health

Health
4:14 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Medicare Looks To Speed Up Pay For Quality Instead Of Volume

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.

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Health
3:37 am
Mon January 26, 2015

DNA Blood Test Gives Women A New Option For Prenatal Screening

Ultrasound is often used for prenatal screening. It's just one of several prenatal screenings available to pregnant women.
iStockphoto

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.

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Education
4:17 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Enrollment in Kynect Stays Steady as February 15 Deadline Approches

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.

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Health
8:37 am
Wed January 14, 2015

What Are the Priorities For the Kentucky General Assembly's Health Committees?

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.

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Health
4:10 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

26 People Have Died of the Flu So Far in Kentucky

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.

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Health
3:42 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Rate of Uninsured People in the U.S. Has Dropped 4.2 Percent Since Insurance Requirements Began

Gov. Steve Beshear visited a Kynect call center
Credit Kentucky State Government

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.

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Health
1:08 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Is Sugar More Addictive Than Cocaine?

In 2014, Americans were eating more sugar than ever before -- on average, about 160 pounds a year. (howzey/Flickr)

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.

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Health
6:12 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Effort Launched to Raise $1M for Cancer-Screening Van

Credit The University of Louisville

A new campaign has been launched hoping to raise $1 million for a mobile cancer-screening unit in underserved areas of Kentucky.

Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear announced the effort Tuesday and said Churchill Downs has committed $90,000 and Kroger $25,000 for the van.

The mobile unit will provide free or reduced-cost cancer screenings.

Beshear appeared in Frankfort with representatives of the Kentucky Cancer Program, the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center and KentuckyOne Health.

A portable mammography unit already serves the state with breast cancer screenings. Beshear said the new effort intends to expand the service to screen for six additional forms of cancer.

Beshear's office said the van will focus on cancer prevention education and offer screenings for breast, cervical, colon, lung, prostate, skin and head/neck cancer.

Health
10:53 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Sleeping Near A Smartphone Can Disturb A Child's Rest

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.

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Health
1:11 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Kentucky is Reaching Peak Flu Activity Early

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,

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