KHI News Service

The KHI News Service provides thorough and objective coverage of issues, people and events that affect health policy in Kansas. The KHI News Service is an editorially independent program of the Kansas Health Institute. It is supported in part by a variety of underwriters. It operates separately from KHI’s research and policy operations, similar to the way traditional media outlets separate their newsrooms from advertising and circulation departments.

Featured Report

Ruling on in-home Medicaid services creates questions for providers, beneficiaries

New overtime pay requirement expected to increase Kansas costs by at least $13M

0 | KDADS, Medicaid-CHIP

The new rule, due to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, requires state Medicaid programs to pay home care workers minimum wage and overtime. But Kansas has asked the Department of Labor to exempt Kansas from the ruling or delay its implementation.

Crisis intervention center to open in Topeka

0 | Oct. 01, 2014 | Community Health, Mental Health

Valeo Behavioral Health Care hopes its new facility will mean fewer mentally ill adults are referred to Osawatomie State Hospital or end up in jail.

Panelist: Compact originator intent on Medicare privatization

0 | Sep. 30, 2014 | Health Reform

Legislators who passed a health care compact in Kansas said changes to Medicare were not the impetus, but a "Medicare coach" told a Johnson County crowd Tuesday that the originator of the multi-state compact favors privatizing the federally administered health care program for seniors.

Documentary casts light on Kansas City's mental health care challenges

0 | Sep. 30, 2014 | Mental Health

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Michael Price's documentary, "Lost Minds: KC's Mental Health Crisis," focuses on the growing number of confrontations between people with mental illness and police on Kansas City's streets.

Many rural hospitals excluded from government's push for better quality

0 | Sep. 30, 2014 | Health Reform, Hospitals, Rural Health

The Department of Health and Human Services has not yet incorporated the 1,256 primarily rural, “critical access” hospitals into Medicare’s pay-for-performance programs.

Democrats call for special committee to vet KanCare contracting

0 | Sep. 29, 2014 | Legislature, KanCare

A spokesperson for Gov. Sam Brownback says the process to select private companies to operate the $3 billion KanCare program was "open and fair."

Ruling on in-home Medicaid services creates questions for providers, beneficiaries

0 | Sep. 29, 2014 | KDADS, Medicaid-CHIP

The new rule, due to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, requires state Medicaid programs to pay home care workers minimum wage and overtime. But Kansas has asked the Department of Labor to exempt Kansas from the ruling or delay its implementation.

Johnson County names new mental health director

0 | Sep. 26, 2014 | Mental Health

Tim DeWeese, a longtime staff member of the Johnson County Mental Health Center, has been promoted to director.

Liver transplant reallocation plan on hold

0 | Sep. 26, 2014 | Congress, Health Care Delivery

The United Network for Organ Sharing's Liver and Intestinal Organ Transplantation Committee decided it was not ready to recommend a change to the way organs are distributed.

Campaign launched to improve state's breastfeeding rate

0 | Sep. 25, 2014 | Early Childhood, Foundations, Hospitals

The event’s keynote speaker stressed the importance of helping business leaders recognize the economic benefits of breastfeeding.

Kansas groups receive CDC funding for projects to fight chronic disease

0 | Sep. 25, 2014 | Health Disparities, Nutrition, Obesity, Public Health

Five Kansas organizations received more than $5 million in 2014 funding for their projects to combat chronic disease.

EPA official says Clean Power Plan key to minimizing climate change

0 | Sep. 25, 2014 | Environment

The administrator for the EPA region that includes Kansas says power plants must be innovative, competitive and efficient to help the United States meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets.

KDADS awards $1M to south-central Kansas mental health coalition

0 | Sep. 24, 2014 | KDADS, Mental Health

The coalition will provide services aimed at reducing the number of people with severe mental illnesses who are referred to Osawatomie State Hospital or end up in the state’s correctional system.

Ruling on in-home Medicaid services creates questions for providers, beneficiaries

0 | Sep. 29, 2014 | KDADS, Medicaid-CHIP

The new rule, due to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, requires state Medicaid programs to pay home care workers minimum wage and overtime. But Kansas has asked the Department of Labor to exempt Kansas from the ruling or delay its implementation.

KDADS awards $1M to south-central Kansas mental health coalition

0 | Sep. 24, 2014 | KDADS, Mental Health

The coalition will provide services aimed at reducing the number of people with severe mental illnesses who are referred to Osawatomie State Hospital or end up in the state’s correctional system.

Panelist: Compact originator intent on Medicare privatization

0 | Sep. 30, 2014 | Health Reform

Legislators who passed a health care compact in Kansas said changes to Medicare were not the impetus, but a "Medicare coach" told a Johnson County crowd Tuesday that the originator of the multi-state compact favors privatizing the federally administered health care program for seniors.

Democrats call for special committee to vet KanCare contracting

0 | Sep. 29, 2014 | Legislature, KanCare

A spokesperson for Gov. Sam Brownback says the process to select private companies to operate the $3 billion KanCare program was "open and fair."

Liver transplant reallocation plan on hold

0 | Sep. 26, 2014 | Congress, Health Care Delivery

The United Network for Organ Sharing's Liver and Intestinal Organ Transplantation Committee decided it was not ready to recommend a change to the way organs are distributed.

Governor proposes deeper cuts in mental-health spending

0 | Mar. 18, 2011 | Legislature, Mental Health

Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed cutting the budget for community mental health centers by an additional $17 million.

Kansas groups receive CDC funding for projects to fight chronic disease

0 | Sep. 25, 2014 | Health Disparities, Nutrition, Obesity, Public Health

Five Kansas organizations received more than $5 million in 2014 funding for their projects to combat chronic disease.

Study: Rejection of Medicaid expansion costing Kansas, Missouri hospitals billions

1 | Aug. 08, 2014 | Health Reform, Hospitals, Medicaid-CHIP

The analysis says that without Medicaid expansion, Kansas hospitals stand to lose $2.6 billion between 2013 and 2022.

Kansas dental program for children on hold because of KanCare MCO

0 | Nov. 11, 2013 | KanCare, Oral Health, Rural Health

If state-run Medicaid had its problems, one area that was working well in Kansas was providing oral health care to kids via programs like Kansas Cavity Free Kids, say officials at Head Start. But the program has been on hold for months while KanCare payment problems get worked out.

Johnson County names new mental health director

0 | Sep. 26, 2014 | Mental Health

Tim DeWeese, a longtime staff member of the Johnson County Mental Health Center, has been promoted to director.

Network execs confident they will meet looming HIE deadline

0 | Dec. 16, 2013 | HIE-HIT

HIE network executives say they are confident they can complete interconnection in time for federal deadline. Hanging in the balance are the networks' licenses to operate in the state as well as $1 million in federal incentive funds.

Senate president prefers options remain open on Medicaid expansion

1 | Mar. 25, 2013 | Legislature

Susan Wagle, already distinct in history as the first woman elected president of the Kansas Senate, said there are other things for which she would prefer to be remembered: “A fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a mom, a businesswoman and a schoolteacher . . . that’s pretty diverse,” she said. (This is the first in a series of KHI News Service profiles this week of key legislators.)

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.

Health care compact rebuttal signed by 23 legislators

1 | Sep. 24, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Health Reform

The legislators' editorial counters an article critical of the compact written by members of the Johnson County Commission on Aging.

Medicare expert says compact not on radar in DC

1 | Sep. 22, 2014 | Congress, Legislature, Health Reform

A health care compact bill designed to get Kansas and other states out of federal health regulations is gaining attention here for its possible Medicare implications. But a national expert on Medicare says the compact, which needs Congressional approval, is "not even on the back burner" in Washington, D.C.

Health care compact article debate heats up

1 | Sep. 16, 2014 | Legislature, Health Reform

Legislators who supported a multi-state bill that would exempt Kansas from federal regulations on publicly funded health care tried Monday to dissuade a senior advisory board in Johnson County from running an article criticizing the compact's potential effects on Medicare.

KC public housing smoking ban puts onus on tenants

8 | May. 22, 2014 | Community Health, Government, Tobacco

A new policy aims to do away with smoking in city-owned housing, but many residents are not pleased.

Legislators take issue with seniors' article opposing compact

1 | Sep. 11, 2014 | Legislature, Health Reform

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook said the health care compact would not affect Medicare as the group fears, but leaders of the Johnson County Area Agency on Aging's advisory board say their concerns are valid.

Kansas teens in foster care to get free photo IDs

1 | Sep. 09, 2014 | Children, DCF

The initiative, which will cost about $10,000, is expected to affect 424 teens and young adults.

MCOs continue to lose money in KanCare's second year

1 | Sep. 09, 2014 | KanCare

A legislator on the KanCare oversight committee questioned whether the Medicaid managed care program is headed for a shakeup after distributing information about operating losses in the first half of 2014.

Doctor running for lieutenant governor swears by 'direct primary care' model

1 | Sep. 08, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Health Care Delivery

Josh Umbehr, a primary care physician running for the state's second-highest office, says his updated version of concierge medical practice brings better, more affordable care to the masses.

Respiratory illness sickens hundreds of KC area children

1 | Sep. 03, 2014 | Child Health

KDHE spokeswoman Sara Belfry says the department is investigating whether any of the young patients treated at Children's Mercy are from Kansas.

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