Federal officials estimate that more than 1.3 million Kansans now have private health insurance that includes preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more.
To meet the standards set by the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans must offer a range of preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient--things like an annual wellness check-up, cancer screenings, and recommended immunizations.
The idea is to encourage people to catch serious health conditions like cancer or diabetes as early as possible.
There are a lot of small, rural hospitals in Kansas. Without them, many residents would have to travel long distances for care. And in many small towns, the hospital is one of the largest employers - making it vital to the local economy. But declining populations, combined with changes in the way hospitals are paid for services, are making it more difficult for many to survive. Heartland Health Monitor's Bryan Thompson has more.
Millions of veterans nationwide now have a card that's supposed to improve their access to health care. As Bryan Thompson explains, there are doubts about whether the VA is really serious about the new Veterans Choice program.
The Choice program is meant to let veterans get care from private providers if they live at least 40 miles from a VA healthcare facility, or if they face longer than a 30-day wait for an appointment. At a recent hearing, Kansas Senator Jerry Moran told Secretary Robert McDonald the VA seems to be putting its own welfare ahead of what’s best for veterans.
Five months after its grand opening, a massive new-generation ethanol plant in the southwest corner of Kansas is undergoing final adjustments, as it prepares to begin full-scale production.
The plant, built by a Spanish company with financing from the U.S. Department of Energy, is designed to produce clean-burning fuel—from the bits and pieces of crops left in farmers’ fields after harvest.
Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more on the new Kansas plant and the environmental claims being made about it.
A lot has changed in the three decades since the idea of building an aqueduct from the Missouri River to western Kansas was first studied and shelved. For one thing, the water shortages that were mere projections then are now imminent.
That reality, as Bryan Thompson reports, has prompted state officials to dust off the study and re-examine the aqueduct idea.
New health rankings show Kansas stuck at 27--the same slot that it occupied last year. But KPR’s Bryan Thompson reports there was a time--not that long ago--when the state ranked much higher than the middle of the pack.
The United Health Foundation rankings are a snapshot of 30 health measures ranging from clinical care to behavior and environment to state policy.
“Kansas has had a steady decline, from about ten or eleven in that initial 1990 rank to rank 27th in this most recent year’s report,” says Dr. Rhonda Randall, the foundations chief health advisor.
Premiums in the federal health insurance Marketplace are slightly higher, on average, than last year-but not in Kansas. More from Bryan Thompson.
A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services says the cost of the so-called “benchmark” silver plan is up an average of two percent nationwide. But In Kansas, the benchmark plan is actually five per cent lower this year.
Kansas Insurance Department spokesman Bob Hanson says that’s because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas has added a new HMO marketplace plan with premiums lower than last year’s benchmark silver.