Health

Prescription Abuse
1:27 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Drug Overdose Rates Continue to Climb in Kentucky

Credit Webmd.com

A new report finds there has been an “alarming” increase in drug overdoses in Kentucky in recent years. The data compiled for the study was collected over an eleven year period.

The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center says drug overdose mortality rates increased 282 percent between 2000 and 2010. In the Bluegrass State, that means the overdose mortality rate has jumped from six deaths per one hundred thousand people to nearly 23 deaths per one hundred thousand people during that eleven year period.

The Research Center is located in the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health, and is an agent for the Kentucky Department of Public Health.  The new report is based on an examination of  emergency departments, inpatient hospitalization statistics, and mortality data.

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Health
12:42 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Beshear Signs Regulation Banning New Forms of Synthetic Pot

Examples of synthetic marijuana

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has stepped up the fight against synthetic drugs by signing emergency regulations banning newly identified forms of synthetic marijuana.

Beshear's action Tuesday is the first time an administrative regulation has been used to outlaw synthetic substances, which mimic the effects of cocaine, marijuana and other illegal stimulants.

In the past, Kentucky lawmakers have passed laws banning drugs known as "bath salts" and synthetic marijuana.

The governor says his regulation will allow the state to keep pace with "backyard chemists" who try to skirt the law by slightly altering formulas of such dangerous substances.

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Health
12:08 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Haslam: Sandy Hook Massacre Likely to Impact Gun Debate in Tennessee

The mass-killings last week in Newtown, Connecticut have begun a national dialogue about America’s gun laws. In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam says the killings will likely have an impact on proposed gun legislation set to be taken up next year in the Volunteer State.

Gov. Haslam says he believes schools and universities in Tennessee should be allowed to legally ban their workers from bringing guns to work. The Tennessean reports it’s a position that puts Haslam at odds with some fellow Republicans in the Tennessee legislature. Some lawmakers in the state are proposing legislation that would force employers to allow workers to have guns in workplace parking lots, as long as owners keep those firearms in their vehicles.

A poll taken for Vanderbilt University before Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown showed 53% of Tennesseans surveyed supported the so-called “guns in trunks” legislation.

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Fire Prevention
8:00 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Kentucky Fire Marshal Warns of Christmas Fire Hazards

Kentucky's Fire Marshal is warning residents of the state to take steps to keep their homes safe for the holidays. Across the nation, about 230 home fires are caused each year by blazes related to decorated trees.

State Fire Marshal Bill Swope says about one-third of the Christmas tree fires that occur are caused by electrical problems, so its very important to use only lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and to turn off the decorative lighting before leaving home or going to bed.

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Health
7:50 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Multiple Prayer Vigils Held For Connecticut Shooting Victims

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 9:27 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We begin this hour with tragedy in Connecticut. This morning, around nine o'clock, a gunman walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He was armed and, at some point, began shooting.

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Connecticut School Shooting
1:47 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

WKU Psychology Professor Urges Media Restraint in Wake of School Shootings

As the investigation into the elementary school shooting in Connecticut continues, WKU Psychology Professor Dr. Bill Pfohl is offering some advice for reporters at the scene. The lead person for the National Emergency Assistance Team of the National Association of School Psychologists says "it's a bad idea" to conduct TV interviews with young people who have experienced such trauma.

He says putting that kind of pressure on children who have witnessed tragedy could be harmful to them. 

Dr. Pfohl says its important for parents to understand that trauma isn't limited to those who actually witnessed the violence. He urges parents to limit the amount of time children watch news coverage of the tragedy.

More information about recommendations from the National Association of School Psychologists can be found at the group's website.

Health
1:28 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Kentucky Gets Federal Approval for State-Based Health Exchange

After months building a state-based health exchange, Kentucky officials have been told that the federal government has given approval to their work.

Despite objections from Republican lawmakers, Kentucky officials quickly began working on a state-based exchange --- a part of the Affordable Care Act.

Many states surrounding Kentucky are opting for a federal-run exchange or haven’t yet made a decision.

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Health
2:03 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Poll Shows Support in Tennessee for State-Run Health Exchange

A new Vanderbilt University poll shows a strong preference among Tennesseans for a state-run health insurance exchange over one run by the federal government.

The poll of 829 registered voters released Wednesday showed 53 percent favor the state-run exchange, while 33 percent prefer the federal approach.

The results contrast with Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's decision earlier this week not to pursue a state-run exchange. Vanderbilt officials said the governor was not aware of the poll results before Wednesday's release.

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Health
1:12 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Legal Issues with Kentucky Spirit Remain; Passport Withdraws Medicaid Complaint

Weeks after their announced departure from Kentucky’s Medicaid managed care system, operator Kentucky Spirit and the state are still locked in a legal battle.

Both sides have sued each other, blaming the other for the situation. Kentucky Spirit announced their departure, scheduled for the middle of 2013, due to massive losses in the system.

In an interim committee meeting Tuesday, Kentucky lawmakers asked for an update on what the state hoped to recoup financially because of Kentucky Spirit’s decision.

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Health
2:07 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Haslam Says No to State Health Insurance Exchange in Tennessee

Gov. Bill Haslam has decided not to create a state-run health insurance exchange, leaving the operation to the federal government.

Haslam announced his decision during a speech Monday. The Republican governor, who had until Friday to decide, said the lack of information from the federal government was "scary."

The exchanges, part of the federal health care overhaul, create new online markets where consumers will be able to buy individual private health insurance coverage.

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