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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KDADS changes process for nursing home inspection reports

Starting July 1, the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services will stop sending electronic copies of nursing home inspection reports to the trade associations and Kansas Advocates for Better Care. Instead, those groups will have to access surveys online.

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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.

2014 County Health Rankings

0 | Mar. 26, 2014 | Research, Community Health, Press Releases, 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.

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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.

Kansas Health Foundation announces two new board members

0 | Jul. 24, 2014 | Foundations

The two new board members are the Rev. Claudia Bakely of Manhattan and Junetta Everett of Wichita.

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.

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.

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.

What do the latest ACA court decisions mean for consumers?

0 | Jul. 23, 2014 | Courts, Health Reform

While insurance consumers won't be affected immediately by Tuesday's decisions, and the current subsidies likely will remain in place until there is a final legal decision on the matter.

Kids Count rankings put Kansas in top third

0 | Jul. 22, 2014 | Child Health, Early Childhood, Rankings-Indicators

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a child advocacy group, released its annual Kids Count report today, and Kansas ranked 15th overall and Missouri 29th. The report assesses overall child well-being based on four broad categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

Conflicting rulings on Obamacare subsidies put Kansas consumers in limbo

0 | Jul. 22, 2014 | Courts, Health Reform

If the 2-to-1 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit stands, consumers in the 36 states – including Kansas and Missouri – that didn’t establish their own online health insurance marketplaces would no longer be eligible for subsidies.

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.

D.C. appeals court overturns subsidies for federal exchange

0 | Jul. 22, 2014 | Courts, Health Reform

A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that subsidies may not be offered in the federal health exchange. But the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals later offered its own decision, upholding the subsidies.

Hub key to sustaining local food movement in northeast Kansas

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

By the end of the fifth year, hub farmers could be generating up to $2.3 million in additional sales, the report said.

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.

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Scammers preying on public's confusion over health reform law

0 | Apr. 22, 2013 | Health Reform

Law enforcement agencies are reporting an increase in these sorts of health insurance scams across the country. Many of the fraudsters seem to be preying on the public’s confusion over the Affordable Care Act and the massive changes taking place in the nation’s health care system.

State employee pharmacy plan to change

0 | Jun. 10, 2010 | KHPA

State employees who use Walgreens to fill their prescriptions will soon have to find another pharmacy.

CMS fines Andover nursing home after allegations of resident abuse

0 | May. 14, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services announced that an Andover nursing home has been fined at least $155,800 for failing to protect its residents from abusive workers. “This agency does not tolerate abuse or neglect of our nursing home residents,” KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan said in a prepared statement that accompanied the announcement.

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).

D.C. appeals court overturns subsidies for federal exchange

0 | Jul. 22, 2014 | Courts, Health Reform

A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that subsidies may not be offered in the federal health exchange. But the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals later offered its own decision, upholding the subsidies.

Roberts' proposal to cut SNAP fails in U.S. Senate

1 | May. 21, 2013 | Congress, Nutrition

During debate on the Farm Bill, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts unsuccessfully proposed reducing food stamp spending by 4 percent. The Kansas Republican's motion failed, 40-58, in the Democratically controlled U.S. Senate.

Nurse faces felony count for alleged abuse of nursing home resident

0 | May. 19, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery

The Butler County Attorney announced today that his office has filed one felony count against a worker suspected of abusing an Andover nursing home resident in September of 2013. The nurse is scheduled to appear in court June 16.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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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