health care

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. But Sheldon Weisgrau, director of the Kansas-based Health Reform Resource Project , says subsidies and tax credits are also up this year, which helps to offset the costs for many customers. “The price increases they’re...

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 Department of Health and Human Services says almost 90 percent of those shopping on the marketplace qualify for tax credits to offset the rising premiums. HHS official Katie Martin says even if premiums rose 50 percent...

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...

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. The report came as part of a two-day hearing that...

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. "The funds are...

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.

Health care providers across the country have been fearing the switch to a complicated new coding and billing system. Some were predicting an apocalyptic snarl of red tape. But when Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson checked in with some Kansas providers about how things have gone the first month, they said “so far, so good.” The new billing system is called ICD-10. It's the tenth version of the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases. That's where the...

Jasleen Kaur, flickr Creative Commons

Some Kansas doctors will soon be participating in a massive new effort by the Obama administration to improve the nation’s healthcare system. Jim McLean of the KHI News Service has the details. In today’s healthcare system doctors are rewarded for seeing as many patients as they can. The $700 million “transforming clinical practice initiative” is aimed at reversing that, so quality of care is rewarded over volume. Jerry Slaughter, director of the Kansas Medical Society , says the initiative...

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

People who live in small towns across Kansas are struggling to save institutions that in their minds define their communities. Schools are often at the heart of these efforts, but recent changes in the health care system are making it increasingly difficult for rural hospitals to make ends meet . That’s true of both hospitals in Harper County, located along the Oklahoma border southwest of Wichita. And as Heartland Health Monitor's Bryan Thompson reports, a longstanding rivalry is...

daveynin, flickr Creative Commons

The rate of uninsured Kansas now stands at 11.3 percent, compared with 12.5 percent in 2013, according to a Gallup survey published Monday. Nationwide, the uninsured rate plunged from 17.3 percent in 2013 to 11.7 percent through the first half of this year. Seven of the 10 states with the biggest reductions in uninsured rates implemented Medicaid expansion and established a marketplace while two did one or the other, according to Gallup. The data, collected as part of the Gallup-Healthways...

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