Bryan Thompson

Bryan is the health reporter for Kansas Public Radio.

The top Medicare expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation says the health care program for older Americans is stronger today than it was four years ago-and the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is the reason why. Bryan Thompson spoke with Tricia Neuman while she was in Salina for an annual senior fair.

President Obama has issued an executive order directing the federal government to step up the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Bryan Thompson reports, it's a fight with enormous consequences.

In her job overseeing infectious disease testing at the University of Kansas Hospital, professor Rebecca Horvat is very familiar with bacteria that are impervious to front-line antibiotics.

“Half of them are very antibiotic-resistant," she says. "You only have a few drugs left to treat them. I see it every day.”

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has received a federal grant of almost $1 million to help the CDC develop strategies to reduce the number of violent deaths. As Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson explains, the state will share homicide and suicide data with the National Violent Death Reporting System for five years.

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A Washington, D.C., group that advocates for families and children is urging Kansans to speak up for renewal of the Children's Health Insurance Program. Bryan Thompson has more.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, was created in 1997 to cover kids whose families are not poor enough for Medicaid, but can’t afford private insurance. The program needs to be reauthorized by Congress to continue after the next fiscal year.

Hospitals in Kansas City have been seeing hundreds of kids with a viral respiratory illness.

Bryan Thompson reports, the virus typically causes only mild--if any--symptoms, but it can be severe in some cases.

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The two U.S. Senators from Kansas say they won't play politics with the budget bill containing the final $300 million in federal funding for a state-of-the-art bio-security lab under construction adjacent to the Kansas State University campus. The $1.25 billion lab is scheduled to open in 2023, barring any further hurdles.

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One of the subplots in this political year is the battle over coal. A Washington group with deep Republican ties is pouring a quarter-million dollars into TV ads urging Kansans to join Governor Sam Brownback in fighting-quote-"for Kansas jobs and cheaper energy." It's a reference to one of the state's longest simmering political battles – the dispute over the construction of a new coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas. Bryan Thompson explores the controversy...

The Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services says new federal labor rules may interfere with services that help disabled Kansans live in their own homes.

As Bryan Thompson explains, the concern is about overtime for workers who are hired and supervised by people with disabilities. 

KDADS Secretary Kari Bruffett told a legislative panel a new rule scheduled to go into effect January first will change the way overtime is calculated for these workers.

Four safety net clinics in Kansas have been awarded federal funding to create or expand mental health services for low-income Kansans.

Bryan Thompson reports that funding is part of almost $55 million dollars in similar grants nationwide through the Affordable Care Act.

The four clinics will each receive $250,000. The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas saw 2,500 patients for mental health issues last year. CEO Krista Postai intends to use the new money to integrate medical and behavioral care.

A new report from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services says Kansans on Medicare will save more than $10 million dollars this year on prescription drugs, with a lesser-known provision in the Affordable Care Act.

You probably know about the mandate to buy health insurance, the glitches in the federal exchange, and the Supreme Court challenges to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

But did you know that the health care law also helps Medicare beneficiaries who pay high out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs?

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