Health & Wealth Desk

Wednesday mornings during Morning Edition, and Wednesday afternoon during All Things Considered

KBIA’s Health & Wealth Desk covers the economy and health of rural and underserved communities in Missouri and beyond. Reporter Katie Hiler produces a short weekly radio segment, as well as in-depth features and regular blog posts. The reporting desk is funded by a grant from the University of Missouri.

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Health & Wealth Update
1:26 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Bill on Nixon's desk could add barrier in enrolling Missourians in ACA marketplace

Credit pinprick / FLICKR

 Update: Gov. Jay Nixon signed SB 262 into law on Friday, July 12. 

A bill that was pushed by the state's insurance agents association could create a barrier in getting Missourians enrolled in time for the new online health insurance marketplace  one of the key parts of the health care reform law.

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Health & Wealth Update
11:22 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Rural librarian works to turn small-town library to hub of learning

Credit Casey Fleser / Flickr

Listen to this week's Health & Wealth Update

This week, a sweet story from a library in Oregon County, just north of the Missouri-Arkansas state line.  

Rachel Reynolds Luster is the librarian at the cozy, one-room library in Myrtle, Missouri:  population around 150. There’s one gas station and a small post office, but no grocery store or bank.

Upon reporting to work on day one, she realized there was going to be one major challenge: there were hardly any modern books.

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Health & Wealth Update
1:08 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Why federal money for rural hospitals is vulnerable to budget cuts

Credit Fotos GOVBA / flicker

  Compared to their urban counterparts, rural hospitals serve a population that tends to be older, sicker, uninsured and have less income. Rural hospitals provide a lot of uncompensated care and run on more narrow profit margins.

To stay open, these hospitals depend on special federal designations that give them a higher rate of reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid. For example, when a hospital designated as a critical access hospital, Medicare reimbursements can make up to a third of its entire revenue

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Agriculture
5:20 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

My Farm Roots: In hip Brooklyn, Missouri native connects with farm past

On the Brooklyn rooftop garden she helps maintain, Missouri native Monica Johnson says she's not afraid to show her farm roots.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This story is part of the 2013 edition of My Farm Roots, a series from KBIA Radio's partner Harvest Public Media that chronicles Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

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Health & Wealth Update
11:18 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Missouri's lax regulations on meth-lab cleanup

Credit Leah Shafer / Flikr

 


   Missouri’s meth problem is no secret. In 2012, the Show-Me State has the highest number of meth-lab seizure in the country.  But beyond the busts — Missouri has no statewide regulation on what to do with former meth labs. 

On AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad,’ meth cooks prepare a batch in a trailer in the desert or a dirty and  abandoned house. But this image of secrecy and seclusion isn’t always true. Timothy Sigmund is a real estate attorney from Jefferson City. He says many meth labs aren’t where pop culture might suggest they are.

“Apartment buildings, nicer homes,” Sigmund says. “It can be happening in many different places, and it doesn’t matter. It’s not that it’s some run-down shack in the middle of the woods.”

 

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Health & Wealth Update
11:17 am
Wed May 22, 2013

As Missouri's Medicaid awaits reform, health centers continue to serve uninsured

This week on KBIA’s talk show Intersection, host Ryan Famuliner sat down with State Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) and Rep. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) to discuss the legislative session that ended on Friday. One of the main things on the show’s agenda was, of course, Medicaid expansion – or lack thereof.

Famuliner asked the panelists why the expansion failed to pass. 

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Health & Wealth Update
11:53 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Interfaith leaders gather for last-minute support of Medicaid expansion [video]

Fr. Thomas Saucier welcomes attendees to an interfaith prayer service for Medicaid expansion on Monday, May 13. About 30 people attended the service, held at the St Thomas More Newman Center at MU.
Credit Kellie Kotraba / KBIA News

Listen to this week's Health & Wealth Update.

  

With the Missouri legislative session ending on Friday and a Republican supermajority that still won't budge, the hope to expand Medicaid in Missouri is pretty much dead for FY 2014.

It's so dead that perhaps the only thing that could bring it back to life is, well, interfaith prayers for a miracle.

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Health & Wealth Update
4:05 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Helping Missourians navigate the ACA marketplace will likely be a collaborative effort

Credit jfcherry / Flickr

Listen here for an interview with Stan Hudson, a health literacy expert and associate director of the Center for Health Policy at MU about the Marketplace Navigators program.

Many Missourians will likely need help navigating the Affordable Care Act's new health insurance marketplace that's set to go online by Oct. 1, but one analyst says there might not be enough time or federal funding to train those who can help.

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Health & Wealth Update
11:26 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Postcard from a cowboy poetry festival

About a dozen cowboy poets performed at the 15th Annual Missouri Cowboy Poet and Music Festival in Mountain View, Mo.
Credit Harum Helmy / KBIA News

Listen to an audio postcard featuring two cowboy poets who performed at the 15th Annual Missouri Cowboy Poet and Music Festival.

This week on the show, we're hearing from Francine Robison and D.J. Fry, two out of the more than 20 cowboy poets and musicians who performed at the 15th Annual Missouri Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival. 

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Health & Wealth Update
10:26 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Missouri's vibrant cowboy poetry scene

Lisa Higgins, director of the Missouri Folk Arts Program, poses in her office on April 22, 2013. Tiny cowboy boots decorate Higgins' workplace. The folk arts program helps fund the annual Missouri Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival.
Credit Harum Helmy / KBIA News

Listen to this week's Health & Wealth Update to preview the upcoming Missouri Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival in Mountain View, Mo. The event kicks off Friday, April 26.

If you think all cowboys are of the rugged, silent and stoic Marlboro Man type – think again. Some cowboys write poetry.  

Every year since 1998, for a weekend in April, a group of cowboy poets Missouri and its surrounding states gather in Mountain View, Mo., near West Plains. They spend three days in town, usually from Friday to Wednesday, giving poetry performances, playing folk songs, telling classic cowboy stories. The gathering, also known as the Missouri Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival, is one of the largest of its kind in the Midwest. 

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Health & Wealth
4:48 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Smoke-free ordinances spreading to smaller Missouri communities

The smoking ban in restaurants and bars in Washington, Mo., officially came into effect on Monday, April 15. Members of Breathe Easy Washington, the group that pushed for the ordinance, celebrated that day at a local restaurant.
Credit Harum Helmy / KBIA News

Listen to this week's Health & Wealth Update.

At only 17 cents per cigarette pack, Missouri has the lowest tax for tobacco in the U.S. In 2012, Missouri voters said no to increasing that tax to 90 cents per pack. Missouri is also one of 14 states that don't have some sort of a statewide ban on smoking in non-hospitality workplaces, and/or restaurants, and/or bars. All of this adds up to the Show-Me State's top spot as the freest state in the nation when it comes to tobacco. 

But since 2007, about two dozen municipalities in Missouri have enacted a comprehensive smoking ban in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. This Monday, rural Washington, Mo., joins that list. The City Council voted to pass the ordinance to ban smoking back in January. 

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Health & Wealth
11:37 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Why rural Missouri hospitals are rooting for Medicaid expansion

Credit Images of Money / Flickr

Listen to this week's Health and Wealth Update featuring KSMU's Jennifer Davidson.

The uphill congressional battle to expand Medicaid in Missouri is making rural hospitals that serve areas with high poverty levels really, really nervous. KSMU's Jennifer Davidson has the story.

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Health & Wealth Update
1:27 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Some patients don't like it when doctors use digital diagnostic tools

IntelFreePress Flickr

Listen to KBIA's Kristofor Husted chat with MU psychologist Victoria Shaffer about how patients respond to a digital health decision-making software.

  Almost gone are the days when physicians collect your medical records in yellow manila folders stacked ceiling-high behind the nurses’ counter.

More and more medical professionals in the U.S. are using an electronic health records system to do things like store patient data, call up medical records and even prescribe medications. A Department of Health and Human Services survey found that in 2011, 35 percent of all U.S. hospitals have adopted an electronic health records system. It's a pretty rapid growthin 2009, only 16 percent of U.S. hospitals use the system.

Many of these electronic systems are so handy they even have decision-making software—a tool that helps physicians make treatment recommendations and diagnoses.

“The idea is that a physician can open one up and maybe use one to diagnose whether a patient has appendicitis and decide whether they want to operate,” said Victoria Shaffer, an MU psychologist who studies the decision-making side of the electronic health records system.

Not all patients like this high-tech diagnoses tool, though.

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Health & Wealth Update
1:46 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Will Missouri's GOP-backed Medicaid expansion get federal approval?

Credit File Photo / KBIA

Listen to this week's Health & Wealth Update.

Missouri’s Republican-led House on Tuesday struck down Democrats’ attempts to include Medicaid expansion in the state’s budget.

If that scenario sounds familiar to you, it’s because these rejections have happened a few times before. On Feb. 25, two House committees rejected Rep. Jake Hummel’s (D-St. Louis) bill to expand Medicaid under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. On March 14, the Senate Appropriations committee voted down the Senate Democrats’ version of the expansion bill.

Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) was in one of the committees that struck down Rep. Hummel's Medicaid expansion proposal. Barnes has since introduced his own version of the expansion -- outlined in House Bill 700

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Health & Wealth Blog
4:30 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Rural Reads: On post offices, Common Core and county health

Every week, KBIA's Health & Wealth Desk curates the week's most interesting (or so we think) articles and reports on rural health, wealth and society issues. 

Rural post offices in crisis

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