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

Overuse of antipsychotic drugs in some Kansas nursing homes endangering patients

State ranks 47th worst for use of powerful drugs to control behavior of residents with dementia

0 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery

Experts say powerful antipsychotic drugs are used too much as “chemical restraints” or sedatives to control the behavior of Kansas nursing home residents suffering from dementia, and that efforts to curb the practice are showing weak results compared to other states.

Davis advocates thorough exam of KanCare

0 | Sep. 02, 2014 | Campaign 2014, KDHE, KanCare

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, said Tuesday that if elected he would order a "top-to-bottom" review of KanCare.

Kickapoo in a race to stem the tide of diabetes

0 | Sep. 02, 2014 | Community Health, Foundations, Health Disparities

A new half-mile walking trail is part of a five-year project to help the Kickapoo initiate programs to combat diabetes.

Physician payment data put costly eye treatments under the microscope

0 | Sep. 01, 2014 | Government, Health Care Delivery

Many eye doctors say recently released Medicare payment information falsely creates the impression that ophthalmologists were getting rich off Medicare.

Switch to KanCare complicates Medicaid fraud detection

0 | Aug. 29, 2014 | Agencies, Legislature, KanCare

A national organization leader and a federal report say other governmental agencies tasked with rooting out Medicaid fraud also are struggling to adapt to the managed care model.

Consumers will owe Uncle Sam if they mistakenly receive health insurance subsidies

0 | Aug. 29, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

The clarified rule could affect some of the 300,000 people facing a Sept. 5 deadline to submit additional documents to confirm their citizenship or immigration status, and could apply broadly to anyone ultimately deemed ineligible for subsidies.

Bruffett confirmed as KDADS chief

0 | Aug. 28, 2014 | Government, Agencies, KDADS, Legislature

Kari Bruffett said one of her initial tasks as secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services will be to work with federal officials to continue the transition away from institutional care for people with disabilities.

KanCare payment delays threaten rural hospital

1 | Aug. 27, 2014 | Hospitals, KanCare

Roger Warren, a surgeon and administrator at Hanover Hospital for 54 years, says the three managed care companies owe his hospital more than $140,000 in claims — or more than half of the hospital's monthly operating budget.

KC event designed to spur community conversation on health

0 | Aug. 27, 2014 | Community Health, Foundations

The "Community Conversation on Health" will include KC metro residents who are uninsured, medically underserved, health care providers or in fields related to community health, such as education and law enforcement.

KU Hospital joins effort to oppose liver transplant proposal

0 | Aug. 26, 2014 | University of Kansas

The proposal would have a profound effect on KU Hospital, which runs one of the top liver transplant programs by volume in the country, and other regional transplant centers.

Negotiations on nursing practice bill off to good start

0 | Aug. 26, 2014 | Legislature, Health Care Delivery, Workforce

Representatives of Kansas doctor and nurse groups are negotiating on legislation allowing nurses with advanced training to practice on their own.

HHS names new CEO of health insurance marketplace

0 | Aug. 26, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

Kevin Counihan will oversee healthcare.gov, the website that 36 states - including Kansas - use to sell Affordable Care Act insurance.

New federal birth control rules appear to track Supreme Court suggestion

0 | Aug. 26, 2014 | Courts, Health Reform

The new rules require organizations that have religious objections to providing some or all FDA-approved contraceptives to notify the government rather than their insurance carriers that they cannot provide the coverage.

Switch to KanCare complicates Medicaid fraud detection

0 | Aug. 29, 2014 | Agencies, Legislature, KanCare

A national organization leader and a federal report say other governmental agencies tasked with rooting out Medicaid fraud also are struggling to adapt to the managed care model.

Kickapoo in a race to stem the tide of diabetes

0 | Sep. 02, 2014 | Community Health, Foundations, Health Disparities

A new half-mile walking trail is part of a five-year project to help the Kickapoo initiate programs to combat diabetes.

Physician payment data put costly eye treatments under the microscope

0 | Sep. 01, 2014 | Government, Health Care Delivery

Many eye doctors say recently released Medicare payment information falsely creates the impression that ophthalmologists were getting rich off Medicare.

Overuse of antipsychotic drugs in some Kansas nursing homes endangering patients

0 | Aug. 25, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery

Experts say powerful antipsychotic drugs are used too much as “chemical restraints” or sedatives to control the behavior of Kansas nursing home residents suffering from dementia, and that efforts to curb the practice are showing weak results compared to other states.

Rural Kansas hospital focuses on 'mission-driven' medicine to recruit doctors

0 | Jul. 07, 2014 | Workforce, Rural Health

In Kearny County, on the High Plains near the Kansas-Colorado boundary where there are only about five residents per square mile, one small hospital has adopted a distinctive approach to recruitment that in a relatively short time has produced a staff that includes five doctors, five physician assistants and a growing volume of patients.

KanCare payment delays threaten rural hospital

1 | Aug. 27, 2014 | Hospitals, KanCare

Roger Warren, a surgeon and administrator at Hanover Hospital for 54 years, says the three managed care companies owe his hospital more than $140,000 in claims — or more than half of the hospital's monthly operating budget.

Aetna acquisition of Coventry unopposed in Kansas

0 | Nov. 05, 2012 | Agencies, Health Reform, Insurance

A top Aetna executive said Monday the health insurance company’s planned acquisition of Coventry Health Care would benefit Kansas consumers by giving them more choices in the marketplace. Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger predicts market for individual plans will grow once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.

Profiles of the coverage gap: Kathleen Christian

0 | Jan. 06, 2014 | Health Reform, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

Kathleen Christian is in the so-called "coverage gap" — too poor for tax subsidies, not eligible for Medicaid so long as Kansas refuses to expand the program as provided for by the Affordable Care Act. Christian said she lays equal blame on President Obama and Gov. Sam Brownback, who has opposed provisions of the ACA from the beginning. "They're just a bunch of boys having an argument about who's better than who. It's all a political game for them. I don't think they're really seeing what they're doing to people," she said.

Centene awarded most contracts in Florida Medicaid bidding

0 | Sep. 24, 2013 | KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

A subsidiary of Centene Corp. won more contracts than any other company in the bidding for a slice of the Florida Medicaid program as it shifts its entire enrollee population into managed-care plans. Centene is the parent company of Sunflower State Health Plan, one of three managed care organizations that administer Kansas' Medicaid program. Centene Corp., won more contracts than any other company in the bidding for a slice of the Florida Medicaid program as it.

Bruffett confirmed as KDADS chief

0 | Aug. 28, 2014 | Government, Agencies, KDADS, Legislature

Kari Bruffett said one of her initial tasks as secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services will be to work with federal officials to continue the transition away from institutional care for people with disabilities.

Negotiations on nursing practice bill off to good start

0 | Aug. 26, 2014 | Legislature, Health Care Delivery, Workforce

Representatives of Kansas doctor and nurse groups are negotiating on legislation allowing nurses with advanced training to practice on their own.

KU Hospital program receives $12 million federal grant

0 | Jul. 09, 2014 | Health Reform, Rural Health

The partnership to improve heart health and stroke survival rates involves the University of Kansas Hospital, Hays Medical Center, 10 critical access hospitals and rural primary care providers serving western Kansas.

Kansas mental health system under increasing stress

15 | 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.

KanCare payment delays threaten rural hospital

1 | Aug. 27, 2014 | Hospitals, KanCare

Roger Warren, a surgeon and administrator at Hanover Hospital for 54 years, says the three managed care companies owe his hospital more than $140,000 in claims — or more than half of the hospital's monthly operating budget.

Yoder stresses importance of federal funding for biomedical research

1 | Aug. 19, 2014 | Government, KU Medical Center, University of Kansas

Last year, KU and the University of Kansas Medical Center received more than $75 million in NIH funding.

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.

New federal rules will disrupt care for disabled Kansans, state officials say

1 | Aug. 12, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery, KanCare

KDADS Secretary Kari Bruffett says with the changes, thousands of Kansans likely would need to move from home-based care to a nursing home setting.

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.

Accuracy of survey showing spike in Kansas uninsured rate questioned

1 | Aug. 11, 2014 | Insurance, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

With enrollment up in Medicaid and private insurance, it appears some sort of methodological or sampling error is the most likely explanation for the Kansas results in the Gallup poll.

KDHE launches 'health home' framework for Medicaid enrollees with mental illness

1 | Aug. 04, 2014 | KDHE, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP, Mental Health

The initiative had been slated for a Jan. 1, 2014, rollout but was pushed back to Aug. 1 after Ross and other health care officials said they needed more time to ensure the program’s readiness.

Powell touts years of work as insurance agent

1 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Insurance

Powell sees a competitive insurance market as part of what he calls a “three-legged stool,” along with Gov. Sam Brownback’s income tax cuts and a renewed emphasis on vocational education, to help Kansas attract new businesses.

Number of children in foster care hits record high

2 | Jun. 09, 2014 | Children, DCF, Mental Health

In April, there were 6,156 children in the state's foster care system. That’s 356 more children than in April 2013, and 872 more than two years earlier.

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