Kansas News Service

The Kansas News Service produces essential enterprise reporting, diving deep and connecting the dots regarding the policies, issues and and events that affect the health of Kansans and their communities. The team is based at KCUR and collaborates with KMUW and public media stations across Kansas.

The Kansas News Service is made possible by a group of funding organizations, led by the Kansas Health Foundation. Other funders include United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Sunflower Foundation, REACH Healthcare Foundation and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Additional support comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Ways to Connect

Phil Cauthon for KHI News Service

Problems at the Osawatomie State Hospital for Kansans with mental illness are creating challenges for some hospital emergency rooms across the state.

A cap on admissions at Osawatomie is leaving some people with severe and persistent mental illness with nowhere to go when they’re in crisis. So, more are showing up in the emergency rooms of community hospitals that aren’t equipped to treat them.

Alex Smith, Heartland Health Monitor

When your health acts up, the usual advice is to go to the doctor. But what if you can’t find one with time to see you? That’s the crisis looming in Wyandotte County, where the number of primary care doctors per person is less than half that of Johnson County. In this installment of our series Crossing To Health, KCUR’s Alex Smith looks at how to get more primary care in the area, particularly as demand ramps up.

Jim McClean / Heartland Health Monitor

Consumers across Kansas and Missouri appear to be selecting health plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplace at a brisk pace. Enrollment in both states is ahead of last year’s place.

Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has the story of one area business owner who says she might not be in business if not for the health reform law. It’s a story that may sound familiar to anyone who’s heard former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speak recently.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

Almost one-third of the food produced in America goes to waste.

Using the motto, "Feed people, not landfills," the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture are working with partners across the country to change that. Their goal is to reduce food waste by half over the next 15 years.

Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson recently traveled to Wichita to see how a Kansas grocery store chain is working with community organizations to help meet that goal.


A legislative oversight committee is recommending several changes in Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program to save money. One of the recommendations is sparking controversy because it would withhold potentially life-saving treatments from some patients.

Commonwealth Fund

New health rankings from the Commonwealth Fund rank Kansas and Missouri in the bottom half of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, but both states showed improvements.

Navigating The Health Insurance Marketplace

Nov 30, 2015
Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

The federal health insurance marketplace opened Nov. 1 for 2016 coverage. An effort called Cover Kansas has been branching out all across the state to help Kansans find a plan that best suits their needs. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson paid a visit to one of their outreach events in Dodge City.

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.

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