Health

healthcare.gov

Federal health officials say headlines about anticipated premium increases on the Obamacare health insurance marketplace overlook an important point: Most Americans, including two-thirds of Kansans, will still be able to find a plan with a premium of $75 a month, or less.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

More than 50,000 Kansans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Wandering, walking away from home, with no apparent direction or destination, can be a significant safety issue. Six out of 10 people with Alzheimer’s are known to wander. Last month, a man who lives in Wichita was found nearly 20 miles away in Rose Hill.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

A group of health leaders from Tulsa will be in Wichita on Monday to learn about Sedgwick County’s health system. The visit is part of the Public Health Sister City program.

Wichita health leaders and elected officials visited Tulsa back in May, and now it’s Tulsa’s turn to learn about the state of health in Wichita.

Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Jim Howell says there are a lot of similarities between the two health departments, but funding levels are different. He says the Tulsa Health Department spends about twice as much on its services as Sedgwick County.

wikipedia.org

The Sedgwick County Health Department is reporting that four local adults have contracted West Nile. They’re the first instances discovered this year.

Officials with the health department say it’s typical that Sedgwick County records its first cases of West Nile around this time of year.

Chris Steward, a health protection supervisor for Sedgwick County, says West Nile does not spread from human to human. She says people should get rid of any standing water around their homes to stop mosquitos from breeding.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Experts from a variety of fields gathered Wednesday at the Kansas Statehouse for a mental health symposium spurred by an Emporia hospital’s struggle last year to find a psychiatric care bed for a suicidal patient.

House Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast, a Republican from Emporia, said she was inspired to convene the symposium after hearing from officials at Newman Regional Health.

Update 08/17/16:

Gov. Brownback has released the following statement about the KanCare cuts:

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Sedgwick County’s community mental health center Comcare will be getting support for its operations through a partnership with a new nonprofit.

kdhe.gov

Health insurance costs for state employees in Kansas will be rising again next year.

The increases vary depending on the plan, but rate hikes range from around 9 to 30 percent, with additional increases for dental and vision coverage. Rebecca Proctor, with the Kansas Organization of State Employees, says there are some state workers making around $12 to $14 an hour, so the rising costs really hit their bottom line.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Legislators in cash-strapped Kansas approved a 4 percent cut to Medicaid reimbursements this year. That’s made an already tough situation even tougher for a dentist in Prairie Village who serves some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

John Fasbinder’s dental office was busy on a recent Tuesday.

A company that issues health care ID cards for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City says a cyberattack in July may affect more than 400,000 Missouri policyholders.

Newkirk Products, Inc. says the breached data varied by plan but generally only included information found on members’ ID cards.

Kelly Cannon, a spokeswoman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, said financial and medical information was not exposed.

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