Bryan Thompson

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.

Khan Hmong, flickr Creative Commons

The Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect in Kansas five years ago today. The law prohibits smoking in most public places, including workplaces, public buildings, bars and restaurants.

Prior to 2002, smoking policies were left up to the owners and managers of individual facilities. But that year, Salina City Commissioners began debating an ordinance to ban smoking in restaurants, with an exception for late-night hours.


The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 decision, has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must take costs into consideration when regulating power plant emissions.

The EPA issued a rule in 2011 requiring electric utilities to minimize their emissions of mercury and other toxic substances from their smokestacks. Westar Energy’s Executive Director of Environmental Services, Brad Loveless, says the equipment is expensive, and the activated carbon it uses would be an ongoing expense.

Bryan Thompson

A lot of the hospitals in rural Kansas are called “Critical Access Hospitals.” It’s an important designation, because Critical Access Hospitals were created by the federal government to maintain access to health care in rural areas. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson reports, several factors are making it harder for those hospitals to survive.

Jeff Kubina, flickr Creative Commons

Some states are scrambling to make sure that citizens can still get federal subsidies for buying health insurance, no matter how the Supreme Court rules in a pending case. But as the Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson reports, Kansas has no back-up plan.

The Supreme Court is weighing whether a flaw in the wording of the Affordable Care Act means subsidies are not legal in the 34 states that rely on the federal health insurance exchange known as the marketplace.

Bryan Thompson

A Garden City medical marijuana activist is making national news. Shona Banda's home was raided and her son was placed in protective custody—at least in part due to something the boy said during an anti-drug presentation at school. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more.

Bryan Thompson

A Garden City woman whose home was raided March 24 after her son took issue with an anti-marijuana presentation at school turned herself in yesterday at the Finney County Law Enforcement Center. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson was there.

Sanofi Pasteur, flickr Creative Commons

Health officials in Reno County are trying to bring an outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough, under control. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

The outbreak began in mid-May with three cases of the highly contagious respiratory disease. Now there are 23 reported cases, according to the Reno County Health Department, in Hutchinson. As of June 2, 134 cases of pertussis had been reported in Kansas this year.

DC Central Kitchen, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas State Department of Education and four non-profit partners are going back to the drawing board in search of ways to keep rural children from going hungry when school is out. The Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson reports.

Federal officials last month rejected a proposed demonstration project aimed at boosting participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. It sought to allow ten summer meal sites in rural Kansas to change the rules for participation.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Wikimedia Commons

Federal investigators say nearly all of the Medicare payments made to a Lawrence-based chiropractic group should not have been allowed. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

Medicare paid Lawrence-based Advance Chiropractic Services almost $765,000 for treatments in 2011 and 2012. An audit by the Department of Health and Human Services says almost none of those claims were legally allowable.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Senate has approved bi-partisan legislation to clarify the circumstances under which veterans are allowed to get medical care from their hometown providers at the VA’s expense. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more…