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

New effort to tighten regulation of mental health drugs concerns advocates

Committee recommends repeal of law, seeks to prevent inappropriate use of antipsychotics

0 | Health Care Delivery, Medicaid-CHIP, Mental Health

Kansas law currently bars state officials from placing restrictions on mental health drugs prescribed to Medicaid recipients. A legislative committee recommended repealing that law last week, saying the state needs to step in to prevent inappropriate uses of such drugs.

Senior members of insurance department staff to leave with Praeger

0 | Nov. 26, 2014 | Government, Insurance

Four division directors - who combined have more than 125 years of experience at the department - announced plans to retire, effective Dec. 5.

Kansas City unveils plan for downtown bike lanes

0 | Nov. 26, 2014 | Community Health, Government

The Public Works Department disclosed plans for redesigning traffic flow and creating bike lanes on a 1.5-mile stretch of Grand Avenue between the Crossroads and the River Market.

KCK home health provider convicted on Medicaid fraud charges

0 | Nov. 25, 2014 | Courts, Medicaid-CHIP

The conviction was announced Tuesday by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, whose office is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate home health care fraud.

KU Medical Center group recruits rural teens for health jobs

0 | Nov. 25, 2014 | KU Medical Center, Workforce

The Area Health Education Center aims to recruit rural high school students into careers in the medical field, in the hopes they will then return to their homes and help fill gaps in access to care.

Kansas safety net clinics seek federal funding for new sites

0 | Nov. 25, 2014 | Health Reform, Safety Net

At least six organizations in Kansas are asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for grants to open new clinics.

State releases plan to keep Medicare reimbursements at Osawatomie hospital

0 | Nov. 24, 2014 | Hospitals, Mental Health

State officials have a three-pronged plan to ensure Osawatomie State Hospital maintains its Medicare reimbursements after a federal agency announced last week they are in jeopardy.

New effort to tighten regulation of mental health drugs concerns advocates

0 | Nov. 24, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Medicaid-CHIP, Mental Health

Kansas law currently bars state officials from placing restrictions on mental health drugs prescribed to Medicaid recipients. A legislative committee recommended repealing that law last week, saying the state needs to step in to prevent inappropriate uses of such drugs.

HHS formally moves to close loophole allowing plans without hospital benefits

0 | Nov. 24, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

Under the new standard, companies with at least 50 workers “must provide substantial coverage of both inpatient hospital services and physician services” to meet the Affordable Care Act’s threshold for "minimum value” coverage.

Kansas House delegation supports EPA restrictions

0 | Nov. 24, 2014 | Environment, Congress

All four Kansas members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of three bills last week that seek to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency.

Denver company to open eating disorder facility in KC area

0 | Nov. 21, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Hospitals

The partial hospitalization program is expected to open in late December near Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Merriam.

REACH Foundation awards more than $1M to health, advocacy organizations

0 | Nov. 21, 2014 | Foundations

The 17 organizations contribute to the health care safety net system in the six counties within REACH Healthcare Foundation's service area.

Voter opposition to Obamacare led Democrats to shy away from Medicaid expansion issue

0 | Nov. 21, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Legislature, Medicaid-CHIP

The chairwoman of the Kansas Democratic Party said polling didn’t indicate the Medicaid expansion issue was much of a difference-maker with voters.

New effort to tighten regulation of mental health drugs concerns advocates

0 | Nov. 24, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Medicaid-CHIP, Mental Health

Kansas law currently bars state officials from placing restrictions on mental health drugs prescribed to Medicaid recipients. A legislative committee recommended repealing that law last week, saying the state needs to step in to prevent inappropriate uses of such drugs.

Denver company to open eating disorder facility in KC area

0 | Nov. 21, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Hospitals

The partial hospitalization program is expected to open in late December near Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Merriam.

Kansas safety net clinics seek federal funding for new sites

0 | Nov. 25, 2014 | Health Reform, Safety Net

At least six organizations in Kansas are asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for grants to open new clinics.

KU Medical Center group recruits rural teens for health jobs

0 | Nov. 25, 2014 | KU Medical Center, Workforce

The Area Health Education Center aims to recruit rural high school students into careers in the medical field, in the hopes they will then return to their homes and help fill gaps in access to care.

KCK home health provider convicted on Medicaid fraud charges

0 | Nov. 25, 2014 | Courts, Medicaid-CHIP

The conviction was announced Tuesday by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, whose office is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate home health care fraud.

State releases plan to keep Medicare reimbursements at Osawatomie hospital

0 | Nov. 24, 2014 | Hospitals, Mental Health

State officials have a three-pronged plan to ensure Osawatomie State Hospital maintains its Medicare reimbursements after a federal agency announced last week they are in jeopardy.

Medicare termination looms at Osawatomie hospital

1 | Nov. 18, 2014 | KDADS, Mental Health

A federal agency has sent notice that Medicare payments to overcrowded Osawatomie State Hospital will be terminated, but state officials say they will address concerns before the deadline and avoid that action.

Could Medicaid Expansion debate turn into an immigration issue?

0 | Feb. 26, 2014 | Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

Florida lawmakers backing expansion of the state’s Medicaid program plan to mount a new argument this legislative session: That voting against extending the program would deprive low-income U.S. citizens of access to insurance that’s available to some legal immigrants.

National association honors Praeger

0 | Nov. 21, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

Praeger, a moderate Republican who is retiring in January after three terms as insurance commissioner, has been an advocate for health reform despite opposition from others in her party.

Kansas hospitals continue campaign for Medicaid expansion

0 | Nov. 20, 2014 | Hospitals, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

A report released by the Kansas Hospital Association says the state stands to lose more than $2.2 billion in federal matching funds between 2016 and 2020.

Rising KanCare costs adding to state’s budget problems

1 | Nov. 19, 2014 | Budget, Legislature, KanCare

While the state already faces a projected $280 million revenue this budget year, an additional $40 million is needed to meet rising KanCare costs.

KanCare MCOs announce their benefit-package subcontractors

0 | Aug. 28, 2012 | KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

KanCare's managed care companies each will use its own set of subcontractors to oversee dental, vision, pharmacy and transportation benefit packages.

Salina dentists rally to halt anti-fluoride momentum

10 | Nov. 03, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Child Health, Oral Health

Dozens of dentists in Salina rallied opposition to a ballot measure to remove fluoride from the city's water supply, and voters rejected the measure by a 2-to-1 margin Tuesday.

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.

Meetings on support programs for Kansans with disabilities set for next week

3 | Nov. 07, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services plans informational sessions in Wichita, Hays and Lawrence.

KDHE surveyors sent to Osawatomie State Hospital

4 | Oct. 30, 2014 | KDADS, KDHE, Mental Health

The 206-bed inpatient facility for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses this week had 235 patients.

Rising KanCare costs adding to state’s budget problems

1 | Nov. 19, 2014 | Budget, Legislature, KanCare

While the state already faces a projected $280 million revenue this budget year, an additional $40 million is needed to meet rising KanCare costs.

Medicare termination looms at Osawatomie hospital

1 | Nov. 18, 2014 | KDADS, Mental Health

A federal agency has sent notice that Medicare payments to overcrowded Osawatomie State Hospital will be terminated, but state officials say they will address concerns before the deadline and avoid that action.

Davis vows to reverse controversial KanCare decision if elected

6 | Oct. 08, 2014 | Campaign 2014, KanCare

The Democratic candidate for governor says support services to Kansans with developmental disabilities should not be part of the state's privatized Medicaid program.

Insurance exchanges launch nationwide with few glitches

1 | Nov. 17, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

By most accounts, the federal marketplace that handles enrollment for 37 states ran smoothly when it opened on Saturday — a far cry from last year’s disastrous rollout.

KanCare initiative concerns parents of developmentally disabled adults

3 | Oct. 20, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare

A health home initiative announced by KDADS encourages but does not require KanCare companies to let developmentally disabled Kansans keep their current case managers if they so choose.

Kansas hospitals pressing ahead with Medicaid expansion proposal

1 | Nov. 10, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

Now that the election is over, Kansas hospital officials say the Brownback administration and some legislative leaders may be more open to discussing expansion.

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