Managed care program for elderly to expand in Kansas

Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly - a Medicare- and Medicaid-funded managed care program for people who are 55 or older, low-income and close to being admitted to a nursing home - will expand in the next few years to provide service in 59 Kansas counties. Currently the program known as PACE only is available in eight counties.

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Brownback job-training initiative draws praise

Ashley Gaeddert is a senior at Newton High School who, like hundreds of others across the state, is getting a head start on a career in medicine thanks to a new state training program.

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Nurses’ push for independence from doctors stalls in Legislature

The ways of the Kansas Legislature are a frustrating mystery to Merilyn Douglas. The advanced practice registered nurse from Garden City is part of a group that is pushing for passage of a bill that would allow APRNs to practice independently from physicians. But that push has stalled. The bill hasn’t received a hearing in either the House or Senate and it’s too late in the legislative session for any discussion to begin. “This has happened to us three years in a row,” Douglas said. “It is frustrating. It challenges your faith in the legislative process.”

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Poverty takes its toll on Kansas schools

In the state that has proudly called itself the nation’s breadbasket, the problems of poverty — including hunger, homelessness and mental illness — reach farther into classrooms than many Kansans might expect or care to believe. In hundreds of public schools across the state, there are students that each Friday — or before holidays — are sent home with “backpacks” or “kits” of donated food put together by volunteers to be sure the children will have something to eat until they return to class the next school day.

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Push on in Kansas and Missouri for final days of Obamacare enrollment

With the deadline fast approaching to get health coverage this year through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans, a final push is on across Kansas, Missouri and other states to get people signed up.

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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.

2014 County Health Rankings

0 | Mar. 26, 2014 | Research, Press Releases, Public Health Systems and Services, Rankings-Indicators

With the release of the 2014 County Health Rankings, Kansas counties can see how they compare with their neighbors so they can identify where they do well and where they can improve.

Multiple media outlets cover KHI's health impact assessment work

0 | Mar. 21, 2014 | Health Impact Assessment

Kansas Health Institute policy experts were cited in newspaper and television news reports for stories about health impact assessments influencing changes for Wichita bus system.

Testimony: A Health Impact Assessment of Changes to the Kansas Liquor Control Act

0 | Mar. 06, 2014 | Health Impact Assessment, KHI Legislative Testimony

KHI offered neutral testimony on HB 2556, a bill that would permit convenience and grocery stores to hold retail liquor licenses.

Kansas Health Insurance Marketplace: An Insider's Look

0 | Feb. 21, 2014 | Health Insurance, Health Reform

Join us in a discussion of early experiences with implementation of the ACA in Kansas The Marketplace and how it is structured and operating in Kansas.

Issue Brief: Nearly 182,000 Kansans in the ‘Eligibility Gap’

0 | Feb. 11, 2014 | Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 aims to increase the number of people with health insurance by expanding both private and public coverage. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the law will reduce the number of uninsured Americans under age 65 by approximately 27 million by the year 2017. However, in Kansas, approximately 182,000 people fall into an eligibility gap, and 78,400 of them currently do not have health insurance. Nearly half of Kansans in the gap are also employed.

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Mental health task force report released

0 | Apr. 15, 2014 | Mental Health

A 16-member task force that spent much of the past year looking for ways to improve the state’s mental health system released its findings.

Memorial service scheduled for longest-serving Kansas Cabinet secretary

0 | Apr. 15, 2014 | Advocacy, Agencies

Robert Harder, the longest-serving Cabinet secretary in Kansas history, died Saturday. He was 84. Harder served five governors - three Republicans and two Democrats - while overseeing the state welfare department and later the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. In his later years he continued to advocate for the poor and disabled as a volunteer.

NIH director talks about one and done at KU — for flu shots

0 | Apr. 15, 2014 | KU Medical Center

The annual flu vaccine could be a thing of the past by the end of the decade, the director of the National Institutes of Health said during a visit to the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Governor urged to veto health care compact bill

0 | Apr. 15, 2014 | Legislature, Health Reform

Representatives of AARP and Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger urged Gov. Sam Brownback to veto a bill that seeks to give states control of Medicare and Medicaid.

KanHIT work groups to study secondary-use policies

0 | Apr. 15, 2014 | KDHE, HIE-HIT

Members of a council that is advising the state on how to govern the digital exchange of patient health information met again to talk about the ways to regulate the so-called "secondary use" of the data. As more medical providers feed their patient information to the two exchange networks operating in the state, the network managers are expected to receive more requests for access to the data from researchers, marketers, drug companies and others.

Widick named KNI superintendent

0 | Apr. 14, 2014 | KDADS, Hospitals

Brent Widick, 49, has been interim superintendent at Kansas Neurological Institute since December 2013. He succeeds Barney Hubert, who retired after nearly 35 years at the state hospital.

Managed care program for elderly to expand in Kansas

0 | Apr. 14, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery, Medicaid-CHIP

Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly - a Medicare- and Medicaid-funded managed care program for people who are 55 or older, low-income and close to being admitted to a nursing home - will expand in the next few years to provide service in 59 Kansas counties. Currently the program known as PACE only is available in eight counties.

Kansas officials set to begin drafting 50-year water plan

0 | Apr. 11, 2014 | Environment

The team of Kansas water officials working to shape the future of water resources in the state is one step closer to drafting its 50-year water plan after a Friday meeting to share public input gathered from more than 140 meetings across the state.

Wyandot Inc. CEO announces retirement

0 | Apr. 11, 2014 | Community Health, Mental Health

Pete Zevenbergen, the CEO of Wyandot Inc. who expanded the scope of Wyandotte County’s community mental health center, announced his retirement Thursday.

KCK home health provider indicted on fraud charges

0 | Apr. 11, 2014 | Community Health, Health Care Delivery, Other

A Kansas City, Kan., home health attendant was indicted Wednesday in a federal fraud case in which Medicaid paid more than $587,000 based on fraudulent billing practices.

Sebelius resigns; Obama names OMB chief Burwell to head HHS

0 | Apr. 11, 2014 | Government, Agencies, Health Reform, Outside Source

After a five-year tenure that included the flawed rollout of the health care law and stormy relations with Capitol Hill Republicans, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, a White House official said late Thursday.

KDHE picks Belfry for communications post

0 | Apr. 11, 2014 | KDHE

Sara Belfry is currently deputy director of communications for Gov. Sam Brownback's office. She will begin her full-time position at KDHE on April 14.

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Memorial service scheduled for longest-serving Kansas Cabinet secretary

0 | Apr. 15, 2014 | Advocacy, Agencies

Robert Harder, the longest-serving Cabinet secretary in Kansas history, died Saturday. He was 84. Harder served five governors - three Republicans and two Democrats - while overseeing the state welfare department and later the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. In his later years he continued to advocate for the poor and disabled as a volunteer.

Managed care program for elderly to expand in Kansas

0 | Apr. 14, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery, Medicaid-CHIP

Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly - a Medicare- and Medicaid-funded managed care program for people who are 55 or older, low-income and close to being admitted to a nursing home - will expand in the next few years to provide service in 59 Kansas counties. Currently the program known as PACE only is available in eight counties.

Mental health task force report released

0 | Apr. 15, 2014 | Mental Health

A 16-member task force that spent much of the past year looking for ways to improve the state’s mental health system released its findings.

Regional mental health hubs poised to begin services

0 | Aug. 28, 2013 | Advocacy, KDADS, Mental Health

A new "regional" approach to averting jail time or hospitalization for the state's seriously mentally ill is expected to begin operating perhaps as soon as next month, according to a state official.

2014 County Health Rankings

0 | Mar. 26, 2014 | Research, Press Releases, Public Health Systems and Services, Rankings-Indicators

With the release of the 2014 County Health Rankings, Kansas counties can see how they compare with their neighbors so they can identify where they do well and where they can improve.

Six Kansas counties to participate in initiative aimed at bettering rural healthcare systems

0 | Oct. 17, 2013 | Foundations, Rural Health

Six western Kansas counties will be part of a $1.5 million initiative aimed at improving their healthcare systems in ways that can be duplicated by medical providers in other rural areas that are challenged by shrinking populations, recruiting difficulties and mounting financial pressures.

Wyandot Inc. CEO announces retirement

0 | Apr. 11, 2014 | Community Health, Mental Health

Pete Zevenbergen, the CEO of Wyandot Inc. who expanded the scope of Wyandotte County’s community mental health center, announced his retirement Thursday.

Governor announces new mental health initiative

2 | Jan. 10, 2013 | Budget, Mental Health

Gov. Sam Brownback outlined a new mental health initiative that he said would focus on the development of regional hubs to target services toward mentally ill persons who resist treatment until a crisis forces them into a mental hospital or prison.

Kansas Medicaid enrollment continues to climb

1 | Apr. 04, 2014 | Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

A new report from federal officials shows that Medicaid enrollment in Kansas continues to climb. State officials said they attribute the increase to greater awareness of the program due to the Affordable Care Act and the recent promotions of the health insurance marketplace.

Cut threatens nursing facilities for mentally ill

0 | Jan. 25, 2010 | SRS, Mental Health

The average stay in one of the state’s three hospitals for the mentally ill is between two and four weeks.

Number of Kansas children in foster care continues to grow

4 | Aug. 12, 2013 | Children, DCF

Over the last two years, near-record numbers of children have entered the state’s foster care system. At the same time, fewer children have exited and the number of adoptions involving children in state custody has fallen to a six-year low. State officials say the economy and drug abuse are behind the increase. But children's advocates point to declining services for needy families.

Kansas Medicaid enrollment continues to climb

1 | Apr. 04, 2014 | Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

A new report from federal officials shows that Medicaid enrollment in Kansas continues to climb. State officials said they attribute the increase to greater awareness of the program due to the Affordable Care Act and the recent promotions of the health insurance marketplace.

MoveOn.org poll shows most Kansans support Medicaid expansion

1 | Apr. 08, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Medicaid-CHIP

Poll results released today indicate that the Medicaid expansion issue could be a factor in the Kansas governor’s race. The poll, done last week for MoveOn.org Political Action, a left-leaning group dedicated to “progressive change,” showed that 52 percent of Kansans favored expanding the health care program to more low-income adults. But a spokesman for Gov. Sam Brownback's re-election said the poll results were dubious and intended to favor Democrat opponent Paul Davis.

Kansas HIA Report: Potential Health Effects of Casino Development in Southeast Kansas

5 | Oct. 23, 2012 | Community Health, Health Impact Assessment, Public Health Systems and Services

The Kansas Health Institute recently completed its first health impact assessment, which examined the potential health effects associated with casino development in Southeast Kansas. This new report features findings of the health impact assessment and outlines recommendations to maximize the positive health benefits of a proposed casino and mitigate its potential negative effects on health.

Big Tent Coalition complains of waiting list and KanCare problems

2 | Mar. 20, 2014 | Advocacy, KanCare

Advocates for the physically and mentally disabled today accused the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services of enacting policies aimed at restricting access to state’s Medicaid-funded in-home services. But KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan said the complaints were based on misconstrued numbers and that the agency is having trouble contacting the people on its waiting list for services.

State officials trying to clean up waiting lists for home-based Medicaid services

2 | Mar. 14, 2014 | KDADS

State officials are trying to update their lists of disabled people waiting to get home-based Medicaid services. People with physical disabilities must contact the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services no later than June 30 to get the services or remain on the list.

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.

KABC releases assisted living facility rankings

1 | Mar. 27, 2014 | Community Health

A state association that represents frail elders and their caregivers recently released its annual compilation of low- and high-performing assisted living facilities.

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.

Deputy AG among those testifying at hearing on navigator restriction bill

2 | Feb. 25, 2014 | Health Reform

A hearing was held today on a bill that would add restrictions for the application counselors who help people enroll in health coverage through the new federal marketplace in Kansas.

Budget Blog

State employee health plan prices down

Apr. 15, 2014

Most state employees have been paying slightly lower premiums for their health insurance in 2014. Although price decisions have not been made for 2015, the state will likely be in a position to keep any increases in check.

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