A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KHIP: Nearly 8 in 10 Kentucky adults believe schools should help students access health services

Kentucky adults continue to support schools as a resource for helping families get health care services for their children, according to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll. Eight in 10 said schools should play a more active role in this effort, an opinion that has held steady over the last decade. KHIP, an annual telephone poll of Kentucky adults about health and health policy issues, is sponsored jointly...

Senate Bill 90 would let health professionals refuse treatment that violates their conscience

A bill to allow health-care professionals to refuse to provide treatment that violates their conscience is nearing a floor vote in the state Senate. Senate Bill 90, sponsored by Sen. Stephen Meredith, R-Leitchfield, would also exempt providers from liability for exercising their rights and allow individuals to sue if they have been injured through disciplinary action, such as being fired or demoted...

Kentuckians urged to prevent coronavirus by same protocols as influenza; virus can spread rapidly

The Kentucky Medical Association (KMA), the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care (KFMC) and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky are urging Kentuckians to practice known flu prevention protocols in light of Tuesday’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warning that the novel coronavirus is expected to spread within communities in the United States. “While novel coronavirus presents a low...

Number of new flu cases in Kentucky drops slightly; 66 adults have died from flu complications this year

The number of new cases of influenza dropped slightly in Kentucky during the second week of February, but 16 more adults in the state were reported to have died from the flu. So far, 66 Kentuckians have died from it this season, four under the age of 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. The latest weekly report shows that in the week ending Feb. 15, Kentucky counted 1,854 new cases,...

Children need 14 doctor visits before age 6, but many preschoolers are uninsured, especially in Kentucky

In 2018, the number of Kentucky pre-schoolers without health insurance was about half again as large as the number had been in 2016, and that was one of the largest increases in the country over that time. Researchers at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., found that 4 percent of Kentucky children under 6 lacked insurance in 2018. In 2016, it was 2.7%. In percentage points, Kentucky’s...

Baptist Health La Grange begins $5.8 million expansion, renovation of Emergency Department

Baptist Health La Grange is embarking on an expansion and renovation project with patient, staff and physician satisfaction at the heart of the plan. The $5.8 million investment will focus on renovating and expanding the Emergency Department (ED) to meet the following goals: • Increase capacity and maximize patient throughput • Enhance the overall patient experience • Improve the workflow,...

Baptist Health Lexington expands facilities with opening of cardiology space at Nicholasville Road

Baptist Health Lexington has expanded its facilities to diagnose, treat and prevent heart disease with the opening of its new cardiology space at its Nicholasville Road campus. The previous office included 20 rooms in around 16,000 square feet of space. The new space, located on the fourth floor of the 1720 building features 33 exam rooms with close to 27,000 square feet. A unique aspect of the workspace...

KET to air ‘Undiagnosed: The Diabetes Epidemic’ and panel discussion about the disease Feb. 24

Nearly half of Kentucky adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes — and many of them don’t know they have it. To shine a light on this issue, Kentucky Educational Television is airing “Undiagnosed: The Diabetes Epidemic,” a documentary that looks at the rising rates of diabetes and pre-diabetes in Kentucky, with a focus on what Kentuckians across the state are doing to reduce those...

Shani Bardach: When should you worry about your memory? When is forgetfulness an indicator?

Have you ever been ready to head out the door but can’t seem to remember where you put your keys? Or have you been standing in the grocery store trying to remember what else you need? Most people have had their own bouts of forgetfulness. When is this forgetfulness a concern or an indicator of something else going on? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, memory loss is one of the first signs...

Keeneland, UK HealthCare launch Kids Club to provide health education to wider audience

Keeneland and UK HealthCare have kicked off the Kids Club aspect of their new multiyear partnership announced last fall – now formally recognized as the Keeneland Kids Club in Partnership with UK HealthCare Kentucky Children’s Hospital – with the goal of providing health education to a wider audience. Established in 2012, the Keeneland Kids Club is the official Kids Club for Keeneland fans 12...

‘Too much death and despair: State, national medical associations behind bill to battle opioid epidemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation aimed at helping combat Kentucky’s opioid crisis has won the backing of both the Kentucky Medical Association and the American Medical Association. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser, R-Taylor Mill, would ban private insurers and the Medicaid system from conducting prospective or concurrent reviews of any prescription drug used in the treatment...

Bills to help health departments with pensions pass House; some will require public-health tax hikes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Two bills that were presented as part of a “three-phase approach” to create a sustainable solution to local health departments’ pension crisis passed the state House Feb. 13. The third part of the plan involves the state budget. The budget committee chair, Republican Rep. Steven Rudy of Paducah, cautioned House members that passage of the bills...

Flu cases creep up for third week in a row; nine more Kentuckians have died from it; get a flu shot

Amid all the headlines about the novel coronavirus, health experts warn that there is a much more prevalent and potentially deadly virus killing people in Kentucky: influenza. Through the week ended Feb. 8, Kentucky had reported 17,203 cases of flu this season, with 50 deaths from it, four of them people under 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. In an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader,...

Federal appeals court strikes down Medicaid work requirements that Bevin attempted to impose

A federal appeals court ruled Friday against the work requirements that then-Gov. Matt Bevin tried to impose on Medicaid enrollees who were not “medically frail” and had no dependents. The Trump administration was arbitrary and capricious when it approved Bevin’s plan and one in Arkansas, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled unanimously. Gov....

Department for Public Health issues health, safety guidelines in wake of severe flooding in Eastern Ky.

The Department for Public Health (DPH) is reminding Kentuckians to follow safety guidelines following severe flooding and water run-off events from recent rainfall across the state. Governor Andy Beshear, who today visited the Eastern Kentucky areas hardest hit by flood, praised residents for helping each other and told them his administration will support them. “We will use every resource available...

Baptist Health to celebrate Heart Health Month with full slate of speakers Saturday at Fayette Mall event

Visitors to the upcoming heart health event hosted by Baptist Health Lexington on Saturday, Feb. 15 at Fayette Mall, will learn the latest on topics including heart-healthy meals, the harmful effects of vaping, and exercises to strengthen your heart. It’s all a part of the free event from 9 a.m. to noon at Fayette Mall in front of Dillard’s. The day will include free health screenings,...

Poll finds Kentucky adults overwhelmingly favor legalizing medical marijuana; bill looms this week

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News As lawmakers move close to legalizing medical marijuana in Kentucky, a new poll shows that an overwhelming number of Kentucky adults would support such a measure, and that a solid majority would approve legalizing the drug under any circumstance. The latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll found that nine in 10 of adults in the state favor legalizing marijuana for...

Pension bill could force some Kentucky counties to raise taxes in order to receive state assistance

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Under a new pension funding proposal pending before the Kentucky General Assembly, some counties could be asked to increase their public-health taxes to help pay for their health departments’ pension liability. “Because we’ve been giving a free ride to some of these guys, they haven’t had to go to their communities and ask for a tax increase,”...

Eight more adults die from influenza in Ky. as cases continue to rise; many schools close due to illness

New cases of influenza inched up again in Kentucky during the week ended Feb. 1, and eight more adults in the state were reported dying from it. So far, 41 Kentuckians have died from the flu this season, three under the age of 18, according to the state Department for Public Health. The latest weekly report shows in the week ending Feb. 1, Kentucky counted 1,815 new cases, a slight increase from...

New nutrition labels use larger portion size, list added sugar which can causes many issues; how to limit it

Nutrition fact labels are the primary source of information about what’s in the food we eat, and they recently got their first update in 20 years. The Food and Drug Administration says it based the changes on “updated scientific information, new nutrition and public health research, more recent dietary recommendations from expert groups, and input from the public.” Manufacturers with...