Kansas gets low grade for disease preparedness

National report indicates state meets three of 10 key measures

0 | 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.

KU researcher questions lower autism diagnoses among minority children

0 | 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.

Number of Uninsured Kansans in 2013 Unchanged from 2012

Trend shows more people receiving public coverage

0 | 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.

Kansas insurer names new VP of information services

0 | 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 | 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

Proposed change would allow for-profit companies to shape care plan

0 | 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

State seeks federal approval for changes in waiver programs that help keep disabled out of institutions

7 | 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

KC-based business group launches effort to reduce tobacco use

0 | 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

Some employees eligible for subsidies, lower-cost coverage on healthcare.gov

0 | 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.

DCF to delay computer upgrade as part of budget cuts

KDADS postpones opening of new facility at Larned State Hospital

0 | 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.

ACA plays a role in Brownback budget fix

$55 million from KDHE drug rebates affected by Obamacare

0 | 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.

Making the human condition computable

Technology eases health tracking, but cost, privacy issues remain a concern

0 | Health Care Delivery, HIE-HIT

Advances in computing technology mean that gathering, storing and analyzing health information is relatively cheap, and it’s getting cheaper by the day.

Wichita center feels effects of limited admissions at Osawatomie State Hospital

Delays increase demand for services at community mental health centers

0 | KDADS, Mental Health

The director of Wichita's community mental health center says several patients were denied admission over the weekend to Osawatomie State Hospital.

Deadline nears for Kansas adult care facilities to join malpractice fund

Insurance agents scramble to find affordable option for clients in limited market

0 | Health Care Delivery

Hundreds of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities in Kansas will be required to participate in a fund meant to spread the risk of malpractice lawsuits starting next month. Advocates for those facilities say the change is a positive, but it has insurance agents scrambling to find liability coverage for their clients.

HCF announces more than $4 million in safety net grants

0 | Foundations, Health Care Delivery

The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City announced more than $4 million in safety net funding for 31 nonprofit organizations in Kansas and Missouri.

Kansas continues to struggle in health rankings

State ranks 27th for second year, down from top 10 in 1990s

0 | 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.

HHS announces $36M in ACA funds for quality improvement at health centers

0 | Health Care Delivery, Health Reform

Fifteen health centers in Kansas will receive a total of more than $340,000 in quality improvement awards.

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