health

Health
10:23 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Health Insurance Exchanges Prompt Consumers' Questions

Hey, we got some more questions about the health insurance exchanges.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 10:40 am

With the opening of online health insurance marketplaces a little over a month away, I've been receiving lots of questions about how they'll work.

Here's one that deals with the issue of getting the subsidy payments out quickly for consumers.

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Health
9:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Top Cancer Research Team Leaving U of L for UK

An internationally-recognized cancer research team is leaving one Kentucky university for another.

A group of top researchers is leaving the University of Louisville for the University of Kentucky, one month after UK announced it was becoming home to the state’s first National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.

The Courier-Journal reports the four researchers will establish the UK Center for Regulatory and Environmental Analytical Metabolomics, or UK-CREAM. The center is expected to bring to UK over $17-million in federal funding over five years.

Officials at UK say they didn’t actively recruit the U of L researchers, but were instead approached by them.

One of the researchers, Andrew Lane, said he and colleagues made the move because UK was in “an expansion phase, particularly in cancer, which is very attractive to us.”

Health
12:41 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Of Neurons And Memories: Inside The 'Secret World Of Sleep'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 1:13 pm

What happens in our brains while we're asleep? That's one question neuroscientist Penelope Lewis is trying to answer. She directs the Sleep and Memory Lab at the University of Manchester in England. Her new book is The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest.

Lewis joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about how sleep affects memory, and how REM sleep can affect depression.


Interview Highlights

On how sleep makes memory stronger

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Health
2:00 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Patients Can Pay A High Price For ER Convenience

In case of emergency, go to the strip mall or the hospital?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 6:59 am

Medical entrepreneurs are remaking the emergency room experience. They're pulling the emergency room out of the hospital and planting it in the strip mall.

It's called a "free-standing ER," and some 400 of them have opened across the country in the past four years.

The trend is hot around Houston, where there are already 41 free-standing ERs and 10 more in the works.

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Health
5:00 am
Sat July 20, 2013

"Kentucky's Future Initiative" Aimed at Reducing Chronic Diseases in Seven Counties

The grants from The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky are aimed at improving the health of the commonwealth's children.

A non-profit, philanthropic group in Kentucky is partnering with seven communities in an effort to reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky hopes the five-year, $3 million effort, known as the Kentucky's Future Initiative, will cut the chances that today's youth will suffer from obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

The Clinton County School District and the Green River Area Development District's Partnership for a Healthy McLean County are two of the seven partners selected for the program.

"What we're trying to do, if you will, is to bend the curve and stop the progression we see starting with our children today," says Susan Zepeda, President and CEO of The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. "We don't want them to develop the kinds of chronic diseases that their parents and grandparents have, that have been holding Kentucky back."

Zepeda says the Foundation is currently in the planning stage with each of the seven grant recipients about how to best utilize the funding to attack chronic diseases.

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Health
6:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Kentucky Working to Shift Medicaid Patients Away from the ER

Kentucky is one of six states along with Puerto Rico that will participate in a program to help drive down medical costs by targeting frequent healthcare system users.

Staff from the National Governors Association and other experts will help train officials from participating states to develop a plan for super-utilizers. These are patients who may benefit from less costly, more appropriate treatment elsewhere.

Dr. Stephanie Mayfield is commissioner of Kentucky’s Department of Public Health. She says the commonwealth will focus on frequent emergency room users. Last year, thousands of Medicaid patients used the ER 10 times or more.

“What we’re hoping the plan will be is that emergency rooms are there strictly to be used as emergency rooms and that we develop a plan so that they’re not de facto primary care centers any longer," says Mayfield.

The training academy will help participating states develop plans around healthcare policy. The program will run for a year and begins in August.

Health
12:26 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

UK's Markey Cancer Center Gains Designation, Leading to New Drug Options and Clinical Trials

The Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky
Credit UK

Kentucky has gained new clout in its fight against cancer, resulting from the rising status of the cancer center at its flagship university.

The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center in Lexington on Friday earned the designation as a National Cancer Institute facility. It becomes the 68th medical center in the country to receive the prestigious title and the only one in Kentucky.

The designation has the potential to bring millions of dollars of additional research funding to the Markey Center.

It also means patients will have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI centers.

UK President Eli Capilouto says it signals that Kentucky will "no longer indulge the scourge of cancer."

Kentucky is at or near the top nationally in several cancer rates.

Health
6:00 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Tennessee Report Indicates Only Half of State's Pregnant Women Get Prenatal Care

A recent report on the welfare of children in Tennessee highlights the importance of public programs.

State health and child welfare experts have released the latest Kids Count report, which this year examined challenges to raising children in Tennessee, and whether state programs are doing enough to help them.

Among the report's findings was that nearly half of the state's pregnant women don't receive adequate prenatal care, and less than a third of teens from poor families are finding work.

Linda O'Neal is executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth and was among those discussing the report.

According to The Tennessean, O'Neal said the poor economy has hurt the welfare of children in Tennessee, which "highlights the importance of public programs" like the one that provides in-home visits for families with newborns.

Health
3:37 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

TJ Samson Sued over Changes Made to Articles of Incorporation

TJ Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow, Ky.
Credit T.J. Samson

A lawsuit filed against TJ Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow seeks to seat a new board of trustees at the hospital.

The Bowling Green Daily-News reports the suit was filed Thursday in Barren Circuit Court by Warren County attorney Alan Simpson. The suit claims that the original agreement incorporating the hospital in 1926 called for a board of trustees to be elected by those who had contributed more than $25 to the establishment of the hospital.

Those suing say a change to the articles of incorporation in 1968 disenfranchised those original shareholders.

An attorney for TJ Samson says the lawsuit is baseless and without merit, adding that the way the governing board is selected has never before been challenged.

A group of Barren County citizens has mobilized to challenge recent changes at the hospital, including a 2011 decision that only one corporate member, TJ Regional Health, would act and vote through its board of directors. The lawsuit says the for-profit TJ Health Partners was later formed and is thought to be a subsidiary of TJ Regional Health.

Many local doctors’ practices have recently been purchased by the Health Partners, a growing trend nationally as the health care environment undergoes fast changes.

Health
12:32 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Kentucky's Insurance Exchange Is Named, 'Similiar to Travelocity or Expedia' Experience

Kentucky's new exchange for people on the market for healthcare now has a name and  a website.

It'll be called Kynect—pronounced "connect." People can access it at kynect.ky.gov. A phone line will be running in August.

Kynect will be fully operational in time for October open health insurance enrollment.

Once running, Kynect will help Kentucky residents or employers find and compare prices for health insurance coverage. It's part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Carrie Banahan, the health exchange's executive director,  says the online portal will work much like online shopping.

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