Kansas has lots of work to do to improve its "grades" on tobacco control, according to a new report card from the American Lung Association.
Kansas gets an “A” for its Clean Indoor Air Act. However, the state gets a “D” for the relatively low rate of taxes on tobacco, and an “F” for efforts to prevent tobacco use, and to help those already using it to quit.
“It’s not a whole lot different than last year, but it’s woefully accurate,”says Linda DeCoursey, head of the non-profit Tobacco-Free Kansas Coalition.
Gov. Sam Brownback and others in his administration are challenging a recent national report that ranked Kansas low for public health preparedness.
The critical report was issued by the non-profit Trust for America's Health. In it, Kansas and Montana tied for last place in rankings of public health preparedness. That means the state isn't as prepared as others to respond to public health threats, such as infectious diseases, food-borne illnesses, bio-terrorism, even extreme weather events.
Kansas is being rewarded by the federal government for improving access to children's health coverage, and enrolling kids in low-cost insurance from the federal and state government.
The reward comes in the form of a $12 million performance bonus from CMS - the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The bonus is meant to help offset the added state costs associated with the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known in Kansas as HealthWave.
A new report on the nation's public health preparedness finds Kansas tied with Montana for last place.
The report from the non-profit Trust For America’s Health is based on 10 measures of readiness for a public health emergency, such as bioterror, extreme weather, and disease outbreaks. Kansas met only three of the ten standards.
This comes on the heels of another report about a month ago from the charitable group, Save The Children. It found that Kansas failed to meet all four of their measures of preparedness for disasters affecting children.
The 2012 edition of America's Health Rankings says medical advances are helping people live longer, but preventable illnesses and unhealthy behaviors are undermining the quality of that longer lifespan.
The big threats, according to the report from United Health Foundation, are obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and inactive lifestyles. Kansas ranks right in the middle of the 50 states, at 24th overall. However, Kansas has one of the highest obesity rates in the U.S., with more than 630,000 obese adults.
It's arguably the biggest change in the history of the Medicaid program in Kansas. KanCare, the privatization of Medicaid, now has the go-ahead from federal officials, and will launch January 1 2013.
The announcement came from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, Friday afternoon. Lieutenant-Governor Jeff Colyer, the Brownback administration’s point man on KanCare, participated in the announcement by speaker phone.