9:46 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Brownback Says State’s Low Public Health Preparedness Ranking Too Harsh

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.

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6:12 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Kansas Rewarded For Enrolling Kids In Health Coverage

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.

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1:35 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Public Health Preparedness Lags In Kansas

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.

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5:40 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Lawrence Man Appointed KanCare Ombudsman

A Lawrence man has been appointed to the newly-created position of KanCare Ombudsman. 

James Bart is a former corporate attorney. More importantly, perhaps, he’s the father of a 19-year-old son with developmental disabilities. As such, the young man will be a KanCare consumer.

As ombudsman, Bart’s job is to help consumers with any problems they may have with benefits, services, and access under the privatized Medicaid system called KanCare.

“I’m going to be the person that says what’s your needs, and how can I fulfill that?" he says.

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5:44 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Americans Living Longer, But Quality Of Life In Jeopardy

Credit Susan NYC / flickr

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.

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6:40 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Feds Approve KanCare, Program To Start Jan 1

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.

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5:53 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Medicare Open Enrollment Period Ends Friday

This Friday is the deadline for people with Medicare to make changes to change their health and drug coverage.

If you have original Medicare, your benefits are administered by the federal government. If you have Medicare Advantage, your plan is run by a private insurance company. Now is the time when you can switch to Medicare Advantage, if you wish.

On the other hand, if you want to drop your Medicare Advantage plan and switch to original Medicare, that opportunity runs from January 1 through February 14.

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5:46 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Study Says New Insurance Regulations Benefit Individual Plans

A new report says people who buy individual health insurance are saving money because of new regulations under the Affordable Care Act.

The report comes from the non-profit Commonwealth Fund and says cost savings and rebates to individual plan customers totaled almost $1.5 billion last year.

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5:58 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Kansas City Hospitals To Cooperate On Pediatric Care

Two Kansas City hospitals have announced plans to work together to create a single, integrated pediatric program. 

Children’s Mercy and the University of Kansas Hospital say they'll work together to improve pediatric care. They're also hoping to expand research, boost training and coordinate children’s health initiatives.

The partnership also includes the KU Med Center and the KU Physicians group. The two hospitals already work together on medical education, research and clinical trials.

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5:52 am
Mon November 26, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Threatens Senior Citizens’ Meals

Credit Roger Wollstadt / Flickr

If Congress fails to come up with a package of budget cuts and tax hikes to avoid the automatic cuts scheduled for the first of January, thousands of senior citizens in Kansas may not get a daily, hot lunch. 

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