Health and Wealth | KBIA

Health and Wealth

Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation expanding prenatal health coverage and allowing some newly trained doctors to go to work more quickly.

Parents could gain a way to compare the quality of child care providers under legislation signed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

The bill signed Wednesday requires the state to develop a "system of quality indicators" so people can know whether child care centers are meeting certain criteria.

The website will track whether child care providers are licensed, meet health and safety standards, use curriculum and comply with staff training requirements.

The bill also requires the state to run a hotline for parent complaints about child care providers.

epSos .de / Flickr

 Last month the U.S Department of Health and Human Services announced that more than 150,000 Missourians have signed up for health insurance under the ACA and many will be paying $60 or less a month for their plan after tax credits.

I talked with Karen Edison, founding director of the MU Center for Health Policy about why this could be called a success in Missouri.

Scientists cleaning out an old laboratory on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md., last week came across a startling discovery: vials labeled "variola" — in other words, smallpox.

Under international convention, there are supposed to be only two stashes of this deadly virus: one at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and another at a similar facility in Russia.

The CDC swooped in to collect the vials and carted them off to a secure lab at its Atlanta headquarters.

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Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation directing Missouri regulators to develop their own standards for carbon dioxide pollution from power plants.

Shelby Mann / KBIA

In honor of National Parks and Recreation Month, Columbia Parks and Recreation wants Columbia residents to spend quality time outside.

COM SALUD / Flickr

 

Almost 800,000 uninsured Missourians became eligible for coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace earlier this year. As the state continues to consider extending coverage to even more individuals through Medicaid expansion, the need for primary care doctors will increase as well.

Some people have had it with "natural" food.

For fifteen years, Urvashi Rangan, director of consumer safety and sustainability for Consumer Reports, has been pointing out that "natural" is just about the most misleading label that you'll ever see on a food package. Yet consumers still look for that word, food companies still love to use it and the Food and Drug Administration can't or won't define it.

WallyG / FLICKR

Missouri home health care workers could be affected by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on union fees in Illinois.

The Supreme Court has ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act's provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.

The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores and those of another closely held company, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., had objected on the grounds of religious freedom.

The ruling affirms a Hobby Lobby victory in a lower court and gives new standing to similar claims by other companies.

MU Children’s Hospital Opens New Playground

Jun 27, 2014
Tom Kackley / KBIA

MU Children’s Hospital is trying to make getting better a little more comfortable.

According to the Pew Research Center, hundreds of thousands of Americans could live to see 100 by the year 2050. Women in France, Japan and the United States have already lived past the age of 114. With the now realistic possibility that individuals may live into the triple digits, planning ahead for retirement becomes both more important, and more challenging.

Living Longer

Think about people dying from drinking too much, and you probably think of the classic disease of alcoholics, cirrhosis of the liver. Or perhaps an alcohol-fueled car crash. But there are many more ways to kill yourself with alcohol, unfortunately, and they account for 1 in 10 deaths in working-age adults, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

nomadsoul1 / dreamstime

A University of Missouri task force is finalizing the details of a new health care option that will be available to university employees in the Columbia area. The new option will be offered in 2015.

UM System Spokesperson John Fougere said the new option will have lower premium rates, deductibles, and co-pays than the two options currently available for employees. With the new plan, employees will be limited to medical care within the MU Health Care system.

Five Missouri hospitals team up for better care

Jun 25, 2014
Shelby Mann

Five hospitals in Missouri have announced the formation of a collaborative network today. The network is an effort to improve health care and access to health care in Missouri.

The newly formed Health Network of Missouri is composed of Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia, Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, Lake Regional Health System in Osage Beach and the University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia.

Closed Loop Healthcare / Smart America

 Your medical record can be more than just the file in which your doctor scribbles notes during your appointment. With help from movement sensors similar to those in an Xbox Kinect, patient data can be recorded in the home and shared easily with your network of doctors and hospitals, creating a comprehensive and accessible medical file. 

Medicare is preparing to penalize about 750 hospitals that have the highest rates of infections and patient injuries. The sanctions, estimated to total $330 million over a year, will kick in at a time when most infections and accidents in hospitals are on the decline, but still too common.

Stethoscope
File Photo / KBIA

Thousands of Missourians may have to switch doctors after UnitedHealthcare notified more physicians that they will be removed from the company's Medicare Advantage plan on Sept. 1.

Veronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

A federal judge has ruled that residents who collect damages from a $6.8 million class-action settlement over the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill in St. Louis County can still pursue separate legal claims related to radiation risks.

A tentative agreement reached in April calls for the landfill's owner to pay an average of nearly $13,000 per household to hundreds of affected residents. But some were prepared to turn down the deal, which required approval by 95 percent of the 400 remaining class members.

Hope Kirwan / KBIA

  The Columbia Farmer’s Market brings many different people together on Saturday mornings. Thanks to a local food program run by Sustainable Farms and Communities, this includes low-income families who can receive extra help to purchase fresh and locally-produced foods.

jfcherry / Flickr

The federal government agency that oversees applications for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act says that the computer problems which plagued early sign-ups are to blame for problems at a suburban St. Louis processing center.

How divisive was the debate over Medicaid expansion in Missouri this year?

Just ask Debbie Cole, a 51-year-old mother of four who lives in Butler, Mo., and signed a petition asking state legislators to extend Medicaid to cover more low-income residents.

“We all live different lives, and some people out there may be working two or three jobs and have no insurance, and they need it to survive,” she says.

About a month after signing the petition, Cole got a letter from her state senator, Republican Ed Emery of Lamar.

Cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants would also reduce other types of air pollution, both here in Missouri and nationally.

That's according to a recent analysis by researchers at Harvard and Syracuse Universities.

Flickr

WELLAWARE’s small truck is parked outside of plaza 3 at the Broadway medical plaza and will be there throughout the summer checking people for signs of skin cancer.

Nurse Marla Jones says she looks for changes in the size, shape or color of moles.  If a patient has 2 of the 3 changes she refers them to a doctor for further testing. 

WELLAWARE started the screenings last summer for multiple reasons according to Jones.

Earlier this week, we told you about a school backed by director James Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, that may become the first vegan school in the U.S.

David Sachs / SEIU

  

  By now Missourians are familiar with the debate over expanding Medicaid in the state.

The Affordable Care Act gives most people the opportunity to purchase health insurance with help from federal tax credits. But individuals earning too little to qualify for these tax credits but too much to be covered under for Missouri Medicaid are stuck in what is called “The Gap.”

Maureen Lewis-Stump

Medicaid expansion has been a widely talked about subject throughout the state of Missouri. Medicaid is federally funded state healthcare program for those that do not make enough money to be their own healthcare, or their employer does not provide it for them.

The Medicaid policy in place now only covers those who make less than $4,500 a year total for a family of four. It also allows subsidies paid to those who make more than $89,000 a year. Those in between this gap are left without health insurance.

New research out of Washington University could help explain why malnourished children suffer long-term health effects, even after medical treatment.

As young children develop, the community of bacteria and other microbes in their intestines develops with them. In healthy children, the community reaches maturity about the time a child turns two years old.

Washington University microbiologist Jeff Gordon calls those tens of trillions of intestinal microbes “an organ within an organ,” because of the key role they play in helping people digest food and absorb its nutrients.

Hartzler talks coal power in Moberly amid EPA regulation proposal

Jun 4, 2014

Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler kicked off her “all of the above” energy tour with several stops in Mid-Missouri Tuesday, including the Thomas Hill coal fired power plant near Moberly.

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