Health

Health
8:35 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Kentucky and Indiana Planned Parenthood Operations to Merge

The Kentucky and Indiana Planned Parenthood affiliates will merge next month, creating a new non-profit that will operate 28 centers across the two states.

It will be known as Planned Parenthood of Kentucky and Indiana.   The centers will offer services such as pregnancy tests, birth control, breast exams and Pap tests.

Planned Parenthood of Kentucky Chairwoman Kim Greene says the combined affiliate will have 190 employees at the centers and its administrative headquarters in Indianapolis, with a few job duplications in IT and finance.

“We have had to consolidate three of those sorts of positions, but other than that, there will be no other employee changes, employee losses.”

Greene says the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has made the merger necessary to more effective serve patients.

The merger becomes official on July 1st.

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
2:38 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Lawsuit Filed by Kentucky County Against Oxycontin Maker Settled

Oxycontin abuse became so pervasive in parts of eastern Kentucky that the drug was dubbed "hillbilly heroin."

An eastern Kentucky official has announced a settlement in a lawsuit over the drug OxyContin.

The Appalachian News-Express cited a statement from Pike Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford in reporting that drug maker Purdue Pharma agreed to pay $4 million to settle a lawsuit over abuse of the narcotic.

Rutherford said he couldn't give further details about the settlement due to terms of the agreement.

The county initially filed the lawsuit in 2007 and asked for damages the community suffered after the company marketed OxyContin as a safer alternative to other pain medicine.

The drug became so pervasive in eastern Kentucky, it was dubbed "hillbilly heroin."

Rutherford indicated in the statement that he was pleased with terms of the settlement.

"Finally, Pike County Government will have the funds to make a difference in drug addiction," Rutherford said. "We can now establish the Pike County Re-Entry Partnership for people convicted of drug violations. It has taken years to get done. Our attorney, Gary C. Johnson, was passionate and brought this about."

The goal of the Pike County Re-Entry Partnership would be to rehabilitate people who are addicted to drugs.

Health
4:29 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

New Hospital, Three Years in the Making, Set to Open Saturday in Owensboro

The new Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, opening June 1
Credit Owensboro Health

Kevin's interview with Owensboro Health's Gordon Wilkerson

It's the last week of preparations before Saturday's official opening of the new Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. The 447-bed facility sits on 162 acres of land in eastern Owensboro, and is opening this weekend after three years of construction.

Owensboro Health spokesman Gordon Wilkerson says the hospital has been trying to make the transition as painless as possible.

"We'll be identifying patients who will still be in the hospital Saturday morning and who will need to be moved to the new facility. And we're working closely with their family members to ensure they have at least one family member present during the move," said Wilkerson.

The final price tag for the new hospital on Pleasant Valley drive was $385 million, and was paid for by a bond issue in 2010. Wilkerson said the costs associated with the new facility will not lead to increased care costs for patients.

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Health
6:00 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Health Insurance Exchange to Start Advertising Campaign Next Month

Despite an ongoing lawsuit challenging its existence, the Kentucky Health Insurance exchange will start a new advertising campaign next month.

The exchange will work like an online marketplace, and consumers will be able to choose between plans offered by several different insurers, as well as government programs like Medicaid and Medicare.

To get the word out to individuals and businesses, the exchange will start running TV, radio and magazine ads in mid-June. The ads are expected to cost up to 11 million dollars.

Policies will be available for purchase in October, but won't go into effect until next January.

Tea party activist David Adams is currently suing Governor Steve Beshear over his creation of the exchange.

Health
3:10 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Kentucky Tea Party Wins Round in Lawsuit Over Health Care Reform

The tea party has won the first round in a lawsuit that questions the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange that Gov. Steve Beshear set up last year by executive order.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd refused to dismiss the lawsuit on Thursday, as had been requested by attorneys for the state.

The state argued unsuccessfully that taxpayers don’t have legal standing to challenge the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange, which is intended to help uninsured people arrange insurance coverage under the federal health care overhaul.

Tea party activist David Adams filed the lawsuit last month, claiming Beshear created the exchange without necessary legislative approval. Adams wants Shepherd to order work on the exchange to cease.

Health
12:36 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Pharmaceutical Company Helps Train Kentucky Law Enforcement to Address Pill Abuse

A national pharmaceutical company is helping train Kentucky law enforcement on how to address prescription pill abuse in their communities.

Purdue Pharma helps produce some of the prescriptions often abused in Kentucky, including OxyCotin.

But company executives say that for the last few years, Purdue Pharma has been helping to train law enforcement officials on how to help crack down on illegal prescribing and abuse.

As part of a free training seminar, Purdue officials are once again in Kentucky helping health care officials and law enforcement address potential pill abuse.

John Gilbride, a law enforcement liaison for Purdue, says the company has frequently held the seminars in the state.

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Health
7:20 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Ruling Coming Soon on Legality of Kentucky Health Exchange

A judge will rule "as soon as possible" on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange that Governor Steve Beshear created last year by executive order.

Beshear said the Health Benefits Exchange would help uninsured Kentuckians arrange insurance coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Tea Party activist David Adams filed a lawsuit claiming that Beshear created the exchange without necessary legislative approval. Adams is asking Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd to order work on the exchange to cease. Shepherd held a hearing on the issue Monday morning in Frankfort.

Attorneys for Beshear asked Shepherd to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that Adams and others who filed it lack legal standing to do so.

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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