Health and Welfare

8:09am

Tue July 23, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kentucky, Insurance Companies Apply Lessons From Transition To Managed-Care

Gov. Steve Beshear rushed to transplant Medicaid into a new bed called managed care, hoping the new medium would save money and improve health, but his administration didn't take time to condition the soil, fertilize the ground or oil the machinery in 2011. This month, managed-care company Kentucky Spirit proved to be the self-plucking bad weed, fleeing the state as it cited unbearable costs.  Kentucky’s hurried transition to Medicaid managed care has been anything but smooth for many doctors, hospitals and other health-care providers. They have complained about late payments and burdensome reimbursement processes. Read more...

3:34pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kentucky Fares Poorly In Nationwide Life Expectancy Survey

Morbidly obese teenager.
Credit FBellon / Flickr, Creative Commons

ATLANTA, Ga. — Kentucky is among the states with the lowest life expectancy and healthy life expectancy numbers, according to figures released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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6:00am

Mon July 15, 2013
Health and Welfare

Proposed School Food Guidelines a Bit Tighter than Kentucky's Rules

Vending machine at eastern Kentucky school.
Credit Charles Compton / WEKU News

Proposed federal food restrictions could change the makeup of the snacks available in Kentucky schools. It’s part of an ongoing effort to improve the eating habits of young people.

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4:17pm

Thu July 11, 2013
Health and Welfare

Heavy Rains Flush Away Much of Kentucky's Mosquito Population

The mosquito population is in a bit of a ‘flux’ right now.  It’s difficult to predict just how much bug biting will go on this summer in central Kentucky. From mid-July into early August, mosquitoes traditionally peak here.  But, heavy recent rainfall is flushing away mosquito larvae.  Fayette County Health Department’s Luke Mathias hopes such rain repeats itself on a weekly basis.

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6:00am

Tue July 9, 2013
Health and Welfare

Energy Drinks Seemingly No More Effective Than Most Caffeinated Beverages

Researchers at Centre College believe the relative effectiveness of 5-Hour Energy is the same as most caffeinated drinks.

Like all good science, Katie Ann Skogsberg’s research grew from a simple question.  Actually, the question was asked by her husband. “The way the whole thing started is my husband saw them in the grocery store line and said `I wonder if those little things really work,’ and I said `Well I can test it,” said Skogsberg.

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5:29pm

Fri July 5, 2013
Health and Welfare

Medicaid Commissoner Named to National Institute

Credit lanereport.com

Kentucky’s Medicaid Commissioner is included in a national group working to develop innovative strategies to meet the health care needs of low income families.  Commissioner Lawrence Kissner is one of seven Medicaid directors nationally picked to participate in the Medicaid Leadership Institute.  The initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, aims to help state Medicaid officials do more in offering accessible, cost effective care.

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8:24am

Tue June 25, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kids Count Shows How Children Rank by County and School District

Conditions have improved slightly for Kentucky children, especially in education and health, and the state's overall well-being ranking has gone up one spot, from 35th to 34th in the nation. But economic conditions for young Kentuckians have slipped since last year, says the Kids Count report released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The annual report measures how the country and its 50 states are doing according to four measures of child well-being – education, health, economic well-being, and family and community. How well Kentucky's children score in each domain paints a picture of Kentucky's future. Read more...

7:18am

Mon June 24, 2013
Health and Welfare

Preparing for Chemical Neutralization Continues

Credit bluegrass.army.mill

Disposal of chemical munitions at the Bluegrass Army Depot is still years away, but keeping up with the demilitarization process is day to day for some government safety officials.  Mark Klaas is program manager for Kentucky’s Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program.  Work continues on a chemical neutralization plant for nerve agent at the Madison County Army installation.  Klaas says the neutralized product could be hauled away.

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6:53am

Mon June 24, 2013
Health and Welfare

Public Radio News Directors Discuss Trauma Coverage

Credit twitter.com

The onslaught of social media is changing the way many people get their information.  Often times, the lines between fact, rumor and innuendo are blurred for users of social media…especially during a time of disaster or other traumatic event.  Public radio news directors and reporters from across the country gathered in Cleveland this weekend for their annual conference.   Russell Lewis is NPR Bureau Chief in the Southern region which includes Kentucky.  During times of high, intense trauma, Lewis says it’s critical for reporters to slow down and maintain objectivity.

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4:26pm

Wed June 19, 2013
Health and Welfare

Lexington Physician Leads American Medical Association

Credit UKNOW

A Lexington doctor has begun her term as the new president of the American Medical Association.  Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven was sworn in as the 168th president of the physicians group at the AMA’s annual meeting this week in Chicago.  Hoven, who is an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist, will spend much of the year traveling on behalf of the AMA.

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6:36am

Mon June 17, 2013
Health and Welfare

Bedbug Summer Traveling in Kentucky

Credit ABCnews.go.com

As people take summer vacations, bedbugs also hit the road.  The bedbug infestation is not waning.  A national survey shows almost all pest management professionals encountered bedbugs over the last year.  And with more people travelling and changing residences,  University of Kentucky Entomologist Mike Potter says many pest control experts see a lot of activity during the summer.

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6:51am

Thu June 13, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kentucky Dodges Much of Derecho

Credit Wikipedia

Some portions of Kentucky could see stormy weather today, but it appears the threat of an unusual wind event has passed by the Commonwealth.  It’s called a ‘derecho’ and wind speeds can reach upwards or one hundred miles per hour.  Jackson National Weather Service Meteorologist Tony Edwards says such a blast of wind isn’t expected today.

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6:34am

Mon June 10, 2013
Health and Welfare

State Seeks Assistants for Folks Buying Health Insurance

Credit bizjournals.com

A call is going out for individuals to assist those uninsured Kentuckians looking at the federal health care law for coverage.  The state is seeking both for profit and nonprofit entities to serve as ‘kynectors’ for the health benefit exchange.  Carrie Banahan, Director of the state Health Benefit Exchange believes these individuals providing assistance will stay busy.

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3:27pm

Mon June 3, 2013
Health and Welfare

New OSHA App meant to Keep Workers Cooler

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

As they begin their day, outdoor workers in Kentucky and six others southeast states will stand down at construction and other work sites.  The time will be spent stressing the dangers posed by summer heat.  Bill Cochran with the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the voluntary break is not restricted to construction workers.


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11:36am

Fri May 31, 2013
Health and Welfare

Nation's Attorneys-General Condemn Retailer

Top prosecutors in 23 states, including Kentucky’s attorney general, are condemning a national retailer.  Despite the criticism, Urban Outfitters continues to sell flasks and shot glasses that look like prescription pill bottles.  


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12:27pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Health and Welfare

Study suggests noisy operating rooms distract surgeons, nurses

A hospital’s operating room can be a noisy, distracting workplace.  There’s the hum of equipment, tones, beeps and conversations, that can all interfere with good communication. A University of Kentucky study looked into the kinds of sounds most often heard in the O-R.

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12:14pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kentucky near bottom in senior citizen health

Kentucky ranks 45th out of 50 states when it comes to the health of senior citizens, according to a report issued by the non-profit United Health Foundation. Among all 50 states, Minnesota leads the nation for senior health, followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Iowa. Mississippi ranks 50th, preceded by Oklahoma, Louisiana, West Virginia, Arkansas and Kentucky. Read more...

6:53am

Tue May 28, 2013
Health and Welfare

New Home for Diabetes Education Program

Credit Madison County Health Department

A diabetes education program offered at the Madison County Health Department is moving to Baptist Health Richmond Hospital.   For seven years, the Health Department has been home to the Diabetes Center of Excellence Program.  It’s a casualty of state budget cuts.  But, Madison Health Department Spokeswoman Christie Green says the Richmond hospital is picking up the service.

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5:58am

Tue May 28, 2013
Health and Welfare

Advertising Kentucky's Health Exchange

Credit WKMS

Despite an ongoing lawsuit challenging its existence, the Kentucky Health Insurance exchange will start a new advertising campaign next month. The exchange will work like an online marketplace.  Several different insurers will offer various plans.  It will include Medicaid and Medicare.

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5:06pm

Thu May 23, 2013
Health and Welfare

Police Training for Pedestrian and Cyclist Crashes

Credit Louisville Metro Government

As summer approaches, more and more Kentuckians are likely to be out biking and walking.  The latest law enforcement techniques for investigating pedestrian and cyclist incidents are being stressed to officers.  A group of state and local police spent this week learning how best to conduct investigations involving vehicles and bicyclists or walkers.  K-S-P Sargent Chad Mills is with collision analysis in the highway safety branch.  Mills says motorcycle related crashes have been on the increase in recent years.  He says motorists need to have even a keener sense when it comes to bike traffic.

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4:08pm

Wed May 22, 2013
Health and Welfare

Farm Tractors and Cars Getting Along

Credit www.kentuckynewera.com

Kentucky’s economy remains steeped in agriculture related professions.  Sometimes the rural way of life intersects with an urban traveler.  Farmers across Kentucky are trying their best to get equipment into the fields.  Sometimes, it requires a trip down a roadway.  Triple A reports in 2012 there were 192 collisions in Kentucky involving farm equipment.  Bluegrass Triple A Spokesman Christopher Oakford says slow moving tractors have a legal right to use the roads.

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12:22pm

Tue May 21, 2013
Health and Welfare

Bluegrass Red Cross Vehicle Heading to Oklahoma

Two Central Kentucky Red Cross volunteers are heading out today to Oklahoma to assist in tornado relief work.   Recovery efforts are continuing today in the town of Moore where many of the casualties are children.  Red Cross Spokesman Winn Stephens says the two volunteers are taking a Red Cross emergency response vehicle to the tornado site.  Russ Hoff of Lexington and Ramona Hibbard of Manchester are traveling to Oklahoma with the Red Cross vehicle.  Stephens says the two are expected to be there for ten days to two weeks.

5:26pm

Mon May 20, 2013
Health and Welfare

State Police on Lower Blood Alcohol Limit

Sargent Rick Saint Blancard Kentucky State Police Public Affairs
Credit Kentucky State Police

State police again promise have patrols on Kentucky’s highways this holiday weekend, and, as always, they’ll be watchful for drunk drivers.  And, there’s a move afoot that tightens restrictions on drivers who also drink.

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4:03pm

Mon May 20, 2013
Health and Welfare

Kentucky Care for Foster Children Diverse

Commissioner Teresa James
Credit State Department for Community Based Services

The numbers tell part of the story.  71-hundred children need foster homes but there are only four-thousand such residences in Kentucky.  And, State Department for Community Based Services Commissioner Teresa James says some of those foster parents hope to adopt a child...and then leave the system.  “We have some of our homes are actually considered foster to adopt.  These are individuals who want to be foster parents, but are saying to us when they come in ‘we might also be interested in adoption, if children have had their, if their parental rights have been terminated and children are free for adoption,” said James.

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10:08am

Sun May 19, 2013
Health and Welfare

Tea Party Activist Sues over Medicaid Expansion

David Adams of Nicholasville is a Tea Party activist.
Credit Lexington Herald Leader

Tea party activist David Adams is again suing Gov. Steve Beshear. This time it's over the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare. The lawsuit aims at stopping Beshear from expanding Medicaid in Kentucky.

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10:02am

Sun May 19, 2013
Health and Welfare

Land deal for HealthFirst clinic raises questions

Though original plans were to renovate this structure, HealthFirst now intends to raze the building and replace it.
Credit Lexington Herald-Leader

Most agree a $11.7 million public health clinic that could help thousands of poor people get medical and dental treatment would be positive for Lexington. But opinions vary dramatically about benefits of the land deal between developer Ted J. Mims and HealthFirst Bluegrass to locate the clinic at 496 Southland Drive. The project is the focus of an audit announced Tuesday by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and state Auditor Adam Edelen. They cited concern over $250,000 in fees and rent that have been paid by HealthFirst for the clinic with few tangible results. Read more...

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2:08pm

Fri May 17, 2013
Health and Welfare

Old Clark hospital dismantled 'piece by piece'

The dismantling of the old Clark Regional Medical Center has begun, and should take about six months, according to Jen Algire, CEO of the Clark Regional Foundation for the Promotion of Health. “The building’s basically going to be dismantled piece by piece,” Algire said.  Read more...

10:33am

Thu May 16, 2013
Health and Welfare

Hepatitis B cases Increase

Northern Kentucky Health Department is offering vaccines to people at high risk for hepatitis B as the region fights a rise in diagnoses of the disease. Those who qualify will receive a series of three vaccines over six months at a low cost, thanks to a Kentucky Department for Public Health grant, said Joyce Rice, epidemiology manager for the NKY Health Department.  Read more...

10:22am

Thu May 16, 2013
Health and Welfare

Investigation of Jefferson County social services concluding

An internal investigation into one of Kentucky's largest regional child protection and social services office should conclude in coming weeks, said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes. Haynes told the Lexington Herald-Leader editorial board last week that she asked the cabinet's Office of Inspector General to look at the Jefferson County Department for Community Based Services, which handles child and adult protection and other programs, such as food stamps.  Read more...

1:40pm

Wed May 15, 2013
Health and Welfare

Spelled K-Y-N-E-C-T, Pronounced "Connect"

Credit Kentucky Educational Television

Kentucky's new exchange for people on the market for healthcare now has a name and  a website.  It'll be called Kynect—pronounced "connect." People can access it at kynect.ky.gov. A phone line will be running in August. Kynect will be fully operational in time for October open health insurance enrollment.Once running, Kynect will help Kentucky residents or employers find and compare prices for health insurance coverage. It's part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

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