Health

Susie Fagan / KHI News Service

Supporters of Medicaid expansion are kicking off a campaign to mobilize Kansas voters on the issue.

cdc.gov

Saline County residents peppered state and local health officials with questions about lead exposure at a public meeting Tuesday evening in Salina. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment organized the meeting after tests by local doctors this year found elevated lead levels in the blood of 32 Saline County children — most of them from Salina.

One audience member asked during the meeting whether officials were investigating the Exide Technologies plant on Salina’s southern edge, where batteries are manufactured.

Both Kansas and Missouri stayed in the middle tier of states in the new KIDS COUNT survey released Tuesday, but Kansas had the third-largest drop in child well-being ratings in the nation.

Overall, Kansas fell from 15th place last year to 19th.  Missouri slipped from 26th to 28th

Health scores improved for Missouri kids but slid 11 places for Kansas. 

Missouri came up three positions on economic well-being, Kansas held steady at No. 9.

healthcare.gov

Federal health officials plan to focus on enrolling young adults in the Health Insurance Marketplace when open enrollment begins again this fall. As Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson explains, that will protect them from the costs of unexpected illness or accidents, and make insurance more affordable for everyone else.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

Rural hospitals are struggling to stay open as the communities around them shrink. Some have an average census of one or two patients a day. But one small hospital in southwest Kansas is drawing patients from a 90-mile radius. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson sat down with the administrator of that hospital to find out how his operation is growing at a time when one in three rural hospitals is at risk of closing.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

A Wichita health center that provides medical services in a predominantly underserved part of the city has been awarded funds to complete a $10.7 million expansion and renovation of its existing facility.

HealthCore Clinic was founded with a goal to eliminate disparities in health care. With funds from the Primary Care Development Corporation and Capital One Bank, officials estimate the clinic will be able to accommodate more than 30,000 additional patient visits over the next 7 years, effectively tripling the health center’s capacity.

American Cancer Society Youtube

The American Cancer Society is looking for more volunteers to help cancer patients who need transportation to their treatments.

The organization is rebuilding its Road To Recovery program in the Wichita area and in Reno County. The program matches volunteer drivers to cancer patients who need rides to and from cancer-related care.

kees.ks.gov

Kansas Medicaid officials are working to clear a massive application backlog. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, new complaints are surfacing about problems facing low-income, disabled and elderly Kansans seeking to enroll in the health care program.

A Lawrence lawyer and others who help people enroll in KanCare, the state's privatized Medicaid program, say the number who are being mistakenly denied is on the rise. 

Elana Gordon / KCUR

Kansas has “reconsidered” its decision to terminate the participation of 11 Planned Parenthood physicians and other medical providers in the state’s Medicaid program, although it’s still trying to cut off Planned Parenthood itself.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University has been awarded a federal grant to help get more eligible children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The “Connecting Kids to Coverage” grant is almost a million dollars.

K-State plans to target Latino and immigrant children in four rural counties in the state. They’ll use bilingual ambassadors to help enroll kids at schools and health centers.

The Kansas grant is part of $32 million provided through a recently enacted bill to reauthorize Medicaid and CHIP.

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