Health

Health
6:03 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Q&A: The Affordable Care Act In Kansas

KMUW hosted a live call-in show October 9. We took questions from callers, email and Twitter. Below are questions and answers from the hour. We received more questions than we could get to during the hour, but we followed up with our panelists and added those additional questions and answers below.

Our guests were:

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Health
7:29 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Drug Overdose Deaths In Kansas Not As Bad As Many Other States

The rate of drug overdose deaths in Kansas has more than doubled since 1999, but the rate has gone up even more in many other states.

As a result, Kansas now has the eighth-lowest drug overdose mortality rate in the country, according to a new report from the non-profit Trust for America’s Health.

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Health
7:17 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Kansans Struggle With Online Health Marketplace

Kansas residents who want to find health insurance through the new online marketplace are still struggling to do so.

High user traffic on the federal exchange at healthcare.gov is jamming servers and causing long waits.

Even now, on the third day the exchange has been open, people are having to wait an hour or more to buy health coverage.

Topeka's public library opened its computer training center Thursday to people who wanted to sign up.

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Health
7:27 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Kan. Officials Urge Patience On New Health Exchange

When enrollment opened Tuesday, the online insurance marketplace for Kansas could not fully handle the crush of users who hit the federally run exchange website.

The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved says it had 60 health care navigators across the state ready to work on the first day of enrollment.

Another 200 to 225 more are still in training. Six of those navigators are bilingual in Spanish, and one person knows sign language.

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Health
9:05 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Kansas Health Care Exchange Now Online, But Not Without Problems

Kansas' health care exchange is online now at Healthcare.gov.

However, some proponents of the federal health care law that created the marketplace think consumers should wait until any glitches have been fixed before they buy coverage.

Sheldon Weisgrau of the Health Reform Resource Project says people can start buying coverage through the exchange today, but they don't have to. They have until December 15 if they want their coverage to start in January.

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Health
8:35 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Most Hispanic Women In Kansas Uninsured

According to a new report, more than 145,000 women in Kansas were uninsured last year. That’s a little less than 17 percent. But a majority of Hispanic women in Kansas—53.4 percent—have no health insurance. That’s one of the highest rates in the country.

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Health
7:27 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Kansas Hospitals Getting Better At Preventing Infections

The first-ever statewide report on infections occurring in Kansas hospitals shows progress against two specific types of infections.

Hand-washing is one of the most important precautions to keep from spreading germs to susceptible patients. Hospitals are also trying to use urinary catheters only when there’s no other option. They’re also reducing the use of central lines—IV ports that go into a large blood vessel.

The results from 2011 show that Kansas is well below national averages for usage of those devices, and for the infections that result.

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Health
8:14 am
Wed September 25, 2013

How The Affordable Care Act Is Going To Affect Your Business

Many uninsured patients end up in the Via Christi St. Francis emergency room because they weren't able to catch a health issue earlier. The Affordable Care Act is designed in an attempt to get people the care they need before it reaches that critical stage.
Credit Aileen LeBlanc / KMUW

The Affordable Care Act marketplace of insurance options goes online October 1. Businesses both small and large have some choices to make, but there are some resources available to help you with that complicated process.

Meet Alex

Alex is an animated bean who walks you through a simple (and cute) tour of the Affordable Care Act at insureKS.org. He asks questions about your situation (it’s confidential) and then tells you how the new rules might apply to you.

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Affordable Care Act
2:58 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Individual Health Insurance Mandate Helps Balance The Field

The federal online marketplace for health insurance opens October 1.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, most Americans are required to have insurance beginning in 2014. This part of the law, referred to as the “individual mandate,” is designed to increase the number of consumers in the total insurance pool, with the intention of lowering premiums across the board.

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Health
8:50 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Affordable Care Act May Prevent Trips To The ER

An ignored aching tooth can cause serious health issues down the road. GraceMed Health Clinic offers dental care among its services.
Credit Aileen LeBlanc / KMUW

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.

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