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 Desk
5:42 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Farm bill is more than subsidies and food stamps

These tomato and salvia plants are growing in bio-renewable pots in a greenhouse at Iowa State University, which received a grant through the Farm Bill to study replacements for petroleum-based plastic pots.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

Beyond subsidies and food stamps, what’s in the farm bill?

With the election over, lawmakers are now returning to Washington for the final weeks of the 112th Congress. Their schedule is packed, but House majority leader Eric Cantorhas said addressing the expired Farm Bill is on the agenda.

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Health & Wealth Update
11:43 am
Wed October 31, 2012

The cost of connecting doctors with rural patients electronically

Telehealth locations throughout Missouri are pinned and labelled on a map on Sept. 20 at the University Hospital in Columbia.
Lee Jian Chung KBIA

A shortage of rural health care professionals throughout the state has health systems connecting with patients in remote areas through telehealth.

At the University Hospital in Columbia, telehealth coordinator Samuel Woodard thumbs a remote which sends a camera at the far end of the room spinning around to face him. His co-workers at the Missouri Telehealth Network offices across town appear on the screen.

“Hey Katie, how’s it going? We’re just going over the equipment, showing him how the telehealth unit works.” Woodard says.

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Health & Wealth Update
5:31 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Telehealth can connect rural areas with medical care

Missouri Telehealth Network coordinator Samuel Woodard holds up an otoscope, a tool used for examining the inside of an ear canal, which is able to provide a live feed to a television screen on Sept. 20 at the University Hospital in Columbia.
Lee Jian Chung KBIA

In September, the state awarded grants to eleven rural Missouri hospitals to improve broadband internet connections speeds. The connection would be used for telehealth, a way rural towns access physicians in bigger cities electronically. KBIA’s Lee Jian Chung brings us the first of a two part series on the expansion of telehealth services in Missouri.

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Health & Wealth Report
2:49 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

The end of a lead-laced era: polluting smelter to close after 120 years

Jack and Leslie Warden, at the gate that now blocks their old street in Herculaneum.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Herculaneum, Mo., a small town on the bluffs above the Mississippi River, was always a company town.  The company, Doe Run, is the largest lead producer in North America, trucking in lead from Missouri's rich mines to a 120-year-old smelter on the river.  For 25 years, the smelter didn't meet federal air standards for lead, and now, after decades of battling government regulators and angry parents, Doe Run is leaving town at the end of next year.

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Health & Wealth Update
9:25 am
Wed August 8, 2012

New autism guide helps parents and providers sift through mountains of research

Kim Ratcliffe thumbs through the autism interventions guide.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

As more and more children are diagnosed with autism, there's also a lot more research on the disorder.  Now, a new guidebook can help Missouri parents and people who work with kids on the autism spectrum sort through it all.

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Health & Wealth Update
1:51 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Payday loans, minimum wage and cigarette tax one step closer to voters

Canvassing in Columbia, earlier this year.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Initiatives that would cap payday loan interest rates, raise the Missouri minimum wage, and raise the state's tobacco tax are a step closer to the November ballot, after a Missouri Supreme Court ruling yesterday. The three initiatives were tied up for months in court – one judge struck down the payday petition, ruling the ballot summary was "likely to deceive petition signers." But yesterday, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld all three ballot summaries.

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Health & Wealth Update
9:50 am
Wed July 18, 2012

New autism center director talks research, treatment, and access

Stephen Kanne is returning as executive director of the MU Thompson Center.
MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

The MU Thompson Center for Autism is one of the nation's leading autism centers, combining treatment, training and research. Starting in September, the center will have a new director. I spoke with Stephen Kanne about the challenges and opportunities ahead for autism research, treatment and accessibility of treatment.

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Politics
5:22 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Congress votes to repeal 'Obamacare,' again

Republican Vicky Hartzler, who represents part of mid-Missouri, was among the 239 Republicans voting yes to repeal "Obamacare."

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives voted today to repeal the federal health care law. The House has voted more than 30 times to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act. Every Republican in Congress voted for the repeal, including mid-Missouri's two representatives.

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Health & Wealth Update
11:33 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Half a million Missourians to gain insurance under health care law

Percentage of Missourians Under Age 65 Who Were Uninsured in 2009, by County,
covermissouri.org

In Missouri, an estimated 835,000 people don't have health insurance – that's about 14 percent of the state's population. But in the next couple of years, that figure is going to change. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld most of the federal health care law, about half a million Missourians will join the rolls of the insured – either through Medicaid, the private insurance market, or with the help of subsidies provided by the federal government. The percentage of uninsured will drop to five percent of the population.

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Health & Wealth Update
7:05 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Missouri Medicaid expansion up in the air

"A victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it."
whitehouse.gov

After last week's Supreme Court decision upholding most of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama declared victory. But there was one major gray cloud -- or silver lining, depending on your point of view -- leaving open the question of Missouri's participation in the expansion of Medicaid envisioned by the federal health care law.

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Health & Wealth Update
5:26 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

After Supreme Court decision on health care, Missourians split on next step

Republican State Representative Chris Molendorp, who chairs the House Health Insurance Committee, said the ruling has a "silver lining for states' rights advocates."
Jacob Fenston KBIA

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the federal health care law in a ruling this morning. Among Missouri officials, and on the streets of downtown Columbia this afternoon, reaction was mixed.

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Health & Wealth Update
4:08 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

New dental school targets Missouri's dentist shortage

Jack Magruder, president of A.T. Still University, standing in front of the future school of dentistry in Kirksville.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

About 20 percent of Missourians live in areas where there aren't enough dentists, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In Kirksville, the A.T. Still University is tackling the problem by building a new school of dentistry, which, in a few years, will be graduating dozens of new dentists each year.

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Politics
4:02 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

U.S. Senate passes farm bill, Missouri senators both on board

Wally Gobetz Flikr

The U.S. Senate passed a new half-trillion dollar farm bill today, funding programs from farm subsidies to food stamps for the next five years. Both of Missouri's senators voted yes on the bipartisan bill.

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Health & Wealth
3:40 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Community health centers get new federal dollars

Jay Angoff, regional director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announces the new grants in California, Missouri.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Three community health centers in Missouri are getting new funding from the federal government. The grants announced today aim to help expand care for the medically underserved.

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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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