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

Kansans with disabilities concerned about proposed KanCare changes

State seeks federal approval for changes in waiver programs that help keep disabled out of institutions

7 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Medicaid services at issue are provided under agreements with the federal government known as waivers that allow states to use alternative methods to pay for or deliver health care services.

Kansas gets low grade for disease preparedness

0 | Dec. 18, 2014 | KDHE, Public Health, Rankings-Indicators

The report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that Kansas met three out 10 key measures.

Medicare cuts payments to 721 hospitals with highest rates of infections, injuries

0 | Dec. 18, 2014 | Government, Hospitals

Eleven hospitals in Kansas are among those being penalized for having high rates of infections and other patient injuries.

Campaign announced to exempt food from Kansas sales tax

0 | Dec. 18, 2014 | Foundations, Legislature, Health Disparities, Nutrition

Kansas is one of only 14 states that levies a sales tax on food. And its 6.15 percent per dollar is the second highest in the nation, trailing only Mississippi’s 7 percent rate.

KU researcher questions lower autism diagnoses among minority children

0 | Dec. 18, 2014 | Child Health, Health Disparities, University of Kansas

In an article in the Journal of Special Education, a KU assistant professor demonstrates that Hispanic and African-American children are diagnosed with autism at lower rates than white children.

Kansas insurer names new VP of information services

0 | Dec. 17, 2014 | Insurance

Jeff Gragg will serve as vice president of information services and chief information officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

Nearly 2.5 million consumers have selected health plans on federal marketplace

0 | Dec. 17, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

Just over half of those individuals who have selected plans since the health law’s second open enrollment season began are returning customers.

Parents worry managed care oversight will affect KanCare services

0 | Dec. 15, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services has proposed allowing the managed care companies that have administered the state’s Medicaid program since February 2013 to have a say in deciding which services “best meet (a) participants needs.”

Kansans with disabilities concerned about proposed KanCare changes

7 | Dec. 15, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Medicaid services at issue are provided under agreements with the federal government known as waivers that allow states to use alternative methods to pay for or deliver health care services.

Proposal to raise Missouri’s cigarette tax would fund children’s initiatives

0 | Dec. 15, 2014 | Public Health, Tobacco

The campaign aims to increase Missouri’s cigarette tax — now lowest in the nation — from 17 cents to 67 cents a pack.

Small businesses drop coverage as health law offers alternatives

0 | Dec. 15, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

Companies with fewer than 50 workers provide medical coverage to roughly 20 million people. Unlike larger employers, they have no obligation under the health law to offer a plan.

DCF to delay computer upgrade as part of budget cuts

0 | Dec. 12, 2014 | Budget, DCF, KDADS

The delay is one result of Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to cut $3.9 million from the Department for Children and Families budget this fiscal year.

ACA plays a role in Brownback budget fix

0 | Dec. 11, 2014 | Budget, Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

Among the short-term budget fixes announced by Gov. Sam Brownback this week is a $55 million sweep from a Medicaid drug rebate program that is made possible in part by the federal Affordable Care Act.

Kansans with disabilities concerned about proposed KanCare changes

7 | Dec. 15, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Medicaid services at issue are provided under agreements with the federal government known as waivers that allow states to use alternative methods to pay for or deliver health care services.

DCF to delay computer upgrade as part of budget cuts

0 | Dec. 12, 2014 | Budget, DCF, KDADS

The delay is one result of Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to cut $3.9 million from the Department for Children and Families budget this fiscal year.

Parents worry managed care oversight will affect KanCare services

0 | Dec. 15, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services has proposed allowing the managed care companies that have administered the state’s Medicaid program since February 2013 to have a say in deciding which services “best meet (a) participants needs.”

Brownback announces cuts to close budget gap

0 | Dec. 09, 2014 | Budget, Legislature

The governor will use his power of allotments to make fee sweeps and spending cuts to close a $280 million budget gap in the current fiscal year. The biggest money transfers come from the state highway fund, at $96 million, and Kansas Department of Health and Environment, at $55 million.

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.

No target date for final KEES rollout

0 | Nov. 19, 2014 | KDHE, HIE-HIT

A $135 million computer system meant to streamline applications for Kansas social services, including Medicaid, remains without a final "go-live" date more than a year after the rollout was originally scheduled to be completed.

Kansas continues to struggle in health rankings

0 | Dec. 10, 2014 | Foundations, Public Health, Rankings-Indicators

The state remains 27th in the annual America's Health Rankings - the same as last year - but has fallen from the top 10 in the 1990s.

KanCare to adopt “health home” model for treating mentally ill

0 | Jul. 22, 2013 | Health Care Delivery, KanCare, Mental Health

Kansas Medicaid officials are preparing for a new phase of KanCare that will target services to the seriously mentally ill. They will be using a “health home” model that appears to be producing good — though preliminary — results in other states and which will allow Kansas to draw additional federal aid dollars as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Kansas insurer names new VP of information services

0 | Dec. 17, 2014 | Insurance

Jeff Gragg will serve as vice president of information services and chief information officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

Foster care administrators leave DCF

0 | Dec. 02, 2014 | DCF

A spokesperson for the Kansas Department for Children and Families says Deputy Secretary Kathe Decker and Prevention and Protection Services Director Brian Dempsey have left the agency.

Statewide smoking ban in effect

0 | Jul. 01, 2010 | Legislature, Tobacco

Kansas today became the 35th state in the nation to restrict smoking in public areas.

Proposal to raise Missouri’s cigarette tax would fund children’s initiatives

0 | Dec. 15, 2014 | Public Health, Tobacco

The campaign aims to increase Missouri’s cigarette tax — now lowest in the nation — from 17 cents to 67 cents a pack.

Kansans with disabilities concerned about proposed KanCare changes

7 | Dec. 15, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Medicaid services at issue are provided under agreements with the federal government known as waivers that allow states to use alternative methods to pay for or deliver health care services.

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.

KDADS suspends voluntary admissions to Osawatomie State Hospital

3 | Dec. 03, 2014 | KDADS, Mental Health

The decision, according to a memo sent to the state’s 26 community mental health centers late Tuesday afternoon, was driven by “ongoing and critical census challenges” at the state hospital.

Merrick re-elected speaker, vows to cut spending

2 | Dec. 01, 2014 | Legislature

Rep. Tom Burroughs of Kansas City, the newly elected leader of the 28-member Democratic minority in the House, said the state’s budget problems will be “the challenge” of the upcoming session.

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.

Legislator to promote gun background checks as health issue

1 | Dec. 09, 2014 | Legislature, Hospitals

A former physician now in the Kansas Legislature says she will promote a bill expanding background checks for gun sales because she believes gunshot wounds are a public health issue.

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.

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.

KDADS clarifies public comment deadline on waivers for Medicaid-funded services

1 | Dec. 04, 2014 | KDADS, Medicaid-CHIP

The comment period was extended to Dec. 20 to ensure compliance with a federal rule that requires a 30-day comment period.

AARP Kansas to urge passage of caregiver legislation

1 | Dec. 01, 2014 | Advocacy, Legislature, Health Care Delivery, Hospitals

The senior advocacy group plans to introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session requiring hospitals to demonstrate follow-up care instructions for caregivers before their loved ones are sent home.

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