Bryan Thompson

Bryan is the health reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

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Health
4:10 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Kansas Continues To Struggle In Health Rankings

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.

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Health
1:20 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Kansas Bucks Trend Toward Higher Obamacare Premiums

Credit healthcare.gov

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.

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Environment
12:50 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

High Court To Hear EPA Challenge From Kansas

A battle over air pollution from power plants is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Bryan Thompson has more...

Kansas and 20 other states contend the EPA should have considered the costs of a 2011 rule. That rule forces coal-fired power plants to install new equipment to remove mercury and other toxins from their exhaust.

An appeals court held that they didn’t have to consider the cost, but the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the states’ challenge. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says it’s a very narrow challenge, and one the agency will win.

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Health
12:51 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Kansas Health Centers Seek New Clinic Sites

Even with the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans still lack health insurance. For them, safety net clinics are a lifeline. These clinics provide primary care for anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Today there are federally-funded clinics in 21 Kansas counties, but as Bryan Thompson explains, there soon could be more.

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Education
12:19 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Kansas Chosen For Free School Breakfast Grants

Credit http://breakfastintheclassroom.org

More Kansas students could soon be getting free breakfast at school. Bryan Thompson reports...

A program called Breakfast In the Classroom has added Kansas and six other states to the list of those eligible for the grant-funded program.

It’s too early to say how many kids might be affected. The program chooses individual school districts, based on how many kids qualify for free or reduced-price meals, how many participate in the federal school breakfast program, and the level of local support.

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Health
2:30 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Marketplace Open; KS Premiums Comparable To 2014

Credit healthcare.gov

The federal health insurance marketplace opened for its second year of business Saturday. Bryan Thompson has the highlights.

Predictions of double-digit rate increases this year haven’t come true. A review by the non-profit Kansas Health Institute finds that, on average, premiums for plans sold in Kansas are up just one-tenth of one percent. But the average isn’t what matters to consumers.

Every plan is different. Some do have double-digit increases, but some have double-digit price drops.

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Health
12:23 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

KHI Grant To Explore Efficiencies In Public Health

The Topeka-based Kansas Health Institute has received a half-million dollar grant for its efforts to help public health departments find ways to work together.

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Health
8:30 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Topeka To Offer Alternative Sentencing Court

Credit photo by By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The City of Topeka is launching an effort to provide treatment, instead of jail, for people whose misdemeanor crimes are linked to mental illness.

The city will use a $91,000 grant from the Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to fund an Alternative Sentencing Court next year. 

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Health
12:25 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Veterans Choice Cards To Arrive In KS Soon

Credit Flickr Creative Commons/LensDog64

The VA has begun mailing cards to veterans who may need medical care outside the VA health care system. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains.

The cards are called Veterans Choice Cards. They’re intended for veterans who live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA health care facility—or who have faced excessive wait times for appointments.

With the card, veterans can get care from any medical provider who accepts Medicare, any federally-qualified health center, the Indian Health Service, or the Defense Department.

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Health
9:07 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Many Disabled Kansans Struggle With KanCare

A new study by the University of Kansas finds many Kansans with disabilities are having difficulty getting services through KanCare, the privatized Medicaid managed care program created by the Brownback Administration. As Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson reports, the study questions whether the financial savings from privatization are worth the human costs.

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