The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services says information on more than one thousand Medicaid clients may have been involved in a computer security breach.
The Cabinet says the information that may have been unintentionally released was held by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services, which is the vendor that manages Medicaid’s information management system. The Cabinet says an employee of a subcontractor of HPES responded to a telephone computer scam and may have allowed a hacker to get access to health and other information regarding 1,090 Medicaid clients.
Those individuals who might have been affected by the incident will be notified individually by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. In addition, HP ES is arranging for those affected to receive free credit monitoring for one year, to help reduce the chance of identity theft.
A new study showing a major increase in Tennessee babies born addicted to drugs has prompted the state Health Department to require hospitals to report that information. A health department working group found the number of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS, has increased ten-fold over the past decade.
NAS can result from a mother’s drug use, including alcohol and withdrawal drugs like methadone. Henry County Medical Center's Rhonda Carnell says it’s important for healthcare providers to know the signs.
“A baby can’t report to you, ‘I feel bad in this way,’ y’know, like an adult can," says Carnell. "So we have different physiological and neuro-behavorial things that we look at if we suspect it.”
Symptoms include high-pitched cries, tremors, fever and vomiting. Drug dependent babies require more hospital care. For NSA babies receiving TennCare benefits, the cost was five times more than for other babies.
Pregnant women considering inducing labor to have a New Year's Day baby may want to reconsider. The Tennessee Department of Health warns that inducing labor to make the delivery date arrive more quickly for special days, such as holidays or birthdays, can cause birth defects.
A new program in Louisville aims to help teens have healthy relationships. National statistics show one in three teens will experience emotional or physical violence while dating. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teens that experience dating violence are more likely to do poorly in school, binge drink, attempt suicide and get into fights.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is reminding parents to "keep their cool" during the upcoming Christmas holiday period. The agency says when children are home from school and families are facing tight schedules for travel and gatherings with relatives, stress levels can increase and put some children at risk for abuse.
Jim Grace, the Assistant Director of the Division and Permancy, says its "never ok to hit a child." He says its important for parents to help teach children how to communicate, by talking about things that might be bothering them.
With Kentucky actively setting up its health insurance exchange, the final piece of compliance with the Affordable Care Act is a decision on Medicaid expansion. Kentucky is ahead of most of its neighbors in complying with the ACA.
The only major decision left for state officials is whether to expand Medicaid beyond the poverty line, which is optional. The federal government will pay the full costs of an expansion for the first three years, and Governor Steve Beshear has been considering it.
“I’ll need to make that decision sometime in the first four of five months of next year," say Beshear.
After three years, the feds will pay 90% of the Medicaid expansion. Beshear says he’s weighing whether the state can afford that, though some studies have shown expansion can save states money in the long-term.
Dan Modlin talks with Dr. Bill Pfohl of the National Association of School Psychologists.
The widespread media coverage that accompanied last week's Connecticut school shooting can have an impact on people across the country, according to WKU Psychology Professor, Dr. Bill Pfohl. He says many people underestimate the impact extended media coverage of a tragedy can have.
In the wake of last week's shooting death of 26 people at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is joining a chorus of public officials who say a national debate on gun control and mental health is needed.
Beshear is typically friendly to the National Rifle Association -- and he wouldn't comment Thursday on specific proposals. But Beshear said Thursday that he's keeping an open mind about the gun control issue.
“And I think it says to all of us, whether you’re in public office or in the private sector, that we all ought to be open to looking and thinking about any and all options out there to protect our children,” he said.
The governor also says the issue must be discussed on a national level, because state-by-state regulations would have a weak effect.
The recent national outbreak of fungal meningitis has taken an especially strong toll on Tennessee. Despite the fact that other states reported more exposures to tainted steroid shots, only one state has a higher meningitis attack rate than Tennessee.
The fungal meningitis outbreak has been traced back to tainted steroid shots produced at a compounding center in Massachusetts.
An article published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine shows a wide variation in the rate of meningitis infections in states that received shipments of the tainted medicine. Tennessee has the second highest attack rate in the nation, with 10.9 infections per 100 people.
With the end-of-year holiday season upon us, charities throughout the listening area are trying to make sure needy children are stocked up with enough food to last through the school break.
The Hardin County-based Feeding America, Kentucky's Heartland provides food-insecure children in 33 counties a backpack full of food that can be taken home from school on Fridays. The group's development director, Tami Delaney, says sponsoring agencies in each county try to make sure the program participants are given enough non-perishable items to help them through the time away from school.
"What (the agencies) actually do is double up during the holiday season, so if they know a child is going to be out, they'll provide two bags of food. So they try to make sure that enough is sent home to cover the holiday time, and our pantries are also available," Delaney told WKU Public Radio.