health care

Projections show a widening gap between the number of primary care doctors the country needs and the number of med students choosing it over other sub-specialties. Programs like Health is Primary, which encourages medical students to select a primary care specialty, are looking to bridge that gap.

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The cost of a premature birth was the beginning of a controversy involving the price of health care, AOL’s CEO and the baby's mother. The dispute sparked a national debate about the value of a human life.

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Attitudes about hospice and palliative care have changed dramatically over the last 40 years, and the number of patients who receive this type of treatment has expanded. Two longtime leaders in the field, though, acknowledge that more work is needed to ease the pain and suffering of the most ailing patients.

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Kansas Citians Share Health Care Horror Stories

Jan 7, 2016
Artur Bergman / Flickr -- CC

 

A broken jaw during gall bladder surgery. Waiting 95 minutes for a doctor’s appointment. Being hit by a nurse.

When we asked, “What was your worst experience with health care in Kansas City?” you didn’t hold back.

Complaints ranged from access to health care to interactions with health professionals and facilities gone wrong.

KCUR 89.3

 

We've all had experiences with health care that were less than ideal.

Maybe it was a botched surgery. A bill with a lot of zeroes. Or long wait times in an emergency room.

As our health reporting desk, Heartland Health Monitor, digs into health disparities in Kansas City, we want to hear more about the local health system through the eyes and ears of our audience.

Tell KCUR: What was your worst experience with health care in Kansas City?

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James met with health care counselors and members of the public at Samuel Rodgers Health Center Saturday to promote enrollment on the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

White, middle-aged Americans' death rates are on the rise, in Kansas City and beyond. How suicide, alcohol and drugs are contributing to the problem. Plus, gaps in mental healthcare services in and around Kansas City.

For immediate help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255. 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Susan Concannon and Rep. Don Hill provide an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss their removal from the Health and Human Services Committee.

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KHI News Service file photo

Over the past year, Kansas has changed its state employee health plan so employees shoulder more of the cost burden while the cash-strapped state pays less.

State officials say the changes correct imbalances within the plan and shore up a reserve fund for the future.

But Rebecca Proctor, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees labor union, said the cost shift will be hard to bear for employees who haven’t had an across-the-board pay raise since 2009.

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Employees of Jackson County will likely see an increase in health insurance premiums in 2016.

The proposed changes were discussed at the Jackson County Legislature’s meeting on Monday. An across-the-board increase of 14.4 percent is expected next year, though some employees may end up paying less.

The U.S. is pledging to take in 85,000 refugees from around the world in 2016. The Ethics Professors discuss whether that's enough as the crisis in Syria continues. Also, is it ethical to let the free market decide prescription prices if that puts drugs outside the reach of many who need them, and should leaders remain in their positions if they, or their organization, are under investigation?

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Iowa Healthcare Collaborative

Roughly 1,000 Kansas doctors soon will be participating in a massive nationwide initiative aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of the health care system.

The Kansas doctors will be part of a six-state transformation project managed by the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative, a nonprofit organization formed in 2004 by doctors and hospitals in the state.

Dr. Tom Evans, the CEO of the Iowa collaborative, said each of the participating states will be free to focus on its own improvement strategy.

Esther Honig

This summer, more than 200 teams from around the world competed in KCRW's third International Radio Race. Participants were given the theme "Time Change" and 24 hours to produce a short radio story.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

In 2009, Mary Kay O'Connor was preparing to restart her consulting business. Her specialty was collecting customers' stories to provide meaningful feedback to her clients. The Affordable Care Act was in the news, and she became interested in the data collected by the federal government — data that showed hospitals performing poorly but without much information on how they could improve.

She may not have been the typical startup entrepreneur – but an idea took hold.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

A health care company that serves veterans and their families is adding 500 jobs in Kansas City.

“Our privilege as a corporation is to do one thing,” said David McIntyre, president and CEO of TriWest, “and that is to be there for the federal government to assist them in serving those who serve.”

McIntyre says TriWest picked Kansas City because of Missouri’s “Show-Me Heroes” program, an initiative to get business to hire veterans.

U.S. House of Representatives

Kansas 4th District Congressman Mike Pompeo has agreed to co-sponsor a joint resolution that would allow states to form a health care compact and, potentially, circumvent parts of the Affordable Care Act.

“Mike has agreed to be a part of the health care compact because he views it as one of the last remaining opportunities to protect Kansans from the disaster that is the Affordable Care Act,” Heather Denker, a spokesperson for Pompeo’s office, said in an email.

Pompeo, she said, believes the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will “drive up costs for the poorest people in Kansas and diminish access, especially in the rural areas of Kansas.”

Dan Margolies / Heartland Health Monitor

Seft Hunter became chief operating officer last year of Communities Creating Opportunity, a faith-based organization that addresses poverty-related issues. As part of its campaign to promote health access and equity, CCO, working with the REACH Healthcare Foundation and other groups, has been mapping medical “hot spots” in the metropolitan area in an effort to better manage residents’ chronic conditions, improve access to health care and reduce emergency room visits.

In recent years, women in Kansas and Missouri have found it harder to access complete health care. In this edition of Up to Date, we talk with two providers about the reasons healthcare access is more difficult. We also discuss the challenges health centers face in providing care, and the difficulties patients face in accessing care. 

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When it comes to getting medical treatment it’s good to live in America. Here we get the finest health care in the world, have confidence in the doctors we see and our hospitals are the best places to be when we’re ill. Not so says healthcare consultant John Leifer.

On this edition of Up to Date, Leifer talks with Steve Krasek to expose these and other myths of modern medicine in this country including this one: we’re the patients so we’re not part of the problem.

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The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is asking the public what its priorities should be as the first step in a new health initiative.

Healthy KC is a collaboration introduced Wednesday by the Chamber, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and local health leaders. The group will focus on improving health throughout the metro area.

“The message behind the new Healthy KC Commission is, ‘We’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired,’” Chamber CEO Jim Heeter said in a statement Wednesday.

ulrichkarljoho / Flickr - CC

Even if we try to deny it, we can't escape getting older. Almost three-fourths of people who reach the age of 65 are going to need some kind of long-term care. So why is it that so few of us plan for those needs?

On Monday's Central Standard, Bill Anderson and the Cash Money Crew talk about how to prepare finances for old age and the possibility of needing long-term care. Plus, they explore the poor health of the long-term care insurance industry. 

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NIAID / Flickr - CC

The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than a million people are living with HIV in the U.S. In spite of widespread education and prevention efforts, there has been little change in the number of new HIV infections. The good news: new treatments have allowed people with HIV to live a normal lifespan with reduced risk of transmitting the disease to others. But social stigma and the psychological and economic impact of HIV/AIDS still take a toll on those diagnosed with the disease.

401(K) 2012/Flickr-CC

When thousands of federal employees are being forced to go without a paycheck indefinitely because of inaction in Congress, is it really ethical for members of Congress to keep accepting their own paychecks?

On Thursday's Up to Date, the Ethics Professors join us to discuss that and other issues of murky morals. Should we consider signing up for healthcare part of a civic duty to lower medical costs for everyone? And how should we set a limit when it comes to the cost and scope of treatment?

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Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Medical, business and educational leaders have spelled out what Jackson County residents would get if a tax issue is put on the November ballot and gains voter approval to enhance health research and medical care.

If the county legislature and voters approve, a half-cent sales tax would raise $40 million a year.

Funds would be divided between Children's Mercy and St. Luke’s Hospitals and UMKC. It’s designed to attract top medical researchers to translate new findings into treatment, diagnosis and prevention of diseases.

Voidxor / Wikimedia--CC

The REACH Healthcare Foundation recently released the Kansas City Regional Health Assessment, that analyzes health data from the area from 2000 to 2011, and offers a forecast of what’s in the future for health in Kansas City.

"The poverty rate has been increasing in the metropolitan area, and generally it's been especially increasing in suburban areas," says author and Government Innovations Forum Director for the Mid America Regional Council, Dean Katnerdahl. "So there's sort of a suburbanization of poverty."

Ford-UAW Test Could Affect KC Worker Health Care

Jun 24, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Ford Motor and the United Auto Workers Union today rolled out a pilot health care program that might ultimately affect  workers at the Kansas City Claycomo Assembly Plant.

The program would help the chronically ill and was also expected to reduce health care costs.

Ford, the union and the union’s retiree health care trust revealed the program at the company’s Dearborn, Michigan headquarters.

If it works in Michigan, Ford’s head of labor affairs Marty Mulloy said it could be used in places like Kansas City or Louisville, which have larger numbers of retirees. 

Felipe Micaroni Lalli

Most of the time, hacking isn't the first word you want to hear coupled with technology. At Hackovate, a legion of computer-savvy gurus are using their powers for good.

Illustration by Tracey O’Donnell

If you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered Missourian your chances of finding and getting the same level of health care as the rest of the state are significantly reduced.

A growing number of health experts are warning of potential collateral damage if the Supreme Court strikes down the entire 2010 Affordable Care Act: potential chaos in the Medicare program.

Medicare patients who reach the annual gap in coverage for prescription drugs known as the "doughnut hole" are 57 percent more likely than those with continuous insurance coverage to stop taking drugs for heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

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