Health

Community Farmers Market Bowling Green/Facebook

A new program called ‘Fresh RX for Moms’ is for pregnant women who are on Medicaid and seeing a doctor or a certified nurse-midwife. 

The Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green  began the program on July 7. The goal is to provide fresh produce for pregnant women so they maintain good nutrition during their pregnancy.

Community Farmers Market spokeswoman Nikki Gray said it’s a quick and simple process for women to join the program.

“All they’ll need to do is come to the market, show us their ID, as well as their Medicaid card, fill out a short informational survey and then from there they get $20 in tokens each week to spend on fresh food at the market.”

Kentucky’s Blocked Medicaid Work Requirement Could Impact Indiana

Jul 9, 2018
Creative Commons/Pixabay

Nearly half a million low-income Kentuckians lost their dental and vision insurance this month after a federal judge halted Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver program.

Kentucky HEALTH, which stands for Helping to Engage and Achieve Long-Term Health, is part of Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver program. Starting in July, it would have required Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer for 20 hours a week to receive full benefits. Students, people with disabilities and pregnant women would be exempt from the work requirement, among others.

Nizil Shah/Wikimedia Commons

Starting on Sunday, Kentuckians with Medicaid who gained coverage because of the expansion will lose access to dental and vision benefits following a Friday court ruling striking down Gov. Matt Bevin’s changes to the program.

This applies to adults who became eligible for Medicaid when it was expanded, including adults without dependents who the state considers “able-bodied.” These are the people who would have had to work, volunteer or do training for 80 hours a month to keep medical benefits under the plan proposed by Bevin.

Adelina Lancianese NPR

A new report from the National Academy of Sciences says the coal mining industry needs a “fundamental shift” in the way it controls exposure to coal and rock dust in order to prevent lung disease among miners.

Despite improvements such as an Obama-era rule to strengthen monitoring and control of dust in mines, the experts on the National Academies panel said more work is needed to address the deadly surge in cases of severe black lung disease, which is especially prevalent among Appalachian miners.


Flickr/Creative Commons

A federal judge on Friday struck down Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s plan to put in place “community engagement” requirements for Medicaid coverage that were set to go into effect in some parts of the state on July 1.

That also includes the entirety of the new program, premiums, co-pays, loss of automatic vision and dental benefits and lock-out periods.

“In doing so, [the court] grants Plaintiffs full relief,” U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote for the court. “Because the Court invalidates that approval, it need not tackle Plaintiffs’ alternative bases for vacating some or all of the components.”

The past two years have been a time of reckoning for pharmaceutical manufacturers over their role in promoting opioid drugs that have fed a national epidemic.

WFPL

A website launched earlier this year is helping Kentucky get a better understanding of the kinds of addiction treatment facilities and programs needed by its residents.

FindHelpNowKY.org is a search engine that can be used by those with substance abuse disorders, their family members, and medical professionals.

It’s been used by an estimated 6,000 Kentuckians since it launched January 1, and tracks 181 providers and 446 facilities across the state that serve those with addiction issues.

Principal Mary Ann Hale dreads weekends.

By the time Fridays roll around, 74-year-old Hale, a principal at West Elementary School in McArthur, Ohio, is overcome with worry, wondering whether her students will survive the couple of days away from school.

Too many children in this part of Ohio's Appalachian country live in unstable homes with a parent facing addiction. For years, the community has struggled with opioids. Ohio had the second-highest number of drug overdose deaths per capita in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For most of her childhood, growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania, Kelly Zimmerman felt alone and anxious.

She despaired when her mother was depressed or working late shifts; when her parents fought nonstop; when her friends wanted to come over, and she felt too ashamed to let them see her home's buckling floor, the lack of running water.

Kelly tried to shut out those feelings, and when she was 18, a boyfriend offered her an opioid painkiller — Percocet.

Her anxiety dissolved, at least for a little while.

Thinkstock

On Friday, a U.S. District Judge in Washington will hear arguments in the case against Kentucky’s sweeping Medicaid changes.

A group of 16 Kentucky residents filed suit in January, arguing Gov. Matt Bevin’s changes to the program are illegal. The approved changes, set to take effect July 1, will make many Medicaid enrollees work, volunteer or do other activities for 80 hours a month in order to keep health coverage. Other changes include limiting access to dental and vision services for some, making other enrollees pay premiums and installing lock-out periods for not making those payments.

Warren Wong/Unsplash

Western Kentucky University has received a federal grant to conduct research on suicide and self-harm in adolescents. The $413,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is for a three-year project to address a growing mental health concern. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for ages 15-to-34 in Kentucky. 

WKU Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences Amy Brausch is the lead researcher on the study.

“Non-suicidal self-injury is kind of the technical term for behaviors that are still self-injuring. So most people are familiar with cutting that sometimes adolescents will do. And it’s self-injury that does not have the intent to die. So it’s used for different purposes, usually to help regulate really strong negative emotions,” said Brausch.

Benny Becker

A new study from the Government Accountability Office finds that the federal fund supporting coal miners with black lung disease could be in financial trouble without congressional action. As NPR has reported, the GAO found that the fund’s debt could rise dramatically at the same time that black lung disease is surging.

Most federal benefits for coal miners disabled by back lung are paid from the Department of Labor’s Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which covers the cost for companies that have gone bankrupt.


Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center in Grayson County has been designated as a Level IV trauma center. The hospital is one of only five trauma centers in Kentucky west of I-65.

A level IV trauma center has 24-hour physician coverage for the emergency department, extensively trained nursing and support staff, enhanced medical equipment, and a comprehensive emergency care program. Twin Lakes is in between Rough River Lake and Nolin lake. Kathleen Peck is the Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center trauma coordinator. Peck said they see more trauma victims in the summer months.

A new government report says that the federal black lung trust fund that helps sick and dying coal miners pay living and medical expenses could incur a $15 billion deficit in the next 30 years. That's if a congressionally mandated funding cut occurs as planned at the end of the year.

Becca Schimmel

Construction of the new University of Kentucky College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus will be completed in mid-September to welcome the inaugural class of 30 medical students.  

 

The Bowling Green facility is UK’s first four-year regional campus to open that will utilize the same curriculum as UK’s main campus in Lexington. Dean of the UK College of Medicine Robert DiPaola said building this regional campus will help address the shortage of healthcare workers in Kentucky and across the nation.

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