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.

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.

Kansas Action for Children

An annual report on child well-being in Kansas shows some positive trends, but they’re overshadowed by persistent problems.

Among the improvements cited in the 2015 Kansas Kids Count report: There are fewer uninsured children in Kansas.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A Cargill executive told a crowd at Kansas State University Monday night that climate change is real, and must be addressed head-on to prevent future food shortages. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more.

kdhe.gov

A statistical summary published every year by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment shows a glimmer of progress last year on a long-standing health disparity between black and white Kansans—the death rate for babies in their first year of life. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

Two Kansas organizations are hiring staff to increase the number of consumers they can help in the search for health insurance that meets their needs. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

The federal health insurance marketplace opens for 2016 coverage Nov. 1.

The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved and Ascension Health have both received federal grants to help consumers sort through the many options they’ll find. Together, their insurance navigators helped almost 20,000 Kansans find coverage for this year.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

A Kansas woman is suing a San Diego-based produce distributor after she was hospitalized with Salmonella poisoning linked to tainted cucumbers. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

Monica Rios loves cucumbers. The Sedgwick County woman says she bought a Fat Boy brand cucumber at a Wal-Mart store in Wichita last August, washed it thoroughly, and ate it in a salad. Within a couple of days, she was hospitalized with abdominal cramping and pain she says she wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy.

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