Kansans with disabilities concerned about proposed KanCare changes

The Medicaid services at issue are provided under agreements with the federal government known as waivers that allow states to use alternative methods to pay for or deliver health care services.

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‘Healthy campus’ in downtown KCK another step closer to reality

The Unified Government Board of Commissioners approved a new master development plan that includes a state-of-the-art community center, more green space in which to exercise and access to healthy foods at a 30,000- to 35,000-square-foot urban grocery store.

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AARP Kansas to urge passage of caregiver legislation

The senior advocacy group plans to introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session requiring hospitals to demonstrate follow-up care instructions for caregivers before their loved ones are sent home.

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New effort to tighten regulation of mental health drugs concerns advocates

Kansas law currently bars state officials from placing restrictions on mental health drugs prescribed to Medicaid recipients. A legislative committee recommended repealing that law last week, saying the state needs to step in to prevent inappropriate uses of such drugs.

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Kansas consumers have more ACA enrollment options

With the start of new ACA open enrollment period, Kansans like Sherry Calderwood of Topeka are comparing costs of health insurance plans in the online marketplace.

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Kansas Report Released: Early Days of Health Reform Implementation, National Study

0 | Dec. 18, 2014 | Health Reform

With the 2014 elections behind us and newly-elected officials about to be sworn in, the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) released a report chronicling the early days of health reform implementation in Kansas and how the decisions of the state’s key players at the time shaped the response to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Number of Uninsured Kansans in 2013 Unchanged from 2012

0 | Dec. 17, 2014 | Health Insurance

The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show an estimated 348,097 (12.3 percent) Kansans didn’t have health insurance in 2013, which is not a significant change from 2012 (12.6 percent). Kansas had lower uninsured rates across all age groups compared to national rates for 2013. The Kansas Health Institute has developed a fact sheet that details this information.

Issue Brief: Kansas Marketplace Opens for Year Two

0 | Nov. 15, 2014 | Health Reform

The second open enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace in Kansas opened today. Last year, slightly more than 57,000 Kansans signed up for health insurance coverage through healthcare.gov, created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Kansas Health Institute (KHI) has produced an issue brief describing changes in the marketplace, and several online maps showing the plans and premiums offered in the seven premium rating areas across the state.

Monthly Consumer Costs in the 2015 Kansas Marketplace

0 | Nov. 15, 2014 | Health Reform

The Kansas Health Institute (KHI) has produced several maps showing the plans and premiums offered in the seven premium rating areas across the state.

Kansas Health Institute Receives Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Continue National Public Health Effort

0 | Nov. 11, 2014 | Public Health Systems and Services

Grant extension will allow KHI to maintain Center for Sharing Public Health Services, a national initiative that supports cross-jurisdictional sharing in public health.

Fact Sheet: 57,013 Kansans Signed Up for Health Coverage in ACA’s First Year

0 | Oct. 21, 2014 | Health Reform

As the second open enrollment period approaches for the health insurance marketplaces created through the Affordable Care Act, the Kansas Health Institute has developed a fact sheet providing a look back at enrollment results from the first year.

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KDADS finds contacting Kansans on waiting list for disability services a challenge

0 | Dec. 19, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

KDADS Secretary Kari Bruffett said during 2014 the agency had offered so-called waiver services to 1,627 people with physical disabilities on its waiting list.

Governor selects Mosier for permanent KDHE post

0 | Dec. 19, 2014 | KDHE, KanCare

Susan Mosier, an ophthalmologist and former Republican legislator, also has been serving as head of the Kansas Medicaid program and KDHE's Division of Health Care Finance.

Kansas gets low grade for disease preparedness

0 | Dec. 18, 2014 | KDHE, Public Health, Rankings-Indicators

The report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that Kansas met three out 10 key measures.

Medicare cuts payments to 721 hospitals with highest rates of infections, injuries

0 | Dec. 18, 2014 | Government, Hospitals

Eleven hospitals in Kansas are among those being penalized for having high rates of infections and other patient injuries.

Campaign announced to exempt food from Kansas sales tax

0 | Dec. 18, 2014 | Foundations, Legislature, Health Disparities, Nutrition

Kansas is one of only 14 states that levies a sales tax on food. And its 6.15 percent per dollar is the second highest in the nation, trailing only Mississippi’s 7 percent rate.

KU researcher questions lower autism diagnoses among minority children

0 | Dec. 18, 2014 | Child Health, Health Disparities, University of Kansas

In an article in the Journal of Special Education, a KU assistant professor demonstrates that Hispanic and African-American children are diagnosed with autism at lower rates than white children.

Kansas insurer names new VP of information services

0 | Dec. 17, 2014 | Insurance

Jeff Gragg will serve as vice president of information services and chief information officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

Nearly 2.5 million consumers have selected health plans on federal marketplace

0 | Dec. 17, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

Just over half of those individuals who have selected plans since the health law’s second open enrollment season began are returning customers.

Parents worry managed care oversight will affect KanCare services

0 | Dec. 15, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services has proposed allowing the managed care companies that have administered the state’s Medicaid program since February 2013 to have a say in deciding which services “best meet (a) participants needs.”

Kansans with disabilities concerned about proposed KanCare changes

7 | Dec. 15, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Medicaid services at issue are provided under agreements with the federal government known as waivers that allow states to use alternative methods to pay for or deliver health care services.

Proposal to raise Missouri’s cigarette tax would fund children’s initiatives

0 | Dec. 15, 2014 | Public Health, Tobacco

The campaign aims to increase Missouri’s cigarette tax — now lowest in the nation — from 17 cents to 67 cents a pack.

Small businesses drop coverage as health law offers alternatives

0 | Dec. 15, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

Companies with fewer than 50 workers provide medical coverage to roughly 20 million people. Unlike larger employers, they have no obligation under the health law to offer a plan.

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DCF to delay computer upgrade as part of budget cuts

0 | Dec. 12, 2014 | Budget, DCF, KDADS

The delay is one result of Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to cut $3.9 million from the Department for Children and Families budget this fiscal year.

New effort to tighten regulation of mental health drugs concerns advocates

0 | Nov. 24, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Medicaid-CHIP, Mental Health

Kansas law currently bars state officials from placing restrictions on mental health drugs prescribed to Medicaid recipients. A legislative committee recommended repealing that law last week, saying the state needs to step in to prevent inappropriate uses of such drugs.

ACA plays a role in Brownback budget fix

0 | Dec. 11, 2014 | Budget, Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

Among the short-term budget fixes announced by Gov. Sam Brownback this week is a $55 million sweep from a Medicaid drug rebate program that is made possible in part by the federal Affordable Care Act.

Governor selects Mosier for permanent KDHE post

0 | Dec. 19, 2014 | KDHE, KanCare

Susan Mosier, an ophthalmologist and former Republican legislator, also has been serving as head of the Kansas Medicaid program and KDHE's Division of Health Care Finance.

No target date for final KEES rollout

0 | Nov. 19, 2014 | KDHE, HIE-HIT

A $135 million computer system meant to streamline applications for Kansas social services, including Medicaid, remains without a final "go-live" date more than a year after the rollout was originally scheduled to be completed.

Kansas continues to struggle in health rankings

0 | Dec. 10, 2014 | Foundations, Public Health, Rankings-Indicators

The state remains 27th in the annual America's Health Rankings - the same as last year - but has fallen from the top 10 in the 1990s.

Kansas insurer names new VP of information services

0 | Dec. 17, 2014 | Insurance

Jeff Gragg will serve as vice president of information services and chief information officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

Campaign announced to exempt food from Kansas sales tax

0 | Dec. 18, 2014 | Foundations, Legislature, Health Disparities, Nutrition

Kansas is one of only 14 states that levies a sales tax on food. And its 6.15 percent per dollar is the second highest in the nation, trailing only Mississippi’s 7 percent rate.

Senate committee amends KanCare oversight bill

0 | Mar. 19, 2013 | Legislature, KanCare

The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee agreed to amend a House-passed bill that would create a joint legislative committee for overseeing KanCare and the state's efforts to develop alternatives to institutional care.

Denver company to open eating disorder facility in KC area

0 | Nov. 21, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Hospitals

The partial hospitalization program is expected to open in late December near Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Merriam.

Potential Health Effects of Proposed Public Transit Concepts in Wichita

0 | Oct. 22, 2013 | Health Impact Assessment

A report by the Kansas Health Institute examines how various public transit scenarios could affect the health of Wichita area residents. The health impact assessment explored transit-related factors that influence health, including air quality, traffic-related injuries and secondhand smoke exposure, as well as access to employment, health care, food sources, educational and recreational resources.

Kansas hospitals want to hit ‘reset’ button on Medicaid expansion debate

0 | Dec. 23, 2013 | Advocacy, Hospitals, Medicaid-CHIP

The Kansas Hospital Association has hired former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt to help craft a Medicaid expansion plan that Gov. Sam Brownback and Republican legislators might support.

Kansans with disabilities concerned about proposed KanCare changes

7 | Dec. 15, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Medicaid services at issue are provided under agreements with the federal government known as waivers that allow states to use alternative methods to pay for or deliver health care services.

Salina dentists rally to halt anti-fluoride momentum

10 | Nov. 03, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Child Health, Oral Health

Dozens of dentists in Salina rallied opposition to a ballot measure to remove fluoride from the city's water supply, and voters rejected the measure by a 2-to-1 margin Tuesday.

KDADS suspends voluntary admissions to Osawatomie State Hospital

3 | Dec. 03, 2014 | KDADS, Mental Health

The decision, according to a memo sent to the state’s 26 community mental health centers late Tuesday afternoon, was driven by “ongoing and critical census challenges” at the state hospital.

Kansas mental health system under increasing stress

16 | Aug. 18, 2014 | Mental Health

Directors at many of the 26 community mental health centers in Kansas say the system is breaking down because state funding hasn’t kept pace with the increasing demands for care in their communities.

Merrick re-elected speaker, vows to cut spending

2 | Dec. 01, 2014 | Legislature

Rep. Tom Burroughs of Kansas City, the newly elected leader of the 28-member Democratic minority in the House, said the state’s budget problems will be “the challenge” of the upcoming session.

Legislator to promote gun background checks as health issue

1 | Dec. 09, 2014 | Legislature, Hospitals

A former physician now in the Kansas Legislature says she will promote a bill expanding background checks for gun sales because she believes gunshot wounds are a public health issue.

Davis vows to reverse controversial KanCare decision if elected

6 | Oct. 08, 2014 | Campaign 2014, KanCare

The Democratic candidate for governor says support services to Kansans with developmental disabilities should not be part of the state's privatized Medicaid program.

KDHE surveyors sent to Osawatomie State Hospital

4 | Oct. 30, 2014 | KDADS, KDHE, Mental Health

The 206-bed inpatient facility for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses this week had 235 patients.

KDADS clarifies public comment deadline on waivers for Medicaid-funded services

1 | Dec. 04, 2014 | KDADS, Medicaid-CHIP

The comment period was extended to Dec. 20 to ensure compliance with a federal rule that requires a 30-day comment period.

Meetings on support programs for Kansans with disabilities set for next week

3 | Nov. 07, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services plans informational sessions in Wichita, Hays and Lawrence.