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
4:47 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

The few things we know about Missouri's health insurance marketplace

Credit Libby Burns / KBIA

Listen to a conversation with Health Literacy Missouri's Catina O'Leary about some challenges Missourians might face in the health insurance marketplace, set to be open for enrollment by October.

This is the second in a two-part discussion about health literacy and the healthcare reform.  

Not knowing what the online health insurance marketplace looks like might be problematic for Missourians. 

As part of the Affordable Care Act, Missouri’s uninsured can choose to buy insurance from the state’s health exchange come October. The exchange is an online marketplace where anyone who isn’t already insured will be able to compare and purchase private insurance plans. Some uninsured Missourians would be eligible for help with the cost, too.  

Missouri has missed the deadline to create its own marketplace or start a state-federal partnership. So, the federal government is setting it up. The problem is, even though the marketplace is supposed to be open for enrollment in about six months, no one knows what it looks like yet.

“We’re losing time that could be useful in helping people understand and prepare [for the exchange],” said Catina O’Leary, the director of Health Literacy Missouri, a nonprofit group that’s working to make health care topics more understandable for Missourians. “It would be really great if we could manage people’s expectations and start training on what they’re going to need to know.”

But here's what we know so far: 

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Health & Wealth Blog
6:02 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Rural Reads: On osteopathic physicians and access to insurance

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

Osteopathic Physicians: An Answer To Rural Health Care Needs?

It’s no secret the U.S. is facing a shortage of primary care physicians – especially in rural areas, which is home to some 20 percent of all Americans, but only has 9 percent of all physicians. Compared to specialized medicine such as surgery and cardiology, primary care does not pay as well – and the average student loan debt for med school graduates is $161,290. Only about 24 percent of MD graduates lean to primary care. That’s not the case with recent osteopathic medicine graduates, though.  

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Health & Wealth Update
11:31 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Why health literacy is a crucial part of healthcare reform

Credit Harum Helmy / KBIA News

Listen to this week's Health & Wealth Update.

On this week's Health and Wealth Update, the first part of a discussion about health literacy and the healthcare reform. 

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Health & Wealth Blog
1:33 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Rural Reads: On rural definitions and rural doctor shortage

With the Rural Reads series, we’re trying something new. Every Friday, KBIA’s Health and Wealth Desk curates the week’s most interesting (or so we think) articles and reports on rural issues.

What’s in a definition? The eligibility for federal grants

In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report that recommends defining ‘rural’ as areas with 50,000 or fewer residents - a number that's getting some strong reactions. The rural definition determines eligibility for USDA’s rural grants and programs. 

The excellent online news service The Daily Yonder is publishing a series of opinion pieces in response to USDA’s newest recommendation. Last week, Aletta Botts, a legislative staffer who helped draft the 2008 Farm Bill, wrote that the 50,000 size limit is too large and would hurt smaller communities that can’t compete with larger towns to win federal grants.  

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Health & Wealth Update
11:34 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Why local advocates are rallying to support Missouri's 911 Good Samaritan bill

Credit Alexandra Olgin / KBIA News

A recent study by researchers at Chicago’s Roosevelt University found that between 2007 and 2011, the number of deaths from heroin overdose in the state of Missouri more than tripled. In 2007, fewer than 70 people died from heroin overdose. In 2011, that number ballooned to 244. 

Studies show most accidental overdoses happen in the presence of others. KBIA’s Alexandra Olgin takes us to a rally in Jefferson City on Tuesday supports a bill that could encourage overdose witnesses to be a Good Samaritan and call 911.

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Health & Wealth Update
11:30 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Mo. Medicaid expansion still lacks rural legislative support

Credit Jeanine Anderson / Flickr

Listen to this week's Health & Wealth Update, with a shorter version of KSMU's Jennifer Davidson's story.

This week -- we’re hearing about the Medicaid expansion debate down in West Plains -- the seat of rural Howell County. A study by the Missouri Budget Project shows that Medicaid expansion would have its most dramatic impact in the state’s rural areas.

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Health & Wealth Update
4:13 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Is high-speed internet access the key to small towns' survival?

MU Professor Brian Dabson stands in a tattered workshop of the defunct Joe Gilliam Mining Company, which used to mine clay, in Goss, Mo. The town now has zero residents.

Listen to a conversation between KBIA's Lukas Udstuen and MU Professor Brian Dabson about why Dabson believes the Internet is crucial to the future of small towns.

Is high-speed Internet the way to attract more people to live in rural Missouri? One MU professor seems to think so. First – let’s dial back a little bit. In a story that KBIA aired on Feb. 13, our reporter Lukas Udstuen investigated the story of Goss, a rural town in Monroe County, Missouri. Its population? Zero.

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Health & Wealth Update
12:59 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Does Missouri need a state dental director?

Credit Flickr / San Jose Library

Listen to this week's Health and Wealth Update to learn about Missouri's first oral health caucus and why it's pushing for the state to have a dental director.

The Missouri General Assembly now has an oral health caucus. Co-chaired by Reps. Donna Lichtenegger (R-Jackson) and Jeanne Kirkton (D-Webster Groves), the caucus held its first meeting Monday, Feb. 11. A big item on the caucus' agenda? Reinstating the position of dental director in the state's health department. 

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Health & Wealth Update
12:28 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Why pregnant rural women have high stress levels

MU assistant nursing professor Tina Bloom studies rural women. She's currently recruiting pregnant women who live in rural communities to help test a new online safety planning to help women in abusive relationships protect themselves. She can be reached at 660-537-4213 or bloomt@missouri.edu.
Credit Syndicate Mizzou / Syndicate Mizzou

In this week's Health & Wealth Update, listen to a conversation with Tina Bloom about her latest study.

  MU nursing professor Tina Bloom interviewed 24 pregnant rural Missouri women to learn about what makes them stress. She said what she found challenges her idyllic vision of rural life.

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Health & Wealth Update
3:16 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

How Prop E did more than just stop Gov. Nixon from creating a state health exchange

More than sixty percent of Missouri voters favored Proposition E. The resulting enacted law restricts state employees from helping the federal government create a health exchange in the state, a required element of Affordable Care Act.
Missouri Secretary of State

Listen to this week's Health and Wealth Update.

 A new report by an MU policy analyst warns about the consequences of a ballot measure passed by Missouri voters last November.

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Health & Wealth Update
1:36 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Why Missouri is falling short on children's dental health

The Pew Charitable Trust’s Center on the States recently released a report or oral health that didn’t speak too highly of Missouri. On an A through F scale, it gave the state a D for its efforts to provide access to dental sealants for high-need kids. Dental sealants are plastic coatings put on children’s molars after they first come in that help prevent decay.

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Health & Wealth Update
12:32 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

My Life My Town: Not all about me anymore

Shirley LeBlanc and her son Grayson
Kevin Cook Columbia Missourian

It was winter break of her senior year at Harrisburg High School when Shirley LeBlanc, then 18, found out she was pregnant. She was shocked by the news. Her family, particularly her mother was there to comfort her. Shirley’s son Grayson was born in July 2011. LeBlanc, now 19, struggles with the loneliness and challenges of single teenage parenthood. However, her faith is the thing that keeps her together. Producer Kevin Cook brings us this story, as part of KBIA and the Columbia Missourian’s My Life, My Town project.

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Health & Wealth Update
11:06 am
Wed December 19, 2012

My Life My Town: Go, Fight, Win

Alaysha Jefferson
Yi-Chin Lee Columbia Missourian

Alaysha Jefferson loves cheerleading at the Hallsville High School in Hallsville, Missouri. Living in a small town that has the population of 1,300 and without a car to drive around, Alaysha has a quiet life. She spends her time in classes, cheerleading practice, and doing homework at home.

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Health & Wealth Update
9:49 am
Wed December 12, 2012

My Life My Town: Because of my dad

Alizebeth Wright
Benjamin Hoste

With her father in the military, Alizebeth Wright is the first to acknowledge that her childhood has been anything but typical. Each time he's re-stationed she's been forced to move around the world, along with her mom, four sisters, and little brother.

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Health & Wealth Update
4:01 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

My Life My Town: A Different Path

Monica Smith
Photo by Greg Kendall-Ball Columbia Missourian

Monica Smith is consumed with school, work and so many extra curricular activities she can't keep count. People find it surprising that at 18, Monica keeps straight A's, works and participates in sports… when they find out what she has gone through. Monica's parents have been in and out of jail since she was 8 years old. She currently lives with her grandparents in Higginsville, Missouri. 

Producers Greg Kendall-Ball and Alexandra Olgin bring us Monica’s story, as part of KBIA and the Columbia Missourian’s My Life My Town project.

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