Health and Wealth

A federal judge says that Obamacare navigators may dispense advice to those looking for insurance under the federal health reform law.

U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith on Wednesday struck down provisions of a Missouri law that bars insurance navigators from giving advice about health plans. He ruled that the law is preempted by the federal Affordable Care Act.

Jason Pratt / flickr

Expectant parents might considering hiring a doula to assist with the childbirth process, but to many, the role doulas play in that process remains a mystery. To learn more about doulas's work, KBIA's Sara Shahriari spoke with local doula and student midwife Sabrina Bias – who became interested in the profession after hiring a doula and midwife to assist with one of her own births. 


Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

One year ago, while reporting on infant mortality rates in Kennett, Missouri, I met a 27-year-old expectant mother named Marylouisa Cantu. She was pregnant with her seventh child.

Her sixth child, a daughter named Alyssa, was born two years earlier and had spent two weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit due to complications from premature birth.


Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

In January, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the state would expand dental benefits to an estimated 282,000 Medicaid recipients for the Fiscal Year 2016. The expansion is being funded with money collected from a one-time tax amnesty for delinquent taxpayers.

This marks the first time dental benefits have been included in Medicaid coverage in Missouri since 2005.


Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

Few inventions have had as dramatic an effect on policing as the Taser stun gun. The tool is billed as a "smart weapon" and often called a non-lethal alternative to guns for the thousands of law enforcement agencies that have adopted them across the country and the world. In fact, the company's website estimates more than 160,000 lives have been saved by use of the weapon.

But just how safe are the Taser weapons actually, and what is the public health cost of assuming they are non-lethal? Those are among the questions Nick Berardini asks in the documentary Killing Them Safely.


The rise in opioid drug abuse and gun violence have led to recent calls to overhaul the nation’s mental health care system. But a law passed by the U.S. Congress in 2014 is already driving a big new experiment in mental health care.  

ep_jhu / flickr

"If you ask a 15-year-old who's never been addicted to drugs, 'would you take heroin?' [they'd say,] 'Oh my gosh no,'" says Missouri State Representative Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston). 

"But after two years of addiction, and they can't afford to buy the pills anymore, and someone offers them heroin for ten bucks - it's not the bogeyman anymore."


highway
Dreamstime

After two years of declining numbers, Missouri recorded more than 800 traffic fatalities in 2015.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

By the time Alicia Curran’s son was a year old, she says she noticed a few things different about him. 

"Year two, we noticed a few more things," Curran recalls. "By three, there was no denying that autism was what he had."

Back in 2003, when her son was diagnosed, she says there weren’t a lot of answers for parents of children with autism. All that ambiguity was tough for a "mom with a lot of questions." 


Joe Gratz / Flickr

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey granted Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri a preliminary injunction against the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Monday.

This prevents the Department from revoking the Columbia clinic’s ambulatory surgical center license, which allows abortion services to be offered. 

The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic cannot offer abortion services at the moment because their doctor’s privileges at the University of Missouri Hospital were eliminated back at the beginning of December.

Rosemary / Flickr

 

A consultant has submitted an application to build a $12.7 million, 60-bed psychiatric hospital in southeast Columbia to the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the certificate of need application was submitted by Thomas Piper, CEO of MacQuest Consulting, on Wednesday.

"Just Say No" is not enough anymore, according to a new report from the Trust for America's Health.

Christopher Hawkins / Flickr

You've probably heard infants babbling strings of syllables before they start using words, but have you ever wondered why?

University of Missouri researcher Mary Fagan examined that question in a recent study by comparing speech development in babies with normal hearing, babies with profound hearing loss and babies with cochlear implants-a surgically implanted device that can help the deaf hear.


HealthCare.gov

The deadline to receive health insurance beginning January 1, 2016, by enrolling in coverage through federal marketplace has been extended 48 hours, to December 17 at 11:59 p.m. PST. The initial deadline had been yesterday, December 15. 

A release on the HealthCare.gov website said the extended deadline was due to "unprecedented demand at HealthCare.gov and our Marketplace Call Center."

Flickr Creative Commons

  Jeremy Milarksy sits behind his office computer and opens up the calendar of appointments for the week. There’s hardly any white space. Appointments are scheduled back-to-back.

Milarsky expected that this week.

“We've been very, very busy around here because it's close to a deadline day,” he says.

Next Tuesday, December 15, is the last day to enroll in health insurance through the federal marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act to guarantee health coverage starting January 1, 2016.


Millersburg, Ohio is a 700-mile drive from Unionville, Missouri, so it’s an unlikely place for a Unionville resident to schedule a medical procedure. That is, unless they’re paying cash.

It was worth it for Truman, a Mennonite farmer who lives just outside of Unionville. "The best price I could get around here, I would still save $3000 to $4000 [by] going to Ohio," he recalls.


Jonathan Steffens / Flickr

MU Professor James Mann recently completed research that sheds more light on what we know about football injuries.  The data was collected from the 2011 Missouri Tigers football team and reveals a new correlation between academic stress and football injuries.


Missouri Office of the Attorney General

  Americans are living longer, and in most cases, that comes with more healthcare costs, especially at the end of life. In a study this year, researchers at the University of Missouri found more Americans are preparing for the end of life through conversations and legal documents, and are reducing health care costs along the way.


Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

Price transparency can be hard to come by in health care. Putnam County Memorial Hospital, a small hospital in Missouri, is banking its future on having its prices out in the public.

Journal of Mental Pathology

There’s big change on the horizon for the public mental health safety net. The Excellence in Mental Health Act is being called the "biggest federal investment in mental health and addiction services in generations."

To discuss the changes, and to learn how Missouri’s mental health system has fared since federal funding was rolled back for Community Mental Health Centers, KBIA sat down with Brent McGinty, President and CEO of the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare.


The Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia has stopped performing medically-induced abortions. The Columbia Tribune reports that the clinic ceased offering the abortions Monday. 

Daniela Vidal /KBIA

Nurse practitioners have been a part of Missouri’s health care scene for the past fifty years. The state has a shortage of primary care doctors, but state laws restrict nurse practitioners from filling that void.

Few nurse practitioners find a way to open their own practice with these restrictions in place, but Pat Bauer, who opened her practice in Wildwood, Missouri last May, found a way.

When she finished her schooling, Bauer applied to more than 30 jobs.  She heard back from just two.

One of the interviews particularly sticks out in Bauer’s mind. 

Syphilis Rates Increase in Boone County, Nationwide

Nov 19, 2015

National rates of syphilis were high last year according to the data released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Imagine going to a doctor’s appointment and not knowing how to get to the office, not understanding the complicated health care system and not speaking the language of the health care provider you were seeing.

Well, this can be the case for many new refugees settling in the US, and one Columbia agency, Refugee and Immigration Services, has partnered with senior nursing students from the Sinclair School of Nursing for the past few years, to help bridge those gaps. The Health Navigation Program helps new refugees learn how to efficiently and effectively navigate the health care system.


Capital Region Medical Center Hosts Open House

Nov 2, 2015

The public turned out Monday for the official open house of the newly renovated Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City. The $38 million expansion project, which broke ground in February 2014, includes 115,000 square feet of clinical space.

The new clinics have been phasing in since early October, and will continue to do so until mid-December. The project will eventually bring all of the clinics and specialty providers under one roof. The new wing incudes artwork from local artists, and even includes a photograph of the Capital taken by Mayor Carrie Tergin.

Samantha Kummerer / KBIA

From Friday night football games to Saturday volleyball matches, a new figure is taking a spot on the sidelines.

According to a 2015 study by the Korey Stringer Institute, 70 percent of public secondary schools nationwide have access to an athletic trainer. That total is up from 1994 when only 35 percent of high schools reported having access to an athletic trainer.


Jared Wong / Flickr

Researchers from the University of Missouri released a study tying mental health to forgiveness in older adults. By analyzing data from the Religion, Aging and Health Survey, Associate Professor of Human Development of Family Science Christine Proulx found a significant difference between how forgiveness impacts men and women's mental health.


University of Missouri

The University of Missouri will again allow nursing students to gain clinical experience at Planned Parenthood clinics.

Flickr

A candidate for Missouri lieutenant governor says he's launching a campaign to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

The Kansas City Star reports Brad Bradshaw, a Democrat, said Tuesday that he's submitted a medical marijuana initiative petition to the state Secretary of State's office for review. If the petition is approved and garners enough signatures, Missouri voters would decide next year whether the state constitution should be amended to allow the sale of marijuana for medical reasons.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

In rural communities, finding transportation to basic health care services can be difficult. So what if instead of making people come to health care – the health care came to them?

Well, the Mobile Mammography Van through Ellis Fischel Cancer Center is working to do just that - bringing preventative mammogram screenings to rural communities.


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