Bryan Thompson

Bryan is the health reporter for Kansas Public Radio.


10:57 am
Fri April 25, 2014

FDA Taking Comments on E-Cigarettes, Cigars


  Drug Administration is taking public comments on a proposed rule that would extend the agency’s reach to tobacco products that are not currently regulated by the agency-including e-cigarettes. The proposal comes at a time when nicotine poisoning is on the rise.

Poison Control Centers all across the country have been seeing a growing number of poisonings from exposure to the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.

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10:10 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Brownback Signs Kansas Greenhouse Gas Legislation

Gov. Sam Brownback signs copies of HB 2636 at Holcomb Generating Station
Credit Bryan Thompson

Governor Sam Brownback has signed a bill that seeks to let Kansas craft its own unique approach to regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The governor held a signing ceremony on Wednesday at a coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas.

The ceremony took place at the Sunflower Electric plant near Holcomb. Governor Brownback says the EPA is expected to issue guidelines this summer regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

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12:47 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Autism Services For Some Children Will Begin In January

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signs HB 2744 at a ceremony at the KU Edwards Campus
Credit Bryan Thompson

Insurance companies will begin covering autism services next January for a limited number of children in Kansas.

A bill mandating such coverage has now been signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback.

“So I am pleased to sign this bill today, expanding coverage for autism," Brownback says. "This is an important moment for families that deal with the challenges of an autistic family member, and it’s important that we do this as a society.”

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10:27 am
Tue April 15, 2014

KU Student Diagnosed with Tuberculosis



Campus officials say a student on the KU Lawrence campus has been confirmed to have tuberculosis.

KU officials say the student is doing well, and is expected to make a full recovery. Health officials are conducting a TB contact investigation.

Fewer than 50 people are believed to be at risk from exposure to the communicable lung disease. They will all be tested to see whether they've been infected. If so, they'll be treated with antibiotics.

Health officials say even those who become infected are highly unlikely to get sick from TB.

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11:05 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Kansas Program To Help Those With Brain Injury Up for Renewal


The state of Kansas has a special program to help some people who have suffered serious brain injuries. It's a part of the Medicaid program, but is managed under a waiver from the federal government. That waiver is up for renewal, some people are concerned that access to the program may be cut back.

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10:09 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Sebelius Stepping Down as HHS Secretary

Credit Wikipedia

Embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is stepping down.

The Associated Press attributes the news to a White House official, who was not authorized to discuss Sebelius's resignation ahead of the formal announcement, and requested anonymity.

Sebelius has not yet publicly commented on the reports, and there is no mention of her resignation on the HHS or White House websites, nor in Sebelius’s own Twitter feed.

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10:35 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Kansas Insurance May Soon Include Autism Coverage

A bill awaiting the governor's signature would require health insurance sold in Kansas to include coverage for autism services-at least in a limited fashion.

The bill sent to the governor last week includes coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis.

Representative John Rubin, of Shawnee, guided the bill through the House.

He says research shows ABA is the most effective form of therapy for a majority of kids with autism, but it needs to start in the preschool years.

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12:51 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Kansas Adds 51 Counties To PACE Program

A federal-state program to help older Kansans stay in their own homes is being expanded by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

Bryan Thompson reports that PACE is for people 55 and older, who qualify for nursing home care

PACE stands for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly--and that's just what it is: all-inclusive.

Services are provided at adult day health centers, at home, and at inpatient facilities.

PACE provides all services covered by Medicare and Medicaid. It covers things such as (but not limited to):

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1:05 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Topeka Hospital to Collaborate with Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic
Credit Sabine.ritzinger

Topeka's Stormont-Vail HealthCare has become the first health system in Kansas to partner with the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

The deal will give local patients access to the expertise of the medical staff at the Mayo Clinic.

The relationship will include eConsults with experts at the Mayo Clinic. In essence, the eConsult is a long-distance second opinion.

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10:03 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Kansas County Health Rankings Show Wide Gap

The fifth annual County Health Rankings are out, and the parts of Kansas that have struggled in prior years are still at the bottom of the list. The rankings provide a clear picture of just how much health depends on social factors like poverty and education.

Johnson County tops the list again this year as the healthiest county in Kansas. Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, of the Kansas Health Institute, says it’s more than just coincidence that the Kansas City suburb is also the state’s wealthiest county.

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