Health

Several healthcare groups have come together in a public-private partnership to fight cancer in Kentucky. The newly-formed Kentucky Cancer Foundation is part of a two-million-dollar initiative to help uninsured Kentuckians get cancer screenings.

The Indiana Senate is expected to take up a proposed statewide smoking ban this week. For the first time in six years, a House-passed smoking ban has advanced past the Senate committee level.

The Public Policy Committee voted 8-2 last week for the measure after hearing some four hours of public testimony.

Indianapolis-area tavern owner Wanda Goodpastor told the panel a ban would harm her business, as 80-percent of her customers are smokers.

The Leitchfield-based Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center and Norton Healthcare held a news conference to announce a formal affiliation agreement. Officials say the agreement will provide the staff at Twin Lakes access to on-line courses and training available through Norton University, and will lead to better coordination and continuity of care for patients who require specialized or tertiary care.

New technology being unveiled in Louisville will offer faster and more accurate treatment for lung cancer patients. The TrueBeam machine allows doctors to deliver radiation more accurately to tumors in the lungs. University of Louisville radiation oncologist Dr. Neal Dunlap says TrueBeam offers two ways for doctors to more accurately see what's going on inside a cancer patient.

The Indiana Senate will soon take up a statewide smoking ban. The bill passed the Indiana Senate Policy Committee on an 8-2 vote Wednesday, following the measure’s passage in the House. The smoking ban contains numerous exemptions, including those for casinos and private clubs.

Barren County Drug Task Force

Methamphetamine lab seizures rose nationally again in 2011, further evidence the powerfully addictive and dangerous drug is maintaining a tight grip on the nation's heartland, according to an Associated Press survey of the nation's top meth-producing states.

For several years, the vaccine for Human Papillomavirus has been recommended for young females.  Now, the Centers for Disease Control is going a step further by recommending the HPV vaccine for boys, as well.

Advocates for a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky are getting some high profile help. Mrs. Kentucky USA is lending her support to the measure this week. Kathy Polston-Dalton was born with a heart disease that flares up when she’s around secondhand smoke.

Surgeons at Louisville’s Jewish Hospital have performed another hand transplant. Fifty-six year old Ronald Thurman of Marion, Indiana became the eighth recipient of a hand transplant at Jewish in a 15-and-a-half hour operation that ended early Thursday morning.

New data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that one in nine high school seniors has used synthetic marijuana within the past year.  Sold as a legal alternative to marijuana, the synthetic products carry a greater health risk, and in some case, have resulted in deaths.

Kentucky's Medicaid Managed Care Organizations say they have fixed a number of issues with reimbursements to pharmacists. CoventryCares, WellCare and Kentucky Spirit took over management of the state's Medicaid system last year. Since then, doctors and pharmacists have come forward to say the organizations are poorly managed and the reimbursements for care are too low.

Governor Steve Beshear says the problems with Kentucky’s new Medicaid Managed Care system will be resolved.
 Beshear pushed for the managed care system last year to take some of the administrative burden of Medicaid off of the state. But earlier this week, doctors, pharmacists and hospital officials told lawmakers there were significant problems with the system.

Spalding

Health officials in Lexington say a stomach ailment has spread from last weekend's basketball tournament at the Kentucky Basketball Academy. The Fayette County Health Department has received dozens of complaints about nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting from people who attended the event.

Kentucky’s private Medicaid providers say they need immediate changes in the state Medicaid system. Kentucky turned the system over to managed care providers four months ago. And Wednesday,  doctors, pharmacists and hospital executives told a Senate committee how disastrous the change has been.

A US Department of Agriculture grant will make it possible to expand telemedicine services to Grayson County. Through the use of this technology, some medical specialists at Norton Healthcare in Louisville will be able to provide diagnosis to patients at Twin Lake Regional Medical Center in Leitchfield.  Twin Lakes CEO Steve Meredith believes the program can help to control some medical costs, by avoiding duplication in testing, and by reducing the number of trips to Louisville for some patients.

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