Wichita-based Via Christi Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas have finalized an agreement aimed at changing the way care is provided to approximately 20,000 Kansans covered by BCBS policies.
Kansas’ largest health insurance company is changing the way it pays the state’s biggest health care provider. Jim McLean of the KHI News Service says the changes are aimed at lowering health care costs.
One of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. is the business of senior care. As baby boomers move into their 60s and 70s, demand and competition for quality care is growing fast. There are many companies that provide medical needs to seniors. One in Wichita offers a comprehensive list of services and 95 percent of their clients are Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports…
Via Christi Health has planned seven public events to help Kansans better understand and enroll in the health insurance marketplace.
There will be nationally certified navigators on hand to provide help navigating and enrolling in health insurance coverage offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace. In a release, Via Christi states the goal is to increase preventative cancer screenings through increasing access and enrollment in health insurance coverage.
The Via Christi nurse navigators will be at the following locations in November:
Listen to Aileen LeBlanc's full report on how the Affordable Care Act could get people the health care they need before it turns into a life-threatening situation.
The Affordable Care Act may make it easier to get preventative care for many people who may now be using the emergency room. People who put off getting check-ups and tests for minor issues can find themselves with a serious illness. Even a bad tooth, if it is ignored, can manifest into a life-threatening situation.
Joseph Akif, director of nursing for emergency services at Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita, says that when the economic crisis hit in 2008, the emergency department saw an increase in these kinds of patients.
Via Christi Health is eliminating 360 positions in its workforce this month.
The Kansas-based health care provider says the layoffs will affect 230 full and part-time workers statewide. The remainder of the reductions will come from recently vacated positions that will not be filled.
“This is an extremely difficult undertaking as these staff members have made valuable contributions to Via Christi during their careers in our ministry,” said Jeff Korsmo, Via Christi Health’s president and CEO, in a news release Wednesday.
The heath system in Pittsburg includes the hospital, physician offices and care facilities.
Via Christi spokesperson Michael Hayslip says the layoffs will help meet a goal of reducing expenses in Pittsburg by $3.5 million. He says cost reductions in contractual services helped prevent even more layoffs. And 25 open positions will not be filled.
Via Christi says months of lowered hospital and physician visits put the company $18 million dollars behind budget for fiscal year 2013.
They'll eliminate between 350 and 400 jobs, about 4 percent of the company's Kansas workforce, by the end of June. About 80 of those will be taken care of by not filling current vacancies, but 80 percent of total job cuts will be designated for Wichita.
In addition, about 35 senior leaders in the company will take a 4 percent salary deduction.
Staff members who lose their jobs will receive severance and other support.
A southeast Kansas hospital will break ground next week on an $18 million expansion.
Construction of the new surgery center at Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg will begin November 19. Crossland Construction Company, of Columbus, Kansas, was chosen recently as the general contractor for the 40,000-square-foot addition.