Bryan Thompson

Contributing Reporter

Bryan Thompson joined the Kansas Health Institute in 2015 after more than 35 years in radio news. For the last 15 years he has worked with Kansas Public Radio, where he produced the award-winning series, “Kansas Health: A Prescription for Change,” and collaborated with the KHI News Service. Prior to his work at KPR, Bryan served as news director for commercial radio stations in El Dorado, Liberal and Salina. Bryan has partnered with NPR and Kaiser Health News through their “Health Care in the States” initiative. He was selected by the National Institutes of Health for its Medicine in the Media training program and by the Association of Health Care Journalists for its yearlong Midwest Health Journalism Fellowship. Bryan is a graduate of Wichita State University.

Feeding America

A new study of food insecurity finds some familiar patterns in Kansas. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson explains, there are also a few surprises.

Every year when the County Health Rankings are published, they show southeast Kansas and Wyandotte County as having persistent problems with poverty. So it should come as no surprise that those same places have a high degree of food insecurity—defined as a lack of reliable access to adequate food.

http://www.kancare.ks.gov

A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says approximately 34,000 Kansans could get treatment for mental illness or substance abuse disorders if the state would agree to expand its Medicaid program, known as KanCare.

Amy Campbell is a lobbyist for the Kansas Mental Health Coalition, which represents a wide range of Kansans with an interest in mental health. She thinks coverage through KanCare might help relieve some of the pressure on the state mental hospitals.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

According to a new annual county health ranking from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the overall health in Sedgwick County is similar to recent years, but there are some areas of concern.

Results for Sedgwick County were consistent with past years, but the county did fall dramatically in its ranking for physical environment. That category includes things like the percentage of severe housing problems and the number of residents who drive to work alone instead of carpooling.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

For people with developmental disabilities, finding a job can be difficult. Sheltered workshops were created to provide work for them in a setting protected from competition in the marketplace. But some advocates say this system too often traps workers, and exploits them as a source of low-wage labor for employers.

NPR/ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON/HARVARD T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

A new poll from NPR, Harvard, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explores Americans' experiences with the health care system in the two years since the Affordable Care Act was fully implemented. Kansas was one of seven states singled out for closer scrutiny.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A recent report credits the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, for helping to reduce the racial and ethnic inequalities in health insurance coverage. But Kansas has not made as much progress as other states. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson investigates why—and what can be done about it.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The enrollment period for the federal health insurance marketplace closed Monday night, with higher enrollment than last year in both Kansas and Missouri. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson explains, the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, the number of Americans without health insurance ranged from about 15 to 18 percent. Now, it’s below 10 percent for the first time ever.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

Almost one-third of the food produced in America goes to waste.

Using the motto, "Feed people, not landfills," the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture are working with partners across the country to change that. Their goal is to reduce food waste by half over the next 15 years.

Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson recently traveled to Wichita to see how a Kansas grocery store chain is working with community organizations to help meet that goal.


Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

The federal health insurance marketplace opened Nov. 1 for 2016 coverage. An effort called Cover Kansas has been branching out all across the state to help Kansans find a plan that best suits their needs. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson paid a visit to one of their outreach events in Dodge City.

Health care providers across the country have been fearing the switch to a complicated new coding and billing system. Some were predicting an apocalyptic snarl of red tape. But when Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson checked in with some Kansas providers about how things have gone the first month, they said “so far, so good.”

The new billing system is called ICD-10. It's the tenth version of the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases. That's where the initials, ICD, come from.

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