Five seek GOP nomination for insurance commissioner

In advance of the Aug. 5 primary, learn more about the candidates who hope to succeed Sandy Praeger as the state's insurance commissioner.

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Local food movement thriving on the High Plains of Kansas

Direct marketing food to customers is proving to be a boon for members of a western Kansas producers' cooperative that has seen strong sales growth. "For one thing, it has made it possible for my nephew to come back to the farm," said Chris Schmidt, a Rawlins County farmer who grows 2,000 acres of commodity grain but also is selling direct to online customers.

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Advocates, hospitals unite to raise Kansas breastfeeding rate

Three years ago, breastfeeding coalitions throughout the state joined the Kansas Hospital Association and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund in launching High 5 for Mom and Baby, an ongoing campaign aimed at helping hospitals adopt five principles that have been found to increase breastfeeding rates.

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Rural Kansas hospital focuses on 'mission-driven' medicine to recruit doctors

In Kearny County, on the High Plains near the Kansas-Colorado boundary where there are only about five residents per square mile, one small hospital has adopted a distinctive approach to recruitment that in a relatively short time has produced a staff that includes five doctors, five physician assistants and a growing volume of patients.

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Where KanCare meets Obamacare

Gov. Sam Brownback once called Obamacare “an abomination,” and with the federal health reform law now four years on the books bad-mouthing it has become a conservative Republican ritual. But this week, after more than a year of planning and preparation by Kansas and federal officials, the Affordable Care Act and Brownback’s own KanCare initiative begin coming together in ways that will make the two programs indistinguishable to thousands of Kansas Medicaid beneficiaries.

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Kansas Health Institute Team Member Elected President of International Health Impact Assessment Association

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Health Impact Assessment

SOPHIA is an international association of individuals and organizations that provides leadership in the practice of health impact assessments. The organization serves 370 members spanning 14 countries.

Annual Report Describes Insurance Coverage in Kansas

0 | Jul. 07, 2014 | Health Insurance

The Kansas Health Institute has released its Annual Insurance Update, providing an in-depth look at insurance coverage in the Sunflower State. The report examines public and private insurance coverage using data from the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS).

Expansion of Liquor Licenses to Grocery and Convenience Stores Could Increase Drinking in Youth

0 | Jun. 19, 2014 | Health Impact Assessment

KHI releases second statewide health impact assessment (HIA). This study examines the potential positive and negative health effects of proposed legislation that expands liquor licenses to grocery and convenience stores in Kansas.

Issue Brief: Health Reform Likely to Increase Demand on Mental Health System

1 | May. 30, 2014 | Research, Health Insurance, Health Reform, Press Releases

Recently released federal data show the Kansas mental health system could expect up to 7,700 new patients due to expansion of insurance coverage under ObamaCare. This influx of patients could create strain on the mental health system in some Kansas communities.

Kansas Groups Partner to Celebrate World Immunization Week

0 | Apr. 23, 2014 | Community Health, Immunizations, Press Releases

In celebration of World Immunization Week, Immunize Kansas Kids and Kansas Health Matters join efforts to inform communities about best practices for immunizations in Kansas.

Issue Brief: Currently Eligible Adults in Medicaid: The Few Who Qualify

0 | Apr. 10, 2014 | Medicaid-CHIP

It is a common misconception that all poor Kansans are eligible for Medicaid. In reality, only a few are actually eligible. To inform the discussion KHI has released a new issue brief (link) that examines in detail who is—and who is not—currently eligible for the combined Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Kansas.

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HHS report: ACA has saved Kansas seniors $10 million in drug costs

0 | Jul. 29, 2014 | Health Reform

A provision in the health reform law closes the "donut hole," or coverage gap where beneficiaries have no insurance help with the cost of their medications.

Carondelet Health agrees to sell two KC-area hospitals

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Hospitals

Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Services has signed a letter of intent to acquire St. Joseph Medical Center in south Kansas City and St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs.

Solvency of Medicare Trust Fund extended

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Health Care Delivery

The Medicare Trustees today projected that the trust fund that finances Medicare’s hospital insurance coverage will remain solvent until 2030, four years beyond what was projected in last year’s report.

Shultz says experience separates him from field

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Insurance

Veteran legislator seeks to win Republican primary without alienating general election voters.

Selzer looks north for Kansas insurance roadmap

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Insurance

Selzer pledges to cut red tape, roll back regulations that impede job growth and fight government dictates.

Powell touts years of work as insurance agent

1 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Insurance

Powell sees a competitive insurance market as part of what he calls a “three-legged stool,” along with Gov. Sam Brownback’s income tax cuts and a renewed emphasis on vocational education, to help Kansas attract new businesses.

Gossage would limit state’s role with ACA

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Insurance

If elected, Gossage says she will encourage insured and uninsured Kansans to meet with an independent agent before they explore their options in the federal government’s online health insurance marketplace.

Five seek GOP nomination for insurance commissioner

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Health Reform, Insurance

In advance of the Aug. 5 primary, learn more about the candidates who hope to succeed Sandy Praeger as the state's insurance commissioner.

KHI staff member to lead national HIA organization

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Community Health, Health Impact Assessment, Public Health

Tatiana Lin, a senior analyst and strategy team leader at the Kansas Health Institute, has been elected president of the Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment.

Kansas officials suspend future foster placements with TFI after child's death

0 | Jul. 25, 2014 | Children, DCF

Kansas welfare officials said they have suspended placing foster children with TFI, pending investigation of the death Thursday of an infant left in a hot car in Wichita.

Take me out to the ball game, but hold the peanuts and Cracker Jack

0 | Jul. 25, 2014 | Child Health

While health officials aren't sure why the number of children with nut allergies is on the rise, they say making accommodations so they can enjoy ball games and other events is important to help them overcome fears.

Kansas Foundation for Medical Care part of new regional quality improvement organization

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Agencies, Health Care Delivery

Officials with the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care announced that the Topeka-based health care quality improvement organization is joining with similar nonprofits in Nebraska and the Dakotas to form the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network.

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HHS says nine health insurance companies owe refunds to Kansas policyholders

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

The 2010 Affordable Care Act required that insurers spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars collected on medical care for policyholders. Those that fail to meet the threshold are obliged to pay refunds.

Kansas gets grants to match child support funds for college savings

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Children, DCF

Kansas welfare officials say they will use more than $600,000 in grants from two nonprofit groups to launch a program aimed at getting parents to pay down child support debts.

Five seek GOP nomination for insurance commissioner

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Health Reform, Insurance

In advance of the Aug. 5 primary, learn more about the candidates who hope to succeed Sandy Praeger as the state's insurance commissioner.

Gossage would limit state’s role with ACA

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Insurance

If elected, Gossage says she will encourage insured and uninsured Kansans to meet with an independent agent before they explore their options in the federal government’s online health insurance marketplace.

KU doctors say plan for transplant waits would make local patients sicker

0 | Jul. 22, 2014 | KU Medical Center, Health Disparities

Change is coming to the way donated livers are allocated in the United States, and Richard Gilroy, a hepatologist and medical director of transplantation at the University of Kansas Hospital, said that's not good news for those on waiting lists in Kansas and Missouri.

New Missouri law pays dividends for KC clinic

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Health Reform, Safety Net

Safety net clinics like Kansas City CARE are adapting from serving uninsured patients to those who recently acquired coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Local food movement thriving on the High Plains of Kansas

0 | Jul. 21, 2014 | Community Health, Nutrition

Direct marketing food to customers is proving to be a boon for members of a western Kansas producers' cooperative that has seen strong sales growth. "For one thing, it has made it possible for my nephew to come back to the farm," said Chris Schmidt, a Rawlins County farmer who grows 2,000 acres of commodity grain but also is selling direct to online customers.

KDHE issues permit for coal-fired power plant

0 | Dec. 16, 2010 | Environment, KDHE

State officials issued a permit today for the construction of a controversial coal-fired power plant in southwestern Kansas. The proposed power plant construction near Holcomb has divided the state for years.

Powell touts years of work as insurance agent

1 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Insurance

Powell sees a competitive insurance market as part of what he calls a “three-legged stool,” along with Gov. Sam Brownback’s income tax cuts and a renewed emphasis on vocational education, to help Kansas attract new businesses.

KC public housing smoking ban puts onus on tenants

8 | May. 22, 2014 | Community Health, Government, Tobacco

A new policy aims to do away with smoking in city-owned housing, but many residents are not pleased.

DCF hires foster care ombudsman

1 | Jul. 16, 2014 | Children, DCF

The move was prompted in part by a foster parents' bill of rights proposed earlier this year during the legislative session.

Number of children in foster care hits record high

2 | Jun. 09, 2014 | Children, DCF, Mental Health

In April, there were 6,156 children in the state's foster care system. That’s 356 more children than in April 2013, and 872 more than two years earlier.

National report: Midlevel dental providers expand access to care

1 | Jul. 02, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Oral Health

The report examined the experiences of two public nonprofits with dental therapists - one in Alaska and another in Minnesota - and a telehealth project in California.

Web-based tool helps match foster children, families

1 | Jun. 26, 2014 | Children, DCF, Health Care Delivery

The tool, developed about two years ago by TFI Family Services, a Topeka-based charity, is being marketed by Foster Care Technologies, a for-profit partnership between TFI and the Bioscience & Technology Business Center at the University of Kansas.

Food stamp work requirements complicate Farm Bill passage

6 | Jul. 08, 2013 | Nutrition, Safety Net

Kansas policymakers seem to be at the forefront of a controversial national movement to make it more difficult for people to qualify for a federal program that helps more than 46 million low-income Americans — including more than 300,000 Kansans — buy groceries.

Two multiple homicide cases raise questions about adequacy of mental health system

4 | Feb. 03, 2014 | Community Health, Mental Health

Two multiple murder cases have been tied to men who were brought by police to the state hospital here because of their threatening behaviors but were released several days later after hospital officials deemed them no danger to themselves or others. The ensuing tragedies have left many wondering what went wrong and whether the state’s mental health system and the way it works with law enforcement is adequate.

Kansas prepares for new federal HCBS rules

1 | Jun. 10, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Medicaid-CHIP

Providers of home- and community-based Medicaid services and their state overseers are preparing for a raft of new federal rules intended to assure that the people who receive the services have more say in how they are helped and that their living conditions are “non-institutional.”

Radio ads promote health insurance marketplace

1 | Jun. 05, 2014 | Advocacy, Government, Health Care Delivery, Insurance, KanCare

Underwritten by a federal grant, the 30-second commercials are designed to let people know they can buy health insurance on the federal marketplace if they’ve experienced a life-altering event within the past 60 days.

Budget Blog

Signing off at KHI

Jul. 02, 2014

The Budget Blog is transitioning. I will soon leave KHI employment, but during the upcoming election cycle I will continue to write and speak about Kansas financial matters.

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