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A new book by a Topeka newspaper reporter tells the story behind his life-and-death fight with bacterial meningitis. It essentially is a success story centered on answers he found to life's fundamental questions in the process of being healed.
Gov. Sam Brownback has replaced his Secretary of Agriculture, administration officials announced today. Outgoing secretary Dale Rodman's last day will be Dec. 10. Jackie McClaskey, who has been deputy secretary since July, will become the new head of the agency.
Last year, for the first time since 1954, the Legislature received from the governor and then approved a two-year budget plan, which means many important spending decisions for the coming fiscal year have already been made. "This is a whole new experience coming up," said Duane Goossen, a former budget director for three Kansas governors. "No one in the Legislature or the administration has been in the second year of an existing budget, so it's hard to predict how this session will go."
Nearly a year after the state’s transition to a Medicaid managed care program, hospitals and other providers continue to report problems.
White House officials held a news conference with Kansas State Rep. Barbara Ballard to make the case for expanding Medicaid eligibility in Kansas.
In 2012, more than 23 percent of children lived in poverty. That's up from 21 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, the average monthly enrollment in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) had dropped to about 21,600 from nearly 26,000 last year, according to a new report.
As Farm Bill negotiations grind on in Congress, Dan Glickman has coauthored a paper that he said he hopes will prime the pump for improved Farm Bills in the future. Glickman — a former U.S. Agriculture secretary and a former Kansas congressman — wrote "The Essential Role of Food and Farm Policy In Improving Health."
The two networks that comprise Kansas' digital health information exchange have agreed on terms for interconnecting. That paves the way for a unified network via which doctors statewide can exchange digital patient records.
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.
A University of Kansas conference in its 37th year had record turnout today for a discussion of the "Kansas Fiscal Experiment" enacted by the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback. Local officials said more of the burden of sustaining public services now falls on them.
Perhaps it is a case of could-have-been. Gary Schneider, the technology expert who was set to lead Kansas' marketplace development until Gov. Brownback opted against it, left instead for Colorado. In Colorado, so far, things are going smoothly with its marketplace, Schneider said.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has released the state's 2012 Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, along with a letter from secretary Dr. Robert Moser saying he is "deeply concerned" by the sharp increase in the suicide rate.
A new pilot program aimed at improving health departments' billing capability may be beginning just in time — before potentially thousands more Kansans get insurance coverage under Obamacare.
Kansas has among the lowest rates of drug overdose in the country, likely due in part to its prescription drug monitoring program, according to a new report.
The gridlock over licensing mid-level dental providers in Kansas may be entering a new phase. The parties at odds over the issue have entered formal mediation with the aim of taking a mutually approved compromise to the Legislature.
Health information technology is being rapidly adopted and the number of patients whose information is being digitized and exchanged over networks is likewise growing in leaps and bounds. But some of the basic rules have yet to be written, regulating users of health information technology and protecting the security and privacy of patient information.
A mental health forum in Kansas City on Saturday will feature HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "In the aftermath of the tragedy at Newtown, there’s been an opening for these conversations to begin. While we know that the vast majority of Americans who struggle with a mental illness are not violent, as a nation, we’ve begun to ask what we can do to make sure our neighbors, friends, and family members can get the help they need," Sebelius said.
Two Kansas coalitions working to promote expansion of Medicaid and stronger mental health services have common ties, including the benefit of some advocacy training from the Sunflower Foundation.
Nearly 700 people got a look at the latest technology developed to help people with disabilities at the Assistive Technology Expo. The semi-annual event is organized by Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK), a federally funded center at the University Kansas that connects people with disabilities and health conditions with tools to help them learn, work, play, and live independently.
Gov. Sam Brownback and other state officials held a press conference to announce that state funds are available to begin reducing the waiting lists for home- and community-based Medicaid services. About 650 people are expected to benefit.
Nationwide e-cigarettes are booming, with annual sales projected to reach $1.7 billion by year’s end. However, the battery-operated devices — which vaporize liquid containing nicotine — have yet to be regulated by the federal government, though officials have pledged for two years now that they ultimately will be.
Kansas’ health information exchange has been years and millions of dollars in the making but because of an ongoing dispute between its two networks, it still lacks the capability to handle the exchange of digital patient records across the entire state.
Gov. Sam Brownback, a dozen legislators and about 50 other community and business leaders were on hand today for the ceremonial opening of Cerner Corp.'s new campus here. The health information technology company’s new 660,000-square-foot campus is located on the east edge of the Legends shopping district and visible from interstates 70 and 435.
There are more work injuries in the U.S. health care industry than in any other and government safety regulators are doing too little about it, according to a new report.
A two-year investigation by the U.S. Senate concludes that corporate-owned dental chains have provided substandard care to poor children covered by Medicaid, while overbilling the joint federal-state program.
Members of the joint Legislative Post Audit Committee today voted 5-4 to order an audit of the state's Community Developmental Disability Organizations, or CDDOs.
The day-to-day duties of regulating network-based, digital exchange of patient information in Kansas were fully passed off to the state this week, and the previous regulatory body — the Kansas Health Information Exchange, Inc. — has been officially dissolved.
Health officials say 244 people who had colonoscopies at Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center in Chanute are being notified they might have been infected with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV due to improper cleaning of the hospital's equipment. Free blood screens are offered for those who might have been exposed
Five years ago, 26.3 million low-income Americans relied on the Supplemental Nutrition Program, or SNAP. Today, enrollment in the food stamp program tops 46.6 million, including about 316,200 Kansans.
Kansas policymakers seem to be at the forefront of a controversial national movement to make it more difficult for people to qualify for a federal program that helps more than 46 million low-income Americans — including more than 300,000 Kansans — buy groceries.
Nearly one in five Kansas children lives in poverty, a proportion that's been on the rise since at least 2000, according to a report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. And a governor's task force is working on recommendations for possible policy changes that will emphasize work and marriage.
After spending three years and at least $25,000, a student-led plan to ban tobacco use on the campus of Pittsburg State University is now on the cusp of approval.
Rep. Brian Weber, a Dodge City Republican who is the House Majority Whip and chair of the Social Services Budget Committee, said he was resigning to attend to the business he co-owns and to spend more time with his family.
The community hospital here is set to receive the $3 million boost officials say is needed to keep its doors open after petitioners failed to gather enough signatures to put the bond issue to a vote.
Following a heated exchange between two network chief executives, the board regulating digital health record exchange in Kansas voted yesterday to prohibit the networks from charging each other connectivity fees until at least 2015.
During debate on the Farm Bill, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts unsuccessfully proposed reducing food stamp spending by 4 percent. The Kansas Republican's motion failed, 40-58, in the Democratically controlled U.S. Senate.
The Hamilton County commission has been presented a proposal to issue $3 million in no-fund warrants to support the hospital in this far western Kansas community. Administrators have said without the bond, the hospital would run out of money as early as June. Hospital officials will make the case to the community for approving the funds at a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at the Syracuse High School gymnasium.
Shawnee Mission Medical Center went live this week and the University of Kansas Hospital is set to go live May 15, making the systems the fifth and sixth in the Kansas City metro area to join the LACIE network, one of two networks comprising the state's digital health information exchange.
Federal officials said that Kansas' health insurance exchange will be ready as planned by Oct. 1. But they also said if Kansas does not expand its Medicaid program they won't be able to help people who otherwise would have qualified for the subsidized health coverage.
Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law a bill requiring the University of Kansas Medical Center to create a center for conducting non-embryonic stem cell research.
A consortium of Kansas health care groups is forming in order to apply for a federal grant to help consumers navigate the coming health insurance marketplace. At least one hospital and a third-party Medicaid enrollment group are also looking at applying.
Members of a House-Senate conference committee have agreed on a controversial bill that critics fear would make it possible for officials to quarantine people infected with or exposed to HIV. Of the six members on the bargaining panel, only Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, refused to sign the conference committee report. "The bill itself is good. I just wish we could have added that one little phrase that would have assuaged the fears of thousands upon thousands of people all across the country — I've got the emails to prove it," said Sen. Laura Kelly, one of the conferees.
House and Senate negotiators appear headed toward approval of a controversial bill that critics fear would make possible quarantining people infected with or exposed to HIV.
When he was tapped to lead the Social Services Budget Committee this year, Rep. Brian Weber became perhaps the youngest budget committee chair in state history, according to an expert at the State Library of Kansas. But the 30-year-old, Dodge City Republican has more life experience applicable to the committee's responsibilities than many his age.
State health officials today addressed recent media reports that a bill in the Legislature would, if approved, allow the quarantine of people infected with or exposed to HIV.
The Kansas Board of Pharmacy approved a plan to connect the state's prescription drug monitoring program with LACIE — one of the two Kansas networks for exchanging patient health information. Members expressed frustration with attempts to connect with the other network, KHIN.
After 45 minutes of debate, the House tentatively approved a bill that requires the University of Kansas Medical Center to create a center for conducting non-embryonic stem cell research.
A new report ranking Kansas counties according to their health outcomes and risk factors showed little change from previous years. Four of the five least-healthy counties are in Southeast Kansas and, the fifth, Wyandotte County, is part of metropolitan Kansas City.
If there were as many software developers working on apps for storing and exchanging patient data as there are working on apps like Angry Birds, electronic health record systems wouldn't be so chronically outdated, according to an information technology expert.
While Kansas has dragged its feet implementing the Affordable Care Act, Colorado is among a handful of states leading the way — including its work on a centerpiece of the law: setting up a health insurance exchange. Gary Schneider, is overseeing development of the Colorado exchange, but until 2010 he was in Kansas consulting on the $139 million KEES project.