Health

Health
8:18 am
Wed August 28, 2013

U of L Issues Demand to Norton Healthcare about UK Hospital Deal

A recent deal regarding Kosair Children's Hospital has sparked a strong reaction from the University of Louisville.

The University of Louisville is giving Norton Healthcare 30 days to back out of an agreement with the University of Kentucky to jointly operate Kosair Children's Hospital.

Norton announced the partnership last week, saying it wanted to strengthen pediatric care in the commonwealth. This surprised U of L officials, who have also been trying to negotiate a similar contract with Norton. U of L says the lease agreement for Kosair says the property "shall be used for the benefit of the University of Louisville."

U of L Vice President of Health Affairs David Dunn says the school has already acted on the assumption it would further partner with Norton and Kosair. He says the school has spent millions of dollars expanding operations at the hospital, and he expected to be reimbursed under an eventual partnership.

“And they’ve [U of L] done it with the understanding that Norton at some point—we thought it was a long time ago—would make good on their promises, and these are verbal promises.”

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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
8:04 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Kentucky Medical Marijuana Advocates Once Again Ask Lawmakers for Legalization

Medical marijuana is gaining greater acceptance in parts of the U.S. Supporters have had no success in getting it legalized in Kentucky, however.

Supporters of legalizing medical marijuana are once again urging Kentucky lawmakers to increase access to the drug. Advocates say marijuana can help treat pain and provides health benefits to the user—something disputed by critics of legalization.

One of Kentucky’s most vocal and passionate supporters of medical marijuana is Louisville Democratic Senator Perry Clark, who has repeatedly sponsored legislation that would make the drug available through a doctor’s prescription. Speaking to members of a joint legislative Health and Welfare Committee, Clark said marijuana is “forbidden medicine.”

Supporters of medical marijuana say it could be a much better pain-relieving alternative to highly-addictive prescription drugs like oxycodone. But critics, like Lexington Republican Representative Robert Benvenuti, said the medical evidence concerning the benefits of marijuana is still an open issue.

Benvenuti was quoted in the Courier Journal as saying “Until I’m assured where the clinical evidence is, this is not going to have my support.”

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
11:59 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Kentucky Healthcare Exchange Call Center Opens

A call center opens today with five-dozen agents on hand to answer questions about  Kentucky’s new health care benefit  exchange.  Kentucky is ramping up its effort to ensure health coverage for more than 600,000 Kentucky residents.

“They are actually taking phone calls from folks that are calling in asking questions about connect,” said Kerri Banahan, director of the exchange office.  “And through connect individuals will be able to apply for Medicaid as well as premium assistance which will help them pay for part of their premium amount with a private health insurance company.”

Banahan says some 70 calls came in Thursday, a day before the official launch of the call center. Open enrollment for the new insurance program begins in October. 

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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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Agriculture & Health
12:53 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Bowling Green Farmers Market to Cater to Lower Income Areas, Set up Market on Wheels

Customers bought fresh produce Wednesday at a farmers market set up at the Barren River District Health Department in Bowling Green.
Credit Lisa Autry

Bowling Green area farmers set up shop outside the Barren River District Health Department Wednesday, in an effort to make nutritional food easily accessible to the community.

Farmers selling vegetables, eggs, meats, and cheeses set up their tents on the front lawn of the health department, and--within a few minutes--business was booming.

A group of local farmers is working to make their products accessible in low-income areas. The farmers used the health department Wednesday as a testing site to see how many consumers would be willing to turn out.

The farmers have purchased a bus with a USDA grant. The bus is being retrofitted to act as a traveling community farmers market. Starting in April, the bus will stop at various Bowling Green locations where access to fresh foods is limited.

The market will also accept forms of government assistance, and will become Kentucky's first farmers market on wheels.

Health
2:35 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Texting While Driving in Kentucky? You Could Lose Points on Your License

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has announced new tools aimed at enforcing the state's "no texting" law.

A 2010 law made texting while driving punishable by a fine. Speaking in Louisville Wednesday, Beshear said that hasn't been enough of a deterrent. Starting in a few months, the Transportation Cabinet will take three points off the licenses of drivers caught while texting behind the wheel.

The new three-point texting penalty was announced as transportation leaders and emergency responders gathered for an annual meeting. The state can suspend the licenses of drives who incur 12 penalty points within a two-year period.

For drivers under 18, the threshold is seven points.

According to the Governor's office, more than 5,300 crashes in Kentucky last year were caused by driver distraction.

Health
1:30 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Drug Overdose Deaths Drop in Kentucky, but Deaths from Heroin Skyrocket

Heroin deaths in Kentucky increased dramatically in 2012.

A report released Friday shows that overdose deaths in Kentucky declined in 2012—the first time there has been such a drop in a decade.

But the report issued by the Office of Drug Control Policy also found that heroin deaths in the commonwealth last year increased by 550 percent over 2011.

The office’s executive director, Van Ingram, says Kentucky first started seeing an increase in heroin use and overdoses when the formulation for the painkillers Oxycontin and Opana were changed in order to make them more difficult for intravenous drug use.

The report also shows that two of the counties in the top ten for overdose deaths in 2011 and 2012 are in our listening area. Whitley County was eighth, with 56 overdose deaths per 100,000 people.

Monroe County was ninth, with 53 deaths per 100,000 people.

Health
3:41 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

New Edition of Glasgow State Nursing Facility to Open Soon

Governor Steve Beshear joined Glasgow and Barren County leaders Wednesday for a ceremony honoring a new facility that will offer long-term care for those with mental illnesses.

Residents will begin moving into the new Glasgow State Nursing Facility in early September. Glasgow mayor Rhonda Trautman says residents at the facility require a higher level of care than those at most long-term care facilities in the state.

"These are people who are primarily suffering from mental problems who need counseling. They have a variety of issues, and there is a large group of patients there who suffer from Huntington's Disease."

The new facility in Glasgow replaces another state-run long-term care facility in Barren County that had become antiquated.

"The older center has been part of our community for decades. The original building used to be the state tuberculosis hospital," said Mayor Trautman.

The new nursing center will employ 167 people.

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