Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 10:51 am
The Obama administration said Monday that it wants to speed up changes to Medicare so that within four years half of its traditional spending will go to doctors, hospitals and other providers that coordinate patient care.
The shift is being made to stress quality and frugality over payment by the procedure, test and visit.
Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 1:10 pm
When Amy Seitz got pregnant with her second child last year, she knew that being 35 years old meant there was an increased chance of chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome. She wanted to be screened, and she knew just what kind of screening she wanted — a test that's so new, some women and doctors don't quite realize what they've signed up for.
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 5:53 am
With another impending deadline for coverage, enrollment in Kentucky’s health insurance exchange is steadily growing, says Nicole Comeaux, deputy executive director for the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.
So far, 12,500 individuals have enrolled in qualified health plans and 25,700 individuals have newly enrolled in Medicaid coverage, Comeaux said during a wide-ranging conference call Wednesday with health care exchange directors from other states.
Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 3:55 pm
The Kentucky General Assembly has wrapped up the first week of the 2015 session, leaving committees with numerous bills to review.
Chairs for the health and welfare committees in both chambers have set their priorities for the remainder of the 30-day session.
Sen. Julie Raque-Adams, a Louisville Republican, said the committee she chairs will take a critical look at the Medicaid expansion, plus efforts to promote healthy living and protect vulnerable populations.
Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 3:57 pm
Kentucky health officials say there have been at least 26 flu-related deaths in the state during the current influenza season.
State epidemiologist Dr. Kraig Humbaugh said on Thursday that the fatality rate is rising as the flu becomes more widespread.
“Two of them are pediatric deaths—that’s children under 18 years—five are people that are age 18-64 years and then the rest are age 65 and older,” Humbaugh said. “And of those, actually, eight are over 90 years of age that have been recorded.”
Humbaugh said during the previous flu season, there were about 50 deaths.
The uninsured rate has dropped 4.2 percentage points since the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for Americans to have health insurance went into effect last year, according to a Gallup-Healthways Well Being analysis.
During the fourth quarter of 2014, the uninsured rate dropped to 12.9 percent. This is the lowest recorded rate since Galup-Healthways began tracking the measure daily in 2008.
A year ago the uninsured rate was 17.1 percent.
The survey found that the uninsured rate declined as more Americans signed up for health insurance through federal and state health insurance exchanges in the first and second quarters of 2014.
Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 1:07 pm
The 2015 Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee just released new recommendations to limit added sugars to 10 percent of daily calories. Right now, Americans are eating more sugar than ever before — on average, about 160 pounds a year.
Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 3:17 pm
The last thing my 11-year-old does before she goes to sleep is put her iPod on the nightstand. And that could mean less sleep for her, researchers say.
There's plenty of evidence that children who have televisions in their rooms get less sleep. This is one of the first studies to look at whether having a small screen like an iPod or smartphone in the room also affects rest.
Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 3:25 pm
Six flu-related deaths have happened in Kentucky so far this season, according to the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
The state has been reporting widespread influenza activity for the last four weeks, which means the state has a high or increasing level of the virus.
“Normally it’s January through March in Kentucky when we reach our peak of flu activity. So, we’re reaching that peak a bit earlier this year,” said Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, director of the division of epidemiology and health planning,