News for Thursday, January 16, 2014

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Janice Smith accepts Children's Cabinet post

TOP co-founder will replace Jim Redmon

Janice Smith, a co-founder and former executive director of one of the state’s best known early-childhood development programs, has been named executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund.

KDHE posts new power plant permit for public comment

Modified permit requires Sunflower to follow latest federal clean air regulations

A modified construction permit for a second coal-fired power plant near Holcomb was posted for public comment by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. A revised permit is needed for Sunflower Electric Power Corporation to build the proposed plant after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled this fall that KDHE's original permit did not properly adhere to federal clean air regulations.

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Corporate ag initiative shelved for 2014 session

Administration officials, lobbyists say more groundwork needed before pursuing changes

Last year the Department of Agriculture and the state’s top ag lobbyists began urging legislators to remove restrictions in the state's corporate farming laws, saying that would help spur jobs and economic growth. Though that effort will continue, administration officials and major ag industry lobbyists said they would not attempt to change the law this year.

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First meeting set for new health information exchange panel

KanHIT advisory committee scheduled to meet Feb. 17

The first meeting of a new regulatory panel for health information exchange in Kansas is slated for Feb. 17, nine months after the previous regulatory body was dissolved by the Legislature.

Congress poised to change Medicare payment policy

What the 'doc fix' could mean for patients and providers

After years of legislative wrangling and last-minute patches, expectations are high among physician groups, lawmakers and Medicare beneficiaries that Congress could act this year to permanently replace the current Medicare physician payment formula. While committees in both chambers have approved their own "doc fix" proposals, the approaches have yet to be reconciled, and none have identified how they would pay for a repeal.