Health and Welfare

2:57pm

Wed April 3, 2013
Health and Welfare

UK Healthcare Says Expansion is Necessary to Provide Needed Services

The University of Kentucky's health-care system has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade, becoming one of the state's largest businesses, but its boss says it must expand its geographical reach to maintain its newly raised national status and to ensure access to quality care for Kentuckians.

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4:19pm

Mon April 1, 2013
Health and Welfare

Cuts in Funding Threaten Working Families

At her daycare, Hattie Waddell only charges parents $95 a week to watch their kids for 40 or 50 hours and feed them two meals every day. This is exactly the amount most of her clients — who earn minimum wage, or something near it — receive in government subsidies. This way they don’t have to pay extra from their own pockets. But the state is making a series of cuts to the subsidies, starting Monday. After this summer, only the poorest clients will remain eligible; the rest will lose their subsidies after whenever their yearly renewal term ends.

4:16pm

Mon April 1, 2013
Health and Welfare

National Public Health Week Emphasizes Return on Investment of Services

April 1-7 is National Public Health Week, and the Kentucky Department for Public Health is working to raise awareness and help people live longer, healthier lives by promoting the 2013 week's theme: the return on investment of public-health services. Everyone likes sound, stable and high-return investments, and research shows that investing just $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health efforts can save the nation more than $16 billion within five years. That’s a $5.60 return for every $1 invested.

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4:08pm

Mon April 1, 2013
Health and Welfare

Autism Center Stresses Early Detection to Parents

Credit Urban Studies Institute, University of Louisville

Students with autism are more likely to go to college one year after high school than students with other disabilities, but they may be having more trouble finding work, according to research from the Kentucky Post School Outcomes Center. KyPSO--housed in the Human Development Institute and funded by the Kentucky Department of Education--researches post school data.

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4:48pm

Thu March 28, 2013
Health and Welfare

Chilly Temperatures Slow Pollen Season

Credit Creative Commons

Typical Spring like temperatures are arriving late in the bluegrass.  That could impact the timeline for allergy sufferers this year.  Beth Miller, Chair of UK’s Division of Allergy-Immunology, says last year’s early warmth followed by a freeze cut short the tree pollen season.  She says a late start for warmer temperatures could mean a longer life for tree pollen.  “If we want a good pollen season as far as high pollen counts, better to have a late start with a continued warm trend than have a cold spell in the middle of the spring,” said Miller.

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3:36pm

Thu March 28, 2013
Health and Welfare

Questions Still Remain About Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky

Kentucky is one of the last states to decide whether to Medicaid under federal health reform, and now that the General Assembly has gone home, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear can turn his attention to the many questions that linger. Some Republican legislators think he will expand the program, but they worry about the cost when the state would have to start helping cover the new expenses, beginning in 2017.

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11:32am

Tue March 26, 2013
Health and Welfare

Managed Care Causes Problems for Community Mental Health Centers

"Kentucky mental health centers are cutting back services and struggling to assist patients the first time they’re admitted because of ongoing struggles with Medicaid managed care," Don Weber reports for cn|2. "At the same time, they’re losing out on federal grants because of red flags caused by their administration costs being inflated by increasing contributions to the public pension system."

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11:27am

Tue March 26, 2013
Health and Welfare

State Health Department Receives Diabetes Prevention Funding

The state Department for Public Health has been awarded a $134,380 federal grant to help reduce high rates of prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes in Kentucky. “Diabetes is a tremendous public health concern that is both horrific for the individual, if unmanaged, and costly in terms of medications, various complications and long-term hospitalizations that are so often associated with the disease,” Audrey Haynes, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said in a press release.

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5:42pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Health and Welfare

Northern Kentucky is Heroin Epicenter

Northern Kentucky is the state’s epicenter for heroin, straining legal and medical systems and bringing deadly consequences that are starting to spill out to the rest of the state. Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties together accounted for nearly 60 percent of Kentucky’s heroin prosecutions in 2011, even though the three counties have just 8.4 percent of the state’s population. The counties’ rate of heroin overdose deaths is more than twice that of Hamilton County or metro Louisville.

2:19pm

Sun March 24, 2013
Health and Welfare

Medicaid Cuts Leave Children Without Dentist

Dr. Marty Gamble treats about 2,000 local children on Medicaid, give or take a few hundred. But after next week, he won’t accept CoventryCares, which will leave about three-quarters of them without a dentist. As it is, hardly any dentists in Christian County treat adults on Medicaid. And only one besides Gamble treats children. “It’s definitely a crisis,” Gamble said.

4:14pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Health and Welfare

Debate Centers on Study Suggesting Coal Causes Health Problems

A heated debate centers on new research showing that residents in Floyd County, where coal is stripped from the tops of mountains and ridges, report more health problems than those in two nearby communities without such mines, Elliott and Rowan.

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5:09pm

Thu March 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

Hound Welfare Support

A hunt club needs help with the aging dogs in its kennel.  The Iroquois Hunt Club, which organizes coyote and fox hunts, supports a hound welfare fund.  Without outside assistance, Organizer Glenye Oakford says the central Kentucky club cannot easily afford the care and feeding of dogs that can no longer hunt. “Whether it’s through age or injury, we take care of those hounds because they are no longer covered by the Iroquois Hunt budget, if they are not active hunting hounds. So, they get to stay in the kennel.  They get to be with all their friends.  They’re sort of a retirement pack, if you will that lives alongside the active pack,” said Oakford.

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11:05am

Thu March 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

Drug Overdoses Remain the Leading Cause of Death in Kentucky

Drug overdoses, driven largely by prescription drug abuse, overtook motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of unintentional deaths in Kentucky back in 2010 and remain the state's leading cause of death. From 2000 to 2010, the number of drug-overdose deaths in Kentucky rose a staggering 296 percent, highlighting the state's drug abuse epidemic that now kills more than 1,000 Kentuckians a year. But a recent poll suggests many Kentuckians are not fully aware of the state's drug problem.

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10:33am

Thu March 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

Analysis Says Oldham is Kentucky's Healthiest County

Credit Creative Commons

Oldham is the healthiest county in Kentucky. The least healthy? Floyd County in eastern Kentucky. The ranking of health outcomes among Kentucky's 120 counties considers tobacco use, diet and exercise, access to healthcare and other factors. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute did the analysis.

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5:19pm

Wed March 20, 2013
Health and Welfare

County-by-County Health Rankings Released

Frankfort - Oldham County has the healthiest residents in Kentucky, according to the fourth annual County Health Rankings released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

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5:17pm

Wed March 20, 2013
Health and Welfare

State Receives Funding to Fight Epidemic of Pre-Diabetes

FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Department for Public Health has been awarded a federal grant to help curb rates of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes among residents of the state. The award, worth $134,380, comes from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similar awards will also go to seven other states.

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12:27pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Health and Welfare

Legislature Eases Physician-Assistant Rules

The Kentucky General Assembly has joined other states in easing the restrictions on physician assistants’ medical practice, but has held up a similar move for advanced registered nurse practitioners. Both issues relate to the shortage of medical practitioners in many Kentucky counties, and the quality of medical care.

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12:24pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Health and Welfare

State Receives an F Grade for Low Funding of Mental-Health Services

Kentucky's supply of mental-health services is much lower than demand for those services, in terms of state funding, and the state spends only 45 percent of the national average in mental-health funding per person. In 2010, Kentucky dedicated about $232 million to mental-health services, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is $54 per person, compared with a U.S. average of $121 that year. That ranks Kentucky among the bottom 10 states without including individual mental health reimbursements for Medicaid, reports Chris Kenning of The Courier-Journal.

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12:16pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kentucky Hospitals Gave $1.96 Billion to Communities in 2011

In 2011, despite economic and financial obstacles, Kentucky hospitals' estimated value of benefits to their communities up 17 percent from the year before, to $1.96 billion. So says the Kentucky Hospital Associated 2011 Community Benefits Report, compiled by the Kentucky Hospital Association with data submitted by hospitals. (Chart gives a breakdown of hospitals' total community benefits and services expenditures in 2011.)

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1:06pm

Fri March 15, 2013
Health and Welfare

Forums Presented on Recognizing Prescription Drug Abuse

Credit Creative Commons

FRANKFORT - The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, in cooperation with Appalachian Regional Commission and Operation UNITE, will present workshops to educate medical providers about prescription drug abuse and diversion at four locations across Kentucky this spring.

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12:49pm

Fri March 15, 2013
Health and Welfare

Northern Kentucky Health Department Looks at Smoking Ban

Credit Creative Commons

The Northern Kentucky Health Department has taken a step toward considering regulations to prohibit smoking in public places. Board members voted Wednesday to request information from the Bullitt County Health Department and review them in committees for consideration and a possible recommendation. Bullitt County introduced regulations on smoking in public places, which have yet to be implemented because of legal challenges. The Northern Kentucky Health District includes Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Counties.

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4:51pm

Thu March 14, 2013
Health and Welfare

New Colon Cancer Screenings for Low Income Residents

A half million dollars in state money will colon cancer tests for the low income residents of ten counties.  Kentucky Pink Connection is administering the screening in Fayette County.  Executive Director Vicki Blevins-Booth says they’ve tried to make it easy.  "There’s really no excuse not to have this, either the fit test or colonoscopy, if needed.  We provide great support, education, transportation is provided,” said Blevins-Booth.

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3:48pm

Thu March 14, 2013
Health and Welfare

Conway Signs Letter Asking FDA to Require Generic Pain Pills to be Abuse-Resistant

Credit Creative Commons

Generic versions of popular pain relievers must be made harder to abuse, in order to curb prescription drug abuse that is epidemic in many states, Attorney General Jack Conway and 47 other attorneys general said in a letter sent to federal officials Monday.

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3:29pm

Thu March 14, 2013
Health and Welfare

Poll Shows Health-Care Providers Often Fail to Discuss HIV Testing

A new poll suggests that most Kentucky health-care providers follow guidelines for discussing HIV screening with their patients, despite the the importance of early treatment to prevent its progression to AIDS. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine HIV screenings for most patients, just 32 percent of Kentucky adults aged 18 to 64 report discussing HIV testing with their medical provider, according to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll.

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10:48am

Wed March 13, 2013
Health and Welfare

Bill Encouraging Schools to Stock EpiPens to Become Law

Credit Creative Commons

A bill encouraging Kentucky schools to stock EpiPens, or epinephrine auto-injectors, to stop anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, has passed will soon be signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear. When someone has anaphylaxis, the sooner you use an EpiPen, the better the outcome can be, said Thomas Sternberg, an allergist at Graves-Gilbert Clinic in Bowling Green, told Alyssa Harvey of the Daily News.

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9:45am

Tue March 12, 2013
Health and Welfare

Recalled Pills Circulating in Pennyrile Region

A pain reliever that has been recalled and declared dangerous by the Federal Drug Administration is still circulating around southern Kentucky. The drug marketed under the name Reumofan Plus is being distributed in Elkton and the broader Pennyrile Region, despite being recalled, and a local doctor's office says patients on the drug have had dangerous side effects, reports Nick Tabor of the Kentucky New Era.

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4:14pm

Thu March 7, 2013
Health and Welfare

Drug-Resistant Superbugs on the Rise in American Hospitals

"Nightmare bacteria" leading to deadly infections that are difficult and sometimes impossible to treat are on the rise in American hospitals, and threaten to spread to otherwise healthy people outside of medical facilities, according to a federal Centers for Disease Control Vital Signs report published Tuesday.

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1:36pm

Thu March 7, 2013
Health and Welfare

Study Finds Appalachian Counties Saw Increasing Rates of Death for Both Sexes

More than 40 percent of counties saw increases in female death rates as the 21st Century began, while the death rate for men rose in just 3 percent of counties, a study shows. Only Appalachian counties, mostly in Kentucky, had worsening rates for both sexes. (Click on a map for a larger version.)

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2:37pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Health and Welfare

Three Kentucky Health Departments Gain National Accreditation

The Northern Kentucky Health Department is among the first in the county to land an accreditation that ranks it among the highest performing public health agencies in the United States. The national Public Health Accreditation Board on Monday unveiled the first 11 recipients of a five-year accreditation, which also included the Franklin County Health Department in Frankfort and the Three Rivers District Health Department in Owenton.

4:44pm

Mon March 4, 2013
Health and Welfare

Statewide Smoking Ban Still Up in the Air

Supporters of a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky are once again trying to persuade a House committee to pass the the legislation this session.  The House Judiciary Committee is the second committee—after House Health and Welfare—to hear the smoking ban bill sponsored by State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat.  This time, property rights and business rights were the main topic of questioning, but Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson told the committee that Kentucky's businesses have long supported smoking bans.

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