Health

Health
7:23 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Teen Tanning Bans Grow Across U.S., But Opposition Remains In Missouri

This map shows tanning regulations across the United States. Alaska and Hawaii are not pictures, but both have no regulations.
Credit Briana O'Higgins / KCUR

Every year about this time, teenagers everywhere hear the call of spring break. To get pale, winter skin ready for the beach, lots of spring breakers make a few visits to a local tanning salon. Recent studies show around 30 percent of white high school girls tan at salons.

Many new proposed state laws aim to reduce that number, but health advocates have found Missouri especially resistant to any legislation that gets between skin and UV bulbs.

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Up to Date
1:44 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Using Science To Stop Violence

Dr. Gary Slutkin is the founder of Cure Violence.
Credit cureviolence.org

An expert on the epidemic of gun violence that has gripped Kansas City and cities across the country for decades, says the issue has been "completely misunderstood."

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about his method of viewing violence as an epidemic, a condition that can be reversed using "science-based methods."

Guest:

  • Dr. Gary Slutkin, epidemiologist and founder/executive director of Cure Violence
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Central Standard
5:28 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Arthritis: Not Just An Old Person's Disease

A hand affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Smith says that with proper treatment and early diagnosis many people can avoid this kind of debilitating arthritis.
Credit James Heilman, MD / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Imagine waking up in pain, imagine every motion leading to discomfort, and even if you’re able to avoid movement the weather changes and pain comes again. For many people this can be a daily reality. Arthritis — the wearing down of the soft tissues around our bones — is actually something we all will have to confront, to varying degrees, as we age. But it’s not just a disease of growing older, children and young adults can suffer from the disease as well.

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Up to Date
11:17 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Prairie Village Surgeon Confronts Death By Building His Own Coffin

Dr. Jeff Piehler of Prairie Village reacted to his stage-four prostate cancer diagnosis by building his own coffin.
Credit Shari Hartbauer / Lincoln Journal Star

It’s one thing for a doctor to counsel a seriously-ill patient about how to deal with his illness and how to face the idea of death. But imagine going from being the doctor to being the patient.

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Health
4:16 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

KU Hospital Seeking Private Support For Expansion

Burns & McDonnell head Greg Graves announces $3.5 million in support of new KU Hospital building.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

The University of Kansas Hospital kicked off a campaign Monday to raise private money for a new $250 million building on its main Kansas City, Kan., campus.

The Hospital aims for $100 million in donations for the "Cambridge North" project.

At a hospital leadership meeting Monday afternoon, Burns and McDonnell chairman and CEO Greg Graves and his wife, Deanna, announced their pledge of $1 million for the building, as well as a Burns and McDonnell Foundation pledge of $2.5 million.

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Up To Date
4:14 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

How To Have 'The Talk' With Your Teen

Credit www.drlauraberman.com

It’s something that every parent should do, but many don’t know how, or feel really awkward trying, to get it together to have ... "The Talk."  These days it’s about more complicated issues than just the birds and the bees — gender identity, casual hookups and more play into the discussion. 

Steve Kraske talks with psychologist Wes Crenshaw about how parents can approach the topic of sex with their kids. A teenager and her mother join the conversation to discuss their method for handling the subject.

Guests:

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Health
11:21 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Committee 'Green Lights' KU Med Center Building Project

The legislative committee charged with overseeing state building projects today added money to next year’s budget to help the University of Kansas fund construction of a $75 million classroom building on its Kansas City, Kan. campus.

The Joint Committee on State Building Construction voted to add $1.4 million to the fiscal 2015 budget to help pay for bonds that will be issued to fund the project.  The plan is for the state to contribute $15 million over time to help finance up to $35 million in construction bonds.

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Health
8:25 am
Fri February 14, 2014

KU Chancellor Seeking State Support For New Med Center Building

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little is scheduled to appear before a legislative committee Thursday to renew a request for state help in financing a state-of-the-art classroom building at its medical school.

In testimony to the Joint Committee on State Building Construction, Gray-Little is expected to say that the $75 million building is urgently needed to meet accreditation standards and to accommodate new ways of teaching that emphasize active learning in small-group settings over note taking in large lecture halls.

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Health
9:32 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Atchison Nursing Home Tops State List

The non-profit Kansas Advocates for Better Care is out with its annual list of nursing homes cited by state inspectors for the fewest deficiencies.  The facility at the top of the list is in Atchison, Kan.

The Dooley Center, in Atchison, has not been cited for a single violation the past three years. Mitzi McFatrich, who heads Kansas Advocates for Better Care (KABC), says 20 nursing homes in the state have had five or fewer deficiencies in the last three years.

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Health
4:58 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

ACA Enrollment Up In Kansas And Missouri

Enrollment on the federal health exchange is up about 60 percent from a month ago in both Kansas and Missouri.

New numbers from the Kansas Department of Health and Human Services show that 22,388 people purchased insurance in Kansas as of Feb. 1, 2014. January's report showed 14,242 Kansans had enrolled.

In Missouri, the number of enrollees has jumped from 33,138 in January to 54,157 in February.

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Health
1:19 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Mo. Legislators Propose Major Changes To State’s Healthcare System

A new health care proposal in Missouri would revamp the state’s Medicaid system, create more pricing transparency and offer incentives for physicians to work in underserved areas, among other changes. Identical state health reform bills (HB 1793 and SB 847) were introduced Monday by State Rep. Keith Frederick, R – Eureka, and State Sen. Rob Schaaf, R – St. Joseph.

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Health
5:04 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Snow Storm Means A Sleepover For Emergency Hospital Workers

Be grateful if your employer allows you to stay home on snow days. For hospital workers, they can mean days away from home.

University of Kansas doctors, nurses and other emergency health providers slept in cots at the hospital before and after the snow storm that pummeled Kansas City on Tuesday.

"We're operating like a hotel," says Jill Chadwick of KU Hospital.

KU Hospital's clinics were closed Tuesday, but the emergency room, as well as services like chemotherapy and organ transplants, continued operations as scheduled.

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Central Standard
12:55 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Tackling Sexual Assault On College Campuses

It’s been three years since the suicide of Sasha Menu Courey, a student at the University of Missouri. But revelations and questions have come to light in the last few weeks — allegations that Sasha had been raped by at least one fellow student, perhaps three members of the football team.

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Up To Date
4:19 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Healthcare Foundation Announces Efforts To Enroll More In Obamacare

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Kansas City Monday morning, drumming up interest in Obamacare.

In the first segment of Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with the head of Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City about insurance available through the Affordable Care Act and ongoing efforts to connect people to it.

Guest:

  • Dr. Bridget McCandless, president and CEO, Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City
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Health
3:09 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Sebelius Pushes Health Exchanges, Medicaid Expansion In Kansas City

Sly James, mayor of Kansas City, Mo., introduces Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged the uninsured to enroll on the federal health exchange at a press conference in Kansas City, Mo., on Monday.

At the Full Employment Council near 18th and Vine streets, Sebelius touted the benefits of the health exchange for both the uninsured and for the Kansas City metropolitan area.

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Health
7:49 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Kansas Study Links Fitness And Academic Performance

Seaman Middle School students in Topeka, Kan., demonstrate fitness routines in the gymnasium.
Credit Jim McLean / KHI News

A new study show that kids who are physically fit tend to also outperform their more sedentary peers in the classroom. The findings are from the first year of a new program called K-FIT.

The study involved more than 13,000 fourth through ninth graders, at more than 150 schools across Kansas during the 2011-2012 school year.

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Health
3:09 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Feds Approve KanCare For Developmentally Disabled

Kansas officials said they have received formal approval from federal authorities to include long-term services for the developmentally disabled in KanCare.

The approval document included "special terms and conditions," spelling out federal expectations of the program's expansion, which has been resisted by most of the state's providers of developmental disability services.

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Health
8:08 am
Thu January 30, 2014

KC Checkup: Five Questions For Rex Archer

Dr. Rex Archer in his office at the Kansas City, Mo., Health Department.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Dr. Rex Archer is the director of the Kansas City, Mo., Health Department, which administers everything from flu shots to restaurant inspections. Archer says he is responsible for 480,000 patients and that social equity is the key to the city's future.

He answered five questions as part of our monthly series, KC Checkup.

What do you see as the biggest priority for health right now?

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Health
8:10 am
Wed January 29, 2014

KU Med Device Could Help People With Traumatic Brain Injury

Randolph Nudo holds the experimental microdevice.
Credit Elissa Monroe / University of Kansas Medical Center

A device invented by scientists at the University of Kansas Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University may one day restore movement in people with traumatic brain injuries. It works in rats, and researchers are hopeful that the promise won't stop there.

The device is a battery-powered microprocessor designed to record electrical impulses in one part of the brain, and relay them to another part of the brain.

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Health
5:52 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Research Medical Center Names Jacqueline DeSouza New CEO

Jackie DeSouza will be Research Medical Center's new CEO.
Credit Research Medical Center

Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., has named Jacqueline DeSouza as its next CEO. DeSouza is currently CEO of Lee’s Summit Medical Center. Both hospitals are part of the HCA Midwest Health System.

In 2012, DeSouza was named one the Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare in America by Modern Healthcare magazine. She is the first woman and person of color to head the organization. She will start Feb. 10.

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Health
7:31 am
Fri January 24, 2014

KU Professor Looks For Medical Breakthroughs In Insects

Red flour beetles are the subject of KU Professor Stevin Gehrke's research.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

At the University of Kansas, some chemical engineers study petroleum, others work on solvents. Then there’s Professor Stevin Gehrke. He casts his scientific lens downward, looking for the future of medicine in things that scurry underfoot.

“What’s different about a bug that goes ‘squish’ when you step on it and a bug that goes ‘crunch’ when you step on it?” Gehrke describes his work.

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Health
7:17 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Brownback Announces Plan To Repurpose Rainbow Mental Health Facility

Gov. Sam Brownback talks with Capt. Doug Paresi of the Kansas City, Kan. Police Department. Paresi said the reconfigured Rainbow Mental Health Facility would give law enforcement a new option for dealing with mentally ill persons who otherwise might end up behind bars.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News

Gov. Sam Brownback Thurday unveiled his administration’s plan for reopening the Rainbow Mental Health Facility.

“I think this is a winner,” Brownback said, referring to a Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services plan for privatizing the state hospital’s operations.

The plan calls for converting the former 50-bed inpatient facility to a 10-bed “crisis stabilization resource” designed to connect people with serious and persistent mental illness to community-based services.

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Health
8:06 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Green Light Expected Soon On Second Phase Of KanCare

People with developmental disabilities gather along with advocates and caretakers at a pre-implementation meeting in Wichita in June 2012.
Credit Bryan Thompson / Kansas Public Radio

A federal Medicaid official says Kansas is making "substantial progress" toward a major expansion of the Medicaid privatization program known as KanCare.

During a statewide teleconference Wednesday, Kansas officials said the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is on the verge of approving the state’s plan to move residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities to the program. It would put residential, employment, and independent living services under the control of the private insurance companies that run KanCare.

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Health
1:16 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Kansas Ranks Near Top, Missouri Near Bottom When It Comes To Malpractice Laws

Kansas ranks near the top of states and Missouri near the bottom when it comes to protecting physicians against lawsuits. That's according to a new report card from the American College of Emergency Physicians. The report applauds Kansas’s malpractice tort reform but condemns Missouri for its higher-than-average malpractice award payments.

The physician’s group behind the new rankings says medical lawsuits drive up health costs as much as 108 billion dollars a year nationally.

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Up to Date
10:43 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Concussion Debate Sparks New Treatments

Head injuries happen in many sports, including football and soccer.
Credit joncandy / Flickr-CC

Three years ago, a Spring Hill High football player collapsed on the field after a stunning play. The cause? Brain hemorrhaging due to a concussion that went unrecognized and untreated. With sports-related brain injuries on the rise, many are calling for major safety reforms and a new approach to handle the problem. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, we discuss how the approach to these types of concussions is changing and check in with the experts who are leading the culture shift in concussion treatment.

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Health
8:31 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Brownback Will Not Recommend Kansas Medicaid Expansion

The Kansas legislature is back in session this week but they probably won’t be debating a Medicaid expansion, after a recommendation from Gov. Sam Brownback.

Expansion supporters had hoped that at least an expansion compromise could happen this year. But the governor’s statement makes any expansion in the near future all but impossible, because the GOP controlled House has said they will only take up the issue at the governor's urging.

Still, many in the state are pushing for some change to Medicaid, which was intended to be part of the Affordable Care Act.

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Health
7:39 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Kansas City Physicians Take The Accountable Care Approach

Clay Platte Family Medicine Clinic physician Scott Kuennen examines Medicare patient Alma Bradbury.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Changes to insurance have been getting all the headlines, but the Affordable Care Act aims to change the way doctors operate as well.

The federal law offers incentives for health providers to work together to keep Medicare patients healthy in hopes of saving money. Whether this approach can actually create savings is still unclear, and many doctors remain skeptical. But in Kansas City, a few doctors are teaming up.

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Health
7:55 am
Mon January 13, 2014

H1N1 Among Flu Types Surging In Kansas City

The so-called swine flu is back. New numbers come out last week, but still early in the season, the virus has sent droves to the hospital and put an unlikely section of the population at risk.

Back in 2009, the H1N1 virus caused a pandemic, infecting nearly 60 million in the United States. This season, local reports of H1N1, along with other flu types, began to surge in early December 2013, according to the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department.

The Department’s Jeff Hershberger says it’s not just the elderly and children in danger.

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Central Standard
3:52 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

The Science Behind Exercise And Goal-Setting

Halfway through January, and it's a time for a serious question. Are you going to bear down and get started on that new year’s commitment to regular exercise and healthy eating? Or are you going to let this year's goal lapse and be forgotten?

On Tuesday's Central Standard, Brian Ellison talks with an exercise scientist and a behavior modification expert helps us understand how we can change those habits and why we usually don’t. You can learn why for so many of us, the resolutions are already over.

Guests:

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Health
8:28 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Moran Worries ACA Will Cut Care In Rural Kansas

Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran says his biggest worry about the Affordable Care Act is that it may ultimately lead to medical care being less available in rural communities.

Moran made the comment during a town hall meeting Thursday in Salina.

Moran was responding to a question about the requirement that women’s reproductive services, including contraceptives, be included in all health insurance plans sold on the exchanges.

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