health care

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Dr. Saeedeh Salmanzadeh became a U.S. citizen at a naturalization ceremony in October 2015.

When the presiding official asked if any of the new citizens wanted to speak, she was one of the first to raise her hand.

By then Salmanzadeh had spent 15 years in America, after leaving her home in Iran where she was a doctor.

She had spent two years with no pay, studying for exams so she could practice in the United States.

Sam Zeff / Kansas News Service

One critical part of Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget-balancing plan is creation of a statewide health insurance pool that Kansas public school teachers would have to join.

Courtesy photo

Wichita's Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph is under construction.

St. Joseph is undergoing a $50 million renovation plan. The hospital, located in southeast Wichita, is converting its medical-surgical units to private patient rooms on the 5th, 6th and 7th floors.

This follows the renovation of their New Life Center, which now has large private delivery rooms.

Laurie Labarca, the hospital's president, says the plan also includes location changes for some of the mental health services.

America’s Health Rankings/United Health Foundation

Kansas was the only state where the obesity rate went up significantly in 2015, according to an annual report, and state officials are trying to figure out why and how to reverse the trend.

The state also lagged on vaccination rates and remained stuck in the middle on overall health, according to the America’s Health Rankings Report, which was released Thursday.

Subconsci Productions / flickr Creative Commons

Health care costs under the Affordable Care Act are up this year in Kansas—for some plans, it’s by nearly 50 percent. But many customers aren't expected to feel that impact.

A new analysis prepared for the Associated Press shows premiums will increase by as much as 46 percent.

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.

The effort to expand Medicaid in Kansas has been stuck in the political mud for the better part of three years.

Not anymore.

The results of last week’s primary election may have given expansion advocates the traction they need to overcome opposition from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and legislative conservatives who thus far have blocked debate on the issue.

A series of victories by moderate Republicans over conservative incumbents and challengers for open seats has fundamentally changed the legislative landscape.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Two of the state’s three KanCare Medicaid contracts were making a profit by the end of last year, according to a report given to lawmakers Friday in Topeka.

Some previous records had shown losses at all three of the companies that manage the state’s privatized Medicaid program. By the end of 2015, the newest report shows UnitedHealthcare had made $44 million, Amerigroup had made $31 million and Sunflower Health Plan had lost $16 million.

wichita.edu

Some nursing students at Wichita State University are getting help paying for their education in exchange for setting up a practice in an under-served area of Kansas.

Wichita State’s School of Nursing received a $348,267 dollar federal grant to help get more primary care nurse practitioners into practice.

Alicia Huckstadt, professor and director of graduate program in the WSU School of Nursing, says the grant will pay for 16 students for the entire year beginning this fall.

Alex Proimos, flickr Creative Commons

Last fall NPR, Harvard, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partnered to survey Americans about their perceptions of health care. Kansas was one of seven states singled out for a closer look. And the thing that stood out about Kansans was the degree of concern they expressed about the cost of health care.

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