

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KCUR News
11:25 am
Tue February 9, 2010

One In Eight Missourians Turned To Food Banks Last Year

Kansas City, Mo. – As many as 728,000 Missourians took help from emergency food banks last year. That's according to a survey by Feeding America and the Missouri Food Bank Association, which is made up of six major organizations, including Harvesters in the Kansas City area.

Scott Baker, director of the umbrella group, says he thinks a lot of people will be surprised by the data.

"When you're talking about one in eight Missourians, that's a significant number," he says. "We're talking about your neighbors."

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KCUR News
2:12 pm
Mon February 8, 2010

Area Black Churches Respond to HIV/AIDS Crisis

Kansas City, Mo. – Several local churches are drawing attention this month to a growing problem in the African American community: HIV/AIDS.

African Americans make up about 13% of the area's population but account for almost half of newly diagnosed HIV cases, according to the local health department.

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