Elana Gordon

Elana Gordon covers the health beat at KCUR. She was previously a production assistant for KCURâ

Shots - Health News
3:36 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Young People Are Falling Into A Health Insurance Subsidy Gap

Ashante Thurston, John Riascos and Julieth Riascos talk with Mario Ricart, a private insurance agent, about buying health insurance at a kiosk at the Mall of the Americas in Miami last year.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:50 pm

Some young people seeking to buy health insurance are finding themselves falling into a subsidy gap that leaves them ineligible for financial assistance that was heavily advertised.

Subsidies in the health law were designed to lower insurance costs for people who make around $11,000 to $46,000 a year.

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The Salt
1:41 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Philadelphia Children's Hospital Bars Herbs And Supplements

Dietary supplements are generally defined as vitamins, minerals, herbs and extracts. They're regulated as a unique category of food by the Food and Drug Administration.
iStockphoto.com

One of the nation's largest and oldest children's hospitals is cracking down on parents who bring their kids herbs, extracts or other dietary supplements.

In what it describes as a break from other hospitals, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, or CHOP, last month removed most dietary supplements from its list of approved medicines, and established new policies for administering them.

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Shots - Health News
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Pennsylvania Governor Talks Up Plan To Expand Medicaid His Way

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett speaks at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Corbett visited the hospital to promote his Healthy Pennsylvania initiative.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett may have been watching fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio who bypassed the Republican Legislature in his state this week to expand Medicaid.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to make coverage available to low-income adults, with the federal government picking up the entire tab for the first three years.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Cerner Fights For Share In Electronic Medical Records Boom

Pretty servers hold private health data at Cerner.
Courtesy of Cerner Corp.

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:00 pm

This is a story about data. Lots and lots of data. And they're not just any data — they're extremely sensitive data.

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Science, Health and Technology
8:21 am
Mon May 20, 2013

What most Missourians don't know about Hepatitis C, even when they're infected

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:47 pm

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that only half of Americans identified as having had Hepatitis C ever follow-up with additional screening and treatment. But that’s only part of the problem, according to Bruce Burkett of the Missouri Hepatitis C Alliance. Nearly three in four people who have the disease don’t even know it.

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Science, Health and Technology
10:31 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Missouri's Medicaid Director leaves

The Missouri Department of Social Services issued this memo Tuesday, announcing the departure of Dr. Ian McCaslin as state Medicaid director.
Missouri Department of Social Services

The director of Missouri’s Medicaid program, Dr. Ian McCaslin, has left.

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Science, Health and Technology
8:29 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Bill expands opportunities for physician assistants in Missouri

A bill headed to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk would expand the rights of physician assistants in Missouri.
US Navy/Wikimedia Creative Commons

Physicians Assistants, or PAs, may soon have more opportunities to practice in Missouri. A bill headed to the Governor’s desk would provide more flexibility in how and where they provide care.Physicians Assistants are trained health workers who practice medicine under the supervision of a doctor. Their training is shorter than that of a doctor, but they do exams, prescribe drugs and diagnose and treat illnesses.

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Under the Microscope
5:45 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Addressing death through a greeting card

Photo of Regina Holliday and her husband prior to 2009. Frederick Allen Holliday II died in June of 2009.
Photo courtesy of Regina Holliday

When Regina Holliday’s husband, Frederick Allen Holliday II, went to the hospital in 2009, he was already at the end stages of kidney cancer.

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Politics
5:08 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Federal judge makes contraceptives mandate ruling

Courtesy of UC Irvine Flickr

A federal judge has struck down a Missouri law that directly challenges the so-called contraceptive mandate under the federal health law.

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Science, Health and Technology
9:06 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Will Missouri Adopt A Prescription Drug Monitoring Program?

acephotos1 dreamstime

Efforts to establish a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri are making a comeback this year. But there’s a twist: the main opponent of establishing such a program is now sponsoring legislation.

“I think it’s a severe intrusion of our liberty to have the government create a database that is accessible by thousands of people, if not tens of thousands of people, who would then have access to sensitive private information,” said Republican Senator Rob Schaaf, a physician in St. Joseph, Mo.

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The Salt
8:51 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Hospital Bids Bye-Bye To Big Macs, Others May Follow Suit

Visitors to one Kansas City hospital will no longer be able to buy a Big Mac on the premises.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 12:25 pm

The McDonald's at the Truman Medical Centers' main campus in Kansas City, Mo., has closed, ending an epic, two-decade stint inside the hospital and making it the fifth health facility in the past few years to give the Big Mac the boot.

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Health
3:47 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Missouri, Kansas Reject Health Exchanges

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 6:36 am

Immediately after last week's election, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced the state would not be setting up its own health insurance exchange. Next door in Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback announced that Kansas will have no involvement in running a state exchange either. The moves open the door for increased federal involvement in health care in staunchly Republican territory.

Science, Health and Technology
7:41 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Federal government will step in to create Missouri's health exchange

Credit File Photo / KBIA

The federal government will set up and manage a health exchange in Missouri. An exchange is an online marketplace where individuals and small businesses will soon shop for health plans. The Affordable Care Act, or obamacare, requires that all states have exchanges up and running by 2014. States have until next week to indicate whether they will run one or not.

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Science, Health and Technology
6:22 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Embracing healthy food: First steps

Kansas City, Kan., resident Judith Smith says Juniper Gardens changed her perspective on food.
Credit Elana Gordon / Harvest Public Media

In recent years, there has been a concerted push at the local and national levels to make healthy food more widely available, particularly in low-income areas. This is one focus of Food Day, which food groups and advocates celebrated across the U.S Wednesday. But while programs and systems are gradually putting fresh food front and center, changing eating habits can be even more complicated.

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Politics
7:50 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Debate heats up on Mo. cigarette tax increase

FriedDough Flickr

A ballot measure that would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax is starting to catch fire.

Leaders of the effort to raise the state’s tobacco tax are making stops across Missouri through the end of this week, to places like here to Lee’s Summit, Mo. on a yellow school bus.

Misty Snodgrass, with the American Cancer Society says a jump in the state’s cigarette tax, currently the lowest in the country, to 90 cents a pack would help reign in the state’s high smoking rate while directing half of that added tax revenue into schools.

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Business
6:12 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

State fines Aetna over autism, abortion coverage violations

Aetna violated a 2001 state law when it provided coverage for contraceptives without allowing employers to opt out.
brains the head Flickr

The Missouri Department of Insurance has issued its largest penalty to date, to health insurance company, Aetna. 

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Politics
5:14 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court throws out caps on medical malpractice

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 7:23 am

Updated 4:33 p.m. with reporting by KCUR's Elana Gordon.

Missouri’s Supreme Court has effectively overturned state caps on non-economic damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases.  The court ruled today in favor of Deborah Watts, who filed suit against Cox Medical Centers in Springfield for injuries her son suffered at birth in 2006.

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Politics
9:34 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Nixon's stance unclear on Medicaid expansion

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon
File Photo KBIA

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the federal health law, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is not taking a clear stance on whether he thinks the state should take part in a voluntary expansion of its Medicaid program.  The health law originally required states to raise Medicaid eligibility to about 130 percent of the federal poverty level. But the Supreme Court ruling now leaves that decision up to states.  Speaking to reporters in Kansas City Monday, Nixon said he hopes to work with providers, businesses, and lawmakers to figure out what’s best for Missouri.

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Food
3:55 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Kansas City Hospital Offers Healthy Food Choices

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:51 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

One of the places you'd expect to find healthy food is in hospitals - boring, but healthy. But in recent decades, fast food restaurants have worked their way into hospitals around the country. That's despite growing evidence linking fast food menus to high rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Elana Gordon from member station KCUR in Kansas City takes us to one place that has been wrestling with that situation.

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Politics
5:57 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

MO Lt. Gov. to challenge health care ballot language

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder
KBIA file photo

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is once again filing suit against a health care measure. He and some other Republican lawmakers have announced plans to challenge the secretary of state’s office on newly issued ballot language for a health care measure that’s slated to appear on the November ballot.

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Politics
9:44 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Missouri to decide on Medicaid expansion

The capitol building, Jefferson city
j.stephenconn Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling, upholding the federal health law, has provided more clarity to the region and country. 

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Health & Wealth Update
7:05 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Voters to weigh in on state health exchange

Putting "Obamacare" on the ballot in November may help rally Republican voters.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

In the next few days, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of the federal health care law. Even if the court upholds the law, one key component will be under fire here in Missouri come November. On the ballot will be a measure targeting the law's required online marketplaces, or health insurance exchanges, where individuals and small businesses can buy plans. 

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Science, Health and Technology
8:17 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Charity care at Missouri hospitals on the rise, new report finds

Health systems in urban regions are generally more equipped to handle charity care than rural regions, according to new findings from the Missouri Foundation for Health.
flickr

Missouri hospitals are providing more charity care, according to a new analysis from the Missouri Foundation for Health. But, community health centers have also been easing the strain.

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Politics
6:36 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Gov. Nixon optimistic over reaching a deal over workers compensation

Nixon previously vetoed legislation that would have placed work-related diseases under worker’s compensation coverage, instead of letting parties go to court.
File KBIA

With just a few days left to go in Missouri’s legislative session, Governor Jay Nixon says he’s optimistic about reaching a deal with lawmakers on workers’ compensation legislation he previously rejected.  While visiting a medical supplies company in North Kansas City on Tuesday to highlight positive economic and employment trends in the state, Nixon said he met with lawmakers Monday evening, before continuing work on the workers’ comp legislation.

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The Salt
12:42 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Fast Food Chains In Cafeterias Put Hospitals In A Bind

The McDonald's inside the Cleveland Clinic, 2004, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 10:07 am

On one side of a wall inside the Truman Medical Center cafeteria in Kansas City, Missouri, the menu features low-calorie, low-fat and low-sodium meals. On the other side of the wall is a McDonald's, featuring hamburgers and french fries.

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Health Care
3:33 pm
Sun March 25, 2012

Health Care Law Puts Free Clinics At A Crossroads

The Duchesne Clinic in Kansas City, Kan., is just one free clinic that might have to adjust the way it operates under the new health care law.
Elana Gordon KCUR

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 4:06 pm

Free health clinics have long been places people turn to when they don't have health insurance or any money to pay for care. But the health law's expansion of coverage puts free clinics in uncharted territory.

While the law goes before the Supreme Court this week, health providers are already gearing up for a surge in patients with insurance.

Around the country, hundreds of free clinics have been established over the past 50 years to treat patients like Patsy Duarte.

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