Dan Margolies | KBIA

Dan Margolies

Dan Margolies is editor of Heartland Health Monitor, a reporting collaboration among KCUR, KHI News Service in Topeka, KCPT television in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas Public Radio in Lawrence, Kan. Dan joined KCUR in April 2014. In a long and varied journalism career, he has worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal, The Kansas City Star and Reuters. In a previous life, he was a lawyer. He has also worked as a media insurance underwriter and project development director for a video production firm.

Dan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and moved to Kansas City with his family when he was eight years old. He majored in philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and holds law and journalism degrees from Boston University. He has been an avid public radio listener for as long as he can remember – which these days isn’t very long…

Former Missouri state Sen. Ryan Silvey received more than $170,000 in contributions over a four-year period from the executives of a nonprofit that is the focus of a long-running federal investigation, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The killer of Kansas City, Kansas, police Capt. Robert David Melton was sentenced Friday to life in prison.

Jamaal R. Lewis, 22, had previously pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence, and charges of aggravated assault and shooting into an unoccupied dwelling.

Wyandotte County District Judge Wesley Griffin handed down the maximum sentences on the lesser charges, 13 months and nine months respectively, and ordered them to run consecutively after the life sentence.

Lewis will be eligible for parole after 25 years.

This story was updated at 5:02 pm to include comments from a representative of Hooper Holmes.

Hooper Holmes Inc., an Olathe, Kansas, provider of health and wellness services, is laying off 99 employees in that city. The publicly traded company earlier this year sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sold its assets to Quest Diagnostics.

Kansas has agreed to cover the cost of drugs to treat Medicaid patients with chronic hepatitis C without subjecting them to a lengthy list of requirements.

A legal settlement, which awaits final court approval, resolves a class action lawsuit alleging the state made it too difficult for hepatitis C patients to receive the potentially life-saving treatments.

A Kansas law prohibiting drug-induced abortions via telemedicine is being challenged by a women’s health clinic in Wichita that provides abortions.

Trust Women Wichita on Thursday filed a lawsuit seeking to block the law from taking effect on Jan. 1.

“Our mission as an organization is to provide reproductive health care to people in the state of Kansas and elsewhere, and to provide that care to underserved communities,” said Julie Burkhart, founder and CEO of Trust Women Wichita.

Seven of 20 Kansas City area hospitals got A’s in patient safety, according to a new report, while nine got B’s and four got C’s.

The grades were assigned by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit that twice a year rates 2,600 general acute-care hospitals across the country on patient safety measures.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in the case of a Missouri death row inmate who suffers from a rare disease and claims the state’s plan to execute him by lethal injection violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Russell Bucklew contends the process could cause ruptures of tumors in his head, throat and neck and result in excruciating pain.

Nearly six months after ordering a cult leader and his group to pay almost $8 million in damages to a woman they’d effectively enslaved for 10 years, a federal judge has ordered the cult leader's arrest.

Royall Jenkins was the founder and leader of The Value Creators Inc., formerly known as The United Nation of Islam. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree issued a bench warrant for his arrest after finding that Jenkins had ignored numerous court orders.

Jeffrey Wayne Henry, the co-owner of the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, arranged to have sex with a female human trafficking victim and paid her in part with Schlitterbahn tickets, according to a motion to revoke Henry’s bond filed by prosecutors.

Henry faces second-degree murder and other charges in connection with the death of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab more than two years ago on the Verrückt waterslide in Schlitterbahn’s Kansas City, Kansas, waterpark.

The parking lot filled fast at Kehilath Israel Synagogue. More than 1,300 people turned out Monday night for a diverse vigil in Overland Park supporting the Jewish community in Pittsburgh.

“Our hearts go out to the people in Pittsburgh, because we know what that’s like,” said Janee Hanzlick on her way into the building.

A woman less than halfway into her five-year prison sentence walked free in Texas on Monday after a federal judge ruled her constitutional rights had been violated when a federal prosecutor at the Leavenworth Detention Center listened to her phone calls with her attorneys.

When voters head to the polls on Nov. 6, they’ll encounter a slew of down-ballot names they’ve likely never heard of: judges standing for retention.

In Kansas, 101 judges are on the ballot statewide; in Missouri, 58.

Are these retention votes really important?

Four transgender residents of Kansas sued the state on Monday, challenging its refusal to allow them to change the sex listed on their birth certificates.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, argues that Kansas’ policy violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution. It also argues that it violates the plaintiffs’ free speech rights under the First Amendment.

A former federal prosecutor listened to multiple recorded calls between an inmate at Leavenworth Detention Center and her attorneys, documents disclosed at an evidentiary hearing on Thursday showed.

The explosive revelations prompted the Federal Public Defender to file a motion on Friday asking for court permission to disclose the evidence “to the appropriate disciplinary authorities.”

Kansas City and St. Louis have some of the worst-rated nursing homes in the country, while Topeka, Overland Park and Wichita have some of the best.

That’s according to rankings published by FamilyAssets, a New York-based company that offers assessments and planning for people seeking home health care services.

Sheri Wood, the longtime CEO of KC CARE Health Center, is stepping down.

Wood oversaw the expansion of what was essentially a mom-and-pop health clinic in midtown Kansas City into three locations across the city.  

When Wood began at KC CARE 22 years ago, it had a staff of 18 and a budget of $1.2 million. Today it boasts a staff of more than 150, a budget of about $16 million and more than 700 volunteers.

This story was updated at 9 a.m. Oct. 4 to add the comments of Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams. 

A federal judge has declined – at least for now — to block a Missouri abortion law, leaving the state with just one abortion provider.

The law requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital or else face criminal prosecution. 

A former emergency room nurse at Lawrence Memorial Hospital has lost her whistleblower suit alleging the hospital falsified patient records to obtain higher Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that Megen Duffy failed to prove an essential element of her claims, namely that the allegedly false data had an effect on how much the government paid the hospital.

This story was updated at 9:11 a.m. Wednesday to add the comments of a spokeswoman for Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

A Jackson County jury has awarded nearly $29 million to a physician who claimed he was wrongfully terminated by the emergency room staffing companies that employed him.

A licensed nurse in Johnson County is one of 10 nurses and aides accused of Medicaid fraud and other criminal charges in a statewide crackdown on Kansas health care facilities that get Medicaid funding.

In a complaint filed in Johnson County District Court, Catherine M. Santaniello is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, two counts of mistreatment of a dependent adult, and battery.

The complaint contains few details and the person she allegedly mistreated is not identified. 

Santaniello could not be reached for comment.

Kansans seeking health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s federally run exchange will have the choice of three insurers in 2019.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer said in a statement that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Medica Insurance Co. and Ambetter from Sunflower Health Plan will offer 23 separate plans for individuals through HealthCare.gov, the federal government exchange.

Olathe Health, parent of Olathe Medical Center and other medical groups, has named an Arizona health care executive as its new president and CEO.

Stan Holm, currently CEO of Abrazo West in Goodyear, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, will replace Frank Devocelle, who is retiring after 47 years with Olathe Health, 43 of them as its CEO.

Devocelle is one of the longest-tenured hospital CEOs in the country. He made more than $1 million in 2016.

Attorneys alleging their meetings and phone calls with clients at the Leavenworth Detention Center were unlawfully recorded can move forward with a class-action lawsuit, a federal judge ruled last week.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Bough found that a class action was the best way to proceed because “(i)t would be judicially uneconomical for the Court to entertain hundreds if not thousands of individualized claims” over the same issue.

Top executives of a Missouri nonprofit bribed and organized fundraisers for  Missouri and Arkansas politicians as part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to loot the company for their personal benefit, according to court documents filed last week.  

The nonprofit, Springfield-based Preferred Family Healthcare, directed an employee to organize fundraisers for “several candidates running for seats in the Missouri State Senate, Missouri House of Representatives and the Greene County Commission,” according to the documents.

A federal appeals court ruling in Missouri earlier this week significantly escalated the legal battle over abortion rights, reduced the number of clinics performing surgical abortions in the state to one – in St. Louis – and may be the decision that puts abortion rights back in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, where Brett Kavanaugh may or may not be among the sitting justices.

Registered nurses at 15 hospitals owned by the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain — including Research Medical Center and Menorah Medical Center — have voted to authorize a strike if contract negotiations remain at an impasse.

The 15 hospitals in Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Texas and Nevada are owned by HCA Healthcare Inc. and employ about 7,000 RNs affiliated with the National Nurses Organizing Committee, or NNOC.

The Missouri Supreme Court is expected to decide within months whether state law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But the American Civil Liberties Union alleges in a lawsuit that the Missouri Commission on Human Rights has determined that LGBTQ people are not protected.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Friday defended the state's decision to weigh in on a case that could limit transgender rights.

Asked by reporters about Kansas’ decision to join 15 other states in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that it’s legal to fire people for being transgender, Schmidt noted that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Kansas, has taken that position.

When a federal judge decided in July that the Veterans Health Administration was liable for the death of an Iraq veteran who was treated at the VA and later killed himself, it was thought to be one of the few instances nationwide where the VA has been held directly responsible for a veteran’s suicide.

Now the federal government is appealing that verdict.

A notice of appeal filed Wednesday said the United States is seeking review of the judgment by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson, as well as her findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Kansas has joined 15 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that it’s legal to fire people for being transgender.

Last week, the 16 states filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the court to overturn a federal appeals court's decision that it was illegal for a Michigan funeral home to terminate an employee who was transitioning from male to female. The appeals court ruled that Aimee Stephens’ firing violated Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex.

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