Stories for July 2008

Thursday, July 31

Two appointed to nursing board

TOPEKA, July 31 - Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has appointed two persons to the Kansas State Board of Nursing.

EMS budget cuts could affect local grants

TOPEKA, July 31 - The preliminary, 2 percent budget cuts requested of all state agencies by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius would come to $46,360 for the Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services.

Provider tax discussed at Medicaid committee meeting

TOPEKA, July 31 - A committee charged with recommending possible changes to the state's Medicaid program held its second meeting today and spent much of the time discussing a possible new tax on nursing homes.

Wednesday, July 30

Last two state employee insurance firms chosen

TOPEKA, July 30 - The commission that oversees state employees' health insurance today approved two additional contracts for services and also agreed to penalize workers caught smoking after claiming a non-smoker discount.

Kids say program helps in battle against stigma

TOPEKA, July 30 - Life hasn't been kind to Chelsea Loper.

Advocates mourn death of first Head Start director

BROOKLINE, MASS., July 30 - Dr. Julius Richmond, the nation's first director of Head Start and a long-time anti-smoking advocate, has died of cancer at his home. He was 91.

Tuesday, July 29

Tease photo

Elaine Schwartz: Executive Director Kansas Public Health Association

Elaine Schwartz is executive director of the Kansas Public Health Association, which represents various organizations and individuals involved in the public health system.

Teens to discuss SED stigma

TOPEKA, July 29 - More than a dozen children with severe emotional disabilities will meet Wednesday with members of a Governor's Mental Health Services Planning Council subcommittee.

Thomson Reuters wins KHPA data contract

TOPEKA, July 29 - The Kansas Health Policy Authority has awarded a major data management contract to Thomson Reuters, one of the nation's largest financial data service companies.

Greater KC health foundation seeks board members

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 29 - The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City seeks persons interested in serving on its 21-member board of directors.

Monday, July 28

Safety-net clinics to receive diabetic supplies

TOPEKA, July 28 - A Web-based pharmaceutical company has announced plans to donate several pallets of diabetic supplies to safety-net clinics in Kansas City and Topeka next week.

Tobacco regulation summit scheduled

The attitudes of local officials about smoking bans will be discussed at a meeting set for Aug. 13 in Topeka.

Friday, July 25

Smoking bans still an issue for state lawmakers

If Sen. David Wysong has his way, voters will know every incoming legislator's position on a statewide smoking ban.

KDHE obesity grant approved, not funded

TOPEKA, July 25 - Kansas won't receive a Centers for Disease Control grant to prevent and fight obesity, health officials have learned.

Cancer group meets to work on plan

LAWRENCE, July 25 - Members of the Kansas Cancer Partnership met Friday to discuss revisions to the state's cancer plan.

More communities considering smoking bans

After two years of talk but no action in the Legislature, local Kansas governments are continuing to adopt or study the possibility of local smoking bans.

Thursday, July 24

SRS seeks input on mental health reform plan

TOPEKA, July 24 - State officials are soliciting public comment on a series of proposals for overhauling the state's mental health system.

Report: Prevention could save billions of dollars soon

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 24 - More investment in disease prevention could save the U.S. economy more than $16 billion in health care costs within the next five years, according to a new report.

Wednesday, July 23

SRS prepares for budget cuts

TOPEKA, July 23 - Hoping to avoid cuts in services, state welfare officials have imposed a hiring freeze.

Appeal upheld in tobacco suit

DENVER - The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld Kansas and Oklahoma laws requiring tobacco companies to put money into an escrow account for possible future lawsuits.

Dental hub grants announced

HAYS, July 23 - A clinic here and eight others across the state will be able to provide dental care for people who couldn't otherwise afford it thanks to $2.8 million in grants announced today.

Derby passes updated smoking ban

DERBY, July 23 - The Derby City Council Tuesday night approved a new ordinance that bans smoking in all workplaces and public places.

Medicare bill brings help to ambulance services

TOPEKA, July 23 - The Medicare bill passed by Congress last week will boost the program's reimbursements for ambulance services, providing some long-awaited cost relief for rural Kansas agencies.

Tuesday, July 22

KHPA weighing changes to Medicaid program

TOPEKA, July 22 - The Kansas Health Policy Authority is looking for ways to increase efficiencies, cut costs and find additional revenue within the state's Medicaid program.

More staff changes at KDHE

TOPEKA, July 22 - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has hired a new communications director.

Safety net renewal bill advances in Congress

TOPEKA, July 22 - A bill that would reauthorize the federal program that provides funding to safety net clinics is on the move in Congress.

Monday, July 21

State's obesity rates continue to climb

TOPEKA, July 21 - Kansans continue to gain weight.

KAMU lobbyist headed to KU job

TOPEKA, July 21 - The government relations director for the state's safety net clinic association is leaving that post for a new job at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Friday, July 18

Roberts, health professionals call for long-term Medicare fix

TOPEKA, July 18 - Although Congress successfully passed a major Medicare bill this week, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts said it's important to continue working to make the program sustainable in the long run.

Plan calls for 963 leaving institutions for community

TOPEKA, July 18 - State officials reviewed their plans Friday for making sure that, four years from now, more Kansans with disabilities will be living in community settings.

Senior programs growing; funding stagnant

The 25 nutrition programs for Kansas senior citizens are expected to serve more than 3.3 million meals this year.

Senior meal programs reeling from soaring food and gasoline prices

The Palco Senior Center is one of 28 group meal sites run by the Northwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging. But the program and others like it have been hard hit by rising fuel and food prices and declining revenues. Their futures are uncertain.

Pilot projects add flexibility, choice to meal programs

For years, senior citizens have had the option of having meals delivered to their homes or meeting their friends for lunch at the local senior center. Now, a third option is in the works.

Thursday, July 17

U.S. health system lags those in other developed countries

TOPEKA, July 17 - The American health care system is "on the wrong track," according to a scorecard of the world's leading industrialized nations that was released today

E-Health council members appointed

TOPEKA, July 17 - Fourteen people have been appointed to a new council that will advise the governor and the Kansas Health Policy Authority on health information technology.

Another SCHIP push possible before election

TOPEKA, July 17 - The recent override of President Bush's veto of a Medicare bill has House Democratsthinking about making one more push for a veto-proof majority to extend and expand SCHIP.

Central office changes at KDHE

TOPEKA, July 17 - Mandy Cawby, outreach director for the Kansas Health Policy Authority, will soon leave her post for a new job at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Wednesday, July 16

At least 141 children on autism waiting list

TOPEKA, July 16 - In Kansas, 141 autistic children are on a waiting list for Medicaid-funded services designed to lessen the brain disorder's toll on their development.

Kansas to receive nearly $3 million from drug settlement

TOPEKA, July 16 - Kansas will get about $3 million as its share of a $515 million settlement between the U.S. Justice Department and the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Kansas events planned to raise diabetes research funds

TOPEKA, July 16 - The American Diabetes Association is seeking corporate sponsors for this year's Topeka walk to increase awareness of the disease and to raise money to fund research.

KHPA board chair will step down for lobbying career

TOPEKA, July 16 - The chairperson of the board of the Kansas Health Policy Authority will step down at the board's reorganization meeting next month to pursue a lobbying career.

Tuesday, July 15

GAO: Soaring cost shows controls needed on medical imaging

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15 - Medicare spending on medical imaging services in doctors' offices more than doubled between 2000 and 2006, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

KU hospital awarded "Most Wired" honor

KANSAS CITY, Kan., July 15 - The University of Kansas Hospital has been named one of the nation's "Most Wired Hospitals."

Congress quickly overrides Medicare veto

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15 - President Bush today delivered on his promise to veto a major Medicare bill approved last week by Congress, setting the stage for an expected override vote.

Monday, July 14

Medicare important but worrisome to providers

The slightest change in the federal Medicare program can have a big impact on local physicians and their patients.

Tease photo

Andrew Corbin: President/CEO Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas

Andrew Corbin is president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, the state's largest private health insurer.

Differences over private Medicare plans fuel debate

Congress has passed a bill, but the ideological fight over Medicare continues.

Sharon M. Homan, Ph.D.

Sharon M. Homan, Ph.D., Director of Public Health Studies,

HCBS oversight committee ready to go

TOPEKA, July 14 - Nine legislators have been appointed to the Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services Oversight, which is scheduled to meet for the first time Friday.

An annual exercise in frustration

U.S. doctors who last week watched Congress once again stave off a scheduled cut in their Medicare payments have been experiencing a frustrating time loop. But so far, no one is predicting a Hollywood ending.

Friday, July 11

Back to the bargaining table for state employee health plan

TOPEKA - The commission that oversees the state employees' health plan approved two service contracts with health insurance companies, but told state officials to go back to the bargaining table with three other potential vendors.

Thursday, July 10

First state diabetes plan unveiled in Wichita

WICHITA, July 11 - The state's first published diabetes plan was unveiled here Friday, laying out a five-year scenario for curbing a growing public health problem that officials already describe as "epidemic."

Wednesday, July 9

Senate approves 'doctors' fix' Medicare bill

TOPEKA, July 9 - The U.S. Senate today reversed a scheduled 10.6 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors, instead approving a 1.1 percent pay increase for them.

Study finds significant increases in number of underinsured

TOPEKA, July 9 - A study has found that between 2003 and 2007, the number of underinsured adults increased by 60 percent.

Medicare bill also contains pharmacy fixes

TOPEKA, July 9 - The bill approved by the U.S. Senate Wednesday to prevent a cut in Medicare fees also contains provisions that several members of the Kansas congressional delegation say are critical for small-town pharmacies.

Cilantro, peppers could be source of salmonella

TOPEKA, July 9 - Cilantro and fresh peppers are now considered suspects in a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella.

Tuesday, July 8

New report: Prevention a costly prospect in current health system

TOPEKA - Getting people to stop smoking is the only cost-effective disease prevention measure currently employed in the U.S. health care system, according to a newly released study.

Policy Analyst Positions

Policy Analyst

SRS looks to increase food stamp use

TOPEKA, July 8 - State officials are looking for ways to get more people to use food stamps.

Monday, July 7

Many doctors don't provide immunizations

Kansas ranks among the bottom seven states in the country for the number of private physicians who provide immunizations.

Tease photo

Achieving and Sustaining High Vaccination Rates Among Kansas Children: An Action Plan

A newly-released report and issue brief details potential barriers to improving Kansas' childhood immunization rate and provides recommendations for policymakers, providers, parents and others.

Some parents still concerned about vaccines

It's now rare to find a vaccine treated with a mercury-based preservative, but parents remain concerned about the safety of vaccines administered to their children.

Curing the unsteady vaccination rate

Over the years, attempts to increase the childhood immunization rate in Kansas have produced mostly short-term results. A new report released today has health officials and others hopeful a lasting solution is possible.

Registry aiming for 2010 national goal

A digital registry here holds information on more than 7 million vaccinations delivered to more than 1 million Kansans, but public health officials hope to do more.

Tease photo

Mary Sweet: Administrator, Kiowa County Memorial Hospital

Sweet oversees the community hospital in Greensburg. The community is still rebuilding from the 2007 tornado that left little standing.

High food, fuel prices pinching meal programs

TOPEKA, July 7 - Rising fuel and food prices are putting the squeeze on programs that deliver meals to the elderly.

Thursday, July 3

Stabilization fund settles with five 'pill mill' patients

TOPEKA, July 3 - A state-run, medical malpractice insurance program has settled with five former patients of Dr. Stephen Schneider.

Restaurant inspection transfer underway

TOPEKA, July 3 - The transfer of restaurant and lodging inspections from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to the Kansas Department of Agriculture is going smoothly, agency officials said.

Wednesday, July 2

Ten Kansas and Missouri reporters tapped for fellowships

COLUMBIA, Mo., July 2 - The Association of Health Care Journalists has named the 2008-09 class of the Midwest Health Journalism Program, an annual fellowship program.

Appointee has concerns about energy group

TOPEKA, July 2 - House Speaker Melvin Neufeld said today that the legislator assigned to serve on an environmental policy group was picked because he is skeptical of the organization chosen to facilitate the group's deliberations.

Tuesday, July 1

Medicaid changes on hold for now

TOPEKA, July 1 - Congress has shelved proposed changes in Medicaid regulations that would have shifted more of the nation's health care costs onto states.

CMS holding doctor claims until Senate returns from break

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1 - Doctors who treat Medicare patients were scheduled for a 10.6 percent cut in fees beginning today, but now their claims won't be processed at all until at least July 15.

Health policy authority asked to produce outgoing e-mails

TOPEKA, July 1 - The Legislature's research department has asked the Kansas Health Policy Authority to provide two months of outgoing e-mails from 10 of the health agency's key officials, including Executive Director Marcia Nielsen.

News Archive