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Over the five decades leading to a new millennium, state government in Kansas had assumed a rhythm of reform and advancement. Today it thrums with the drone of demolition.
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disabilty Services has been conducting a listening tour to collect public input on Gov. Sam Brownback's mental health initiative. In Manhattan, critics said the mental health system is stretched too thin to do more without additional funding.
For many generations, Kansans were governed by experienced, educated and thoughtful people who realized the great difference that government had made in their lives. The people elected to office had known lives before a time of new and noble purpose. They had come through a civil war, a panic, a great depression and two world wars. They saw the need for a government. It could not go away.
Rep. John Rubin, a Shawnee Republican, has been collecting signatures from fellow House members who support extending for another year the "carve-out" of long-term supports for the developmentally disabled from KanCare.
The Hamilton County commission has been presented a proposal to issue $3 million in no-fund warrants to support the hospital in this far western Kansas community. Administrators have said without the bond, the hospital would run out of money as early as June. Hospital officials will make the case to the community for approving the funds at a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at the Syracuse High School gymnasium.
At least four Kansas coalitions plan to apply for federal grants aimed at helping consumers navigate the new, online health insurance marketplaces that are supposed to be in place nationwide by Oct. 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act.
That sigh of relief you heard Monday was from hospital administrators in nearly two dozen states, including Florida, Texas and Kansas. That’s because the Obama administration announced Monday that for the next two years, it doesn’t plan to penalize states that have yet to expand Medicaid coverage under the federal health law by targeting them for reduced Medicaid funding.
Last week the Arkansas legislature approved a plan to give Medicaid beneficiaries money to buy individual policies from private insurers on the state’s health insurance exchange. One insurer is already expressing interest.
Republican Colorado state Sen. Larry Crowder said he couldn’t vote against the bill when hospitals in his district are strained to the breaking point caring for the uninsured. Colorado hospitals strongly support the expansion, saying it will replace many of their unpaid bills with new Medicaid payments.
Pharmacist Lori Murdock recently signed up for the medication disposal program run by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, she said, because it's the right thing to do. “It’s a big concern to the public and the general population to say, ‘OK, I can’t just keep flushing this stuff … and I really don’t want to put it in the trash because who knows who can get into it and where is it going,’” Murdock said. “Our population is getting more interested in doing the right things.”
A task force charged with coming up with a plan for reforming the Sexual Predator Treatment Program at Larned State Hospital has agreed to spend another month developing its recommendations.
A dispute between advocates for developmentally disabled Kansans and the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback has the potential to complicate budget negotiations and the end of the legislative session.
A state official charged with overseeing the state’s foster care system blamed the economy and drug and alcohol abuse for a recent increase in the number of children in state custody.
The building of a new Kansas Medicaid eligibility and enrollment system intended to be interoperable with the new federal health insurance marketplace remains on budget, according to the state's project overseer. But the system's planned connection to the federal insurance exchange could slip behind schedule, if federal officials don't pick up the pace on their end.
Enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s new online marketplaces is scheduled to start Oct. 1 in Kansas and across the nation. But it is clear that many, if not most, of the millions of people expected to benefit from the so-called “insurance exchanges,” still know little or nothing about how the marketplaces are supposed to work or the law behind them.
A child advocacy group has filed a petition in Shawnee County District Court, asking the judge to order Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to release an independent auditor’s report on how much money the nation’s tobacco companies are likely to pay the state over the next five years.
Four states that have snubbed the federal health law by defaulting to the federal government to build new online insurance marketplaces and not agreeing to expand Medicaid are getting new jobs at call centers that will help consumers understand their new coverage options this fall. Kansas is one of them.
May 18, 2013
This weekend, Lawrence firefighters will hit the streets to fill their boots — with money.
May 16, 2013
Mortality rates at the Kansas University Hospital trauma and burn units are among the lowest in the country, according to figures released this week. The Burnett Burn Center's mortality index is 0.58, indicating that 42 percent of patients who would normally have died from their injuries are surviving. The KU Trauma Center, meanwhile, has a mortality index of 0.72. By Giles Bruce
May 14, 2013
Felicia Shockey isn't your average social worker. She has arranged for a patient to ride on a Harley Davidson alongside the Patriot Guard. She helped another fly in a hot-air balloon, checking an item off the top of his bucket list. She lets patients drink alcohol or eat steak — if that's what they want. The director of social services at Brandon Woods at Alvamar in Lawrence is the inaugural winner of the Crossroads Hospice Caring More Award, which will be presented at The Oread on Wednesday. By Giles Bruce
May 14, 2013
Julie Wei was a pediatric Otolaryngologist, or ear, nose and throat specialist, at the University of Kansas Medical Center for more than ten years when she began to see a trend that she didn’t like: a large number of children with chronic congestion. Wei’s book, “A Healthier Wei” is an explanation of why she believes children are being misdiagnosed and wrongly medicated and her theory, with proven success, on how to fix these problems.
May 14, 2013
As a celebration of the 100th birthday of the American Cancer Society, the organization is encouraging people to raise awareness and join the fight against cancer.
May 18, 2013
A ban on abortion at the 12th week of pregnancy is likely to be declared unconstitutional, a federal district judge said.
May 17, 2013
This week, the Recipes for Health columnist Martha Rose Shulman experiments with focaccia, an alternative to pizza that makes a great lunch, snack or sandwich.
May 17, 2013
One doctor is going to the front lines in the battle against a new strain of bacterial meningitis affecting New York’s gay community.
May 17, 2013
One shot confers lifetime protection and the “booster shot” given at 10 years is no longer necessary, the World Health Organization said.
May 17, 2013
What families can do if the V.A. rejects a veteran’s claim for caregiving benefits.
April 22, 2013
A study earlier this year from the University of Missouri showed that most patients took a dim view of doctors who make use of clinical decision support technology.
Researchers found that patients saw physicians who use CDS as somehow less capable than those who don't. They saw the IT tools as impersonal, and thought the systems were a barrier between them and their caregivers.
May 2, 2013
In a memo to its employees last week, Maine Medical Center, part of the MaineHealth system, said it has suffered an operating loss of $13.4 million in the first half of its fiscal year. The rollout of MaineHealth's estimated $160 million electronic health record system, which has resulted in charge capture issues that are being fixed, was among several reasons Maine Med's CEO cited for the shortfall.
April 24, 2013
In health IT, it's a man's world. Although women account for more than 47 percent of the U.S. labor force, they hold a paltry 25 percent of senior health IT roles nationwide. Don't get used to this trend, however, say female industry leaders who are working to make the realm of information technology more accessible to women.
May 16, 2013
An editorial by The Commonwealth Fund's David Blumenthal and Melinda Abrams explores one approach to addressing the primary care workforce shortage: using nurse practitioners to provide a wide range of primary care services.
May 16, 2013
Since January 2013, Medicaid agencies and health plans have been required to pay for primary care for Medicaid beneficiaries at the generally higher rates paid to providers by Medicare. The Center for Health Care Strategies' David Bricklin-Small and Tricia McGinnis say that to ensure continued access to primary care, the increase should be maintained beyond its two-year timeframe.
May 10, 2013
The Fund's Jordan Kiszla and Rachel Nuzum discuss a recent policy briefing on the potential of patient-centered medical homes to transform primary care.
May 7, 2013
Under the Affordable Care Act, overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans are gradually being pared back. But will private plans be able to cope with the reduced payments? Using newly available government data, this brief examines average costs among Medicare Advantage plans and variation in costs among plan types.
May 6, 2013
Combining Medicare's hospital, physician, and prescription drug coverage with commonly purchased private supplemental coverage into one health plan could produce national savings of $180 billion over a decade while improving care for beneficiaries, a new Health Affairs study finds.