Policymakers taking note that disconnect between dentistry, medicine can have deadly consequences

As anyone who has ever mistakenly thought that medical insurance would cover their visit to the dentist knows, the worlds of medicine and dentistry don’t overlap much. They almost never overlap when it comes to education, insurance coverage or practice. Physicians go to medical school, and dentists go to dental school. Your doctor likely isn’t concerned with whether you floss regularly,...

Majority of Kentucky adults have experienced abuse linked to physical, mental health issues

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Many health-care providers have started looking at adverse childhood experiences when assessing their patients’ poor health because ACEs have been linked to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential and early death, and because 59 percent of Kentucky adults were exposed to at least one such experience as a child. “There...

Our Lady of Peace opens first retail pharmacist-operated injection clinic to treat opioid abuse

Kentucky is again leading the nation in finding ways to combat the opioid epidemic, as Louisville’s Our Lady of Peace has become the nation’s first behavioral health care center to open a retail pharmacist-operated, long-acting injection clinic, Joe Sonka reports for Insider Louisville. Pharmacists at the clinic will provide monthly shots of long-acting medications to help patients with...

Health care bill appears dead for this year, but changes still likely in Medicaid, subsidized insurance

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News What does the failure of the bill to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare,” mean for Kentucky? Probably not much right away, but big changes are still likely next year in the Medicaid program, the expansion of which under the 2010 law had a much larger impact on Kentucky than reform of the private...

After meeting with Trump, Barr tells town meeting he will vote ‘enthusiastically’ for GOP health reform bill

A day after meeting with President Trump, Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Lexington told constituents Saturday that he would vote for the health-reform bill proposed by leaders of his party because it is the only alternative to Democrats’ 2010 reform law. Asked if he would vote against the bill, “I’m not going to vote no on something that’s better than the status quo. I’m going to vote...

Paul says conservatives won’t support Republican health plan, hope to negotiate one more to their liking

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul laid out his objections to House GOP leaders’ bill to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Paul called for an end to federal mandates for what insurance policies must cover, which the 2010 law called “essential benefits.” He said that change would enable consumers to buy the sort...

Pence touts Republican health plan, seeking Paul’s support; Dems say remarks about state are off base

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Kentucky again became the epicenter of the health-care debate on Saturday, as Vice President Mike Pence claimed in Louisville that “Kentucky is a textbook example of Obamacare’s failures,” while Democrats said Pence didn’t know what he was talking about. “Obamacare has failed the people of Kentucky, Obamacare has failed the people of America...

Bill making all Kentucky schools tobacco-free appears dead for this session, Hoover says

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A bill that would ban tobacco use on school properties and at school events has all but died in the state House, despite its quick passage in the Senate and polling that says Kentuckians would support such a mandate. “We are probably not going to do that this session. . . . With the change of direction in the caucus, we are probably not going to do that,”...

Kentucky, surrounding states have fewer companies on government health insurance exchanges

The number of health insurance companies offering subsidized coverage didn’t shrink just in Kentucky, but in most of adjoining states, according to a study done for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The report found that the number of insurers on Kentucky’s exchange dropped to three in 2017 from seven in 2016. Likewise, the number of insurers in Illinois and Indiana also dropped by...

Nurse practitioners ease doctor shortage, but won’t get more authority to prescribe narcotics

They’re not doctors, but they do a lot of the same things, probably most things most patients need. They’re nurse practitioners, officially known as advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs. Kentucky has 5,400 of them, and they are helping ease the state’s shortage of doctors, reports Darla Carter of The Courier-Journal. “Since the expansion of the Affordable Care Act, there’s...

House health-care draft suggests a proposed plan that could leave rural areas short of coverage

A 100-page draft of a House Republican plan to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act suggests that rural, middle-class Americans may soon struggle to afford health insurance. The document, which was leaked to Politico last week, specifies that Medicaid expansion for low-income, able-bodied adults won’t be completely eliminated, but eligibility and funding will be rolled back after...

Poll finds most Kentucky adults have access to healthy food, but don’t take advantage of it

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Most Kentucky adults don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables every day, even though most of them say they have easy access to them, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll. “Too many Kentuckians still aren’t getting their ‘apple a day’,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky,...

Former Gov. Beshear set to give national Democratic response to Trump’s address to Congress Tuesday

Former Gov. Steve Beshear will give his party’s response to President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress Tuesday night, “highlighting the Kentucky Democrat’s efforts to expand health care coverage under the law Republicans are determined to repeal and replace,” The Associated Press reports. The choice of Beshear, who left office almost 15 months ago, was announced by Senate...

KHIP poll finds 22 percent of Kentucky adults say they delay or forgo health care due to the cost

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Two in 10 Kentucky adults continue to report that someone in their household has delayed or skipped needed medical care because of cost, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll. The survey found that such struggles are greatest for the poor, people with the poorest health, and those without health insurance. The poll, taken from Sept. 11 to Oct. 19,...

Health care debate shifts away from politics with Obama gone, moves toward care, Guthrie says

“With President Barack Obama out of office, the debate over ‘Obamacare’ is becoming less about ‘Obama’ and more about ‘care,’ greatly complicating the issue for Republican lawmakers,” writes Jonathan Martin, national political correspondent in the Washington Bureau of The New York Times. “Polling indicates that more Republicans want to make fixes...

Study analysis of hospital safety estimates more than 200,000 preventable facility-related deaths each year

An analysis of two well-controlled studies estimates that the number of preventable hospital-associated deaths are over 200,000 each year, argues a commentary in the Journal of Patient Safety. In an online review, Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, the lead analyst, acknowledges that critics of such studies will say the data is flawed because they often include older and sicker patients. However, he adds they also...

Leader of Lexington’s smoking ban effort, Dr. David Stevens, passes away at age 87

Dr. David Stevens, a retired orthopedic surgeon who was instrumental in getting a smoking ban in Lexington, died Monday at age 87. Stevens, a Republican, served on the nonpartisan Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council from 1992 to 2008 as an at-large and 5th District member. He was a member of the merger commission that drafted the charter for the merged government, Tom Eblen reports for the Lexington...

Comparing Kentucky Hospitals: Combining several ratings provide method to see where facilities rank

A federal agency, magazines and a consulting group have compiled ratings that allow comparison of hospitals. Now Dr. Kevin Kavanagh of Somerset-based Health Watch USA has compiled the ratings, allowing comparison of hospitals across rating methods. “It needs to be stated on the front end that the hospital industry is not happy with the current quality measurements,” Kavanagh writes for...

Study says older adults with arthritis need just 45 minutes of moderate activity per week

Older adults with arthritis need 45 minutes of “moderate activity” a week to maintain functional independence, a study has concluded. That’s about one-third the amount called for by federal guidelines, which say people need 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. Only one in 10 older Americans with arthritis in their knees meet that guideline, says the news release from Northwestern...

As national consumption increases, new book claims sugar is our nutritional enemy

For about decade as the century started, more and more Americans appeared to obey the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s advice to eat less sugar. But that trend of improvement has leveled off, according to statistics released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data show that about half of American adults drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily and...