A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rates for Obamacare in Kentucky will cost more or less in 2020 depending on insurer, type of plan

Federally subsidized health insurance in Kentucky next year will cost more or less than this year, depending on the insurer and the type of plan. And many consumers will have more choices. Policies offered on the federal insurance exchange by Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky will go up an average of 9.7 percent, which 2.3 percentage points less than the 12 percent Anthem asked of the state Department...

Youths using e-cigarettes more likely to try marijuana; connection increased with refillable e-cig pods

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Young people who use electronic cigarettes are more likely to use marijuana, and the odds are even greater for those who start using e-cigarettes early, according to newly published research. The analysis of 21 separate studies, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that the odds of marijuana use were 3½ times higher among youth who used electronic cigarettes,...

Foundation for a Healthy Ky. makes TV, radio spots of youth discussing e-cigarettes available to anyone

From Rural Blog The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has released four new public service announcements to show the dangers young people subject themselves to by using electronic cigarettes. The spots are part of the foundation’s “I Just Didn’t Know” campaign and feature Kentucky teens. The new PSAs include two 30-second videos for television and a 30-second and 60-second...

Joe Camel was forced out of ads nearly 50 years ago, so why is Juul allowed on television?

By Michelle Andrews Kaiser Health News Why does e-cigarette maker Juul advertise its product on TV when cigarette ads are banned? The short answer: Because it can. For nearly 50 years, cigarette advertising has been banned from TV and radio. But electronic cigarettes — those battery-operated devices that often resemble oversized USB flash drives with flavored nicotine “pods” that clip in on the...

Shelley Shearer: Tips for parents on creative back-to-school dental routines (and pack healthy lunches)

Routine. That’s the key to a successful start of the school year. While you establish set schedules for bedtime, homework and electronic device time, don’t forget to enforce dental routines. Here’s an easy guide for every parent. Establish Daily Dental Rituals Set times for tooth-brushing and flossing. Remember when your little one went through infant sleep training? You created rituals so that...

CHFS unveils new health information exchange, moving to platform with enhanced functionality

The Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) has moved to a new platform with enhanced functionality and features for health providers across the Commonwealth. The updated system was unveiled at the 2019 eHealth Summit in Lexington. KHIE is administered by the Division of Health Information, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). The secure, statewide network allows providers...

Grant allows former Ky. governor to start treatment, housing for addicts in 101 rural counties, 47 in state

An organization headed by former Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher will get $6.6 million in federal funds “to establish a center of excellence for substance-abuse disorder and . . . provide treatment and housing options for low-income and high-risk individuals in 47 Kentucky counties,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a press release. Dr. Ernie Fletcher spoke in...

Rural hospitals are likely to suffer from limit on payments for Medicaid and unisured patients

Many if not most rural hospitals are likely to take a hit from an Aug. 13 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. “Hospitals that care for a large share of Medicaid, low-income and uninsured patients stand to receive less funding from the federal government after the D.C. Circuit reconsidered how Medicaid disproportionate-share hospital reimbursement is calculated,”...

‘Juul-alikes’ fill niche after firm stopped some sales; Drug Free Lexington video target e-cig users

Pressed by the chief of the Food and Drug Administration last fall, Juul Labs “stopped selling most of its hugely popular flavored nicotine pods in stores last fall,” but now other companies are “trumpeting their own fruity and candy-flavored pods as compatible with Juul devices,” Sheila Kaplan reports for The New York Times. That illustrates “just how entrenched the youth...

Hepatitis A outbreaks shadowing growing opioid epidemic as number of cases rises across country

By Laura Ungar Kaiser Health News AKRON, Ohio — Just before the Fourth of July, Trenton Burrell began feeling run-down and achy. Soon he could barely muster the energy to walk from one room to another. A friend shared an alarming observation: “You’re turning yellow.” Within days, the 40-year-old landed in the hospital, diagnosed with the highly contagious liver virus hepatitis A, which in Ohio...

Bevin, University of Louisville, KentuckyOne Health strike deal for acquisition of Jewish Hospital

Gov. Matt Bevin and University of Louisville President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi have announced a plan to secure the future of the Jewish Hospital and other KentuckyOne Health properties and their employees. Under the deal, University Medical Center Inc., owned by U of L, would acquire Jewish Hospital and other KentuckyOne Health assets located in the metro Louisville region and then integrate them into...

Interactive map of DEA database shows Kentucky a major source of pain pills from 2006 through 2012

Last month The Washington Post published a story and interactive map about the Drug Enforcement Administration database that reveals the distribution patterns of opioid painkillers from 2006 through 2012, when the opioid epidemic was surging. The first map showed the number of pills by county; a new map makes them easily visible by store, and the Post did a story about the data, with a list of the...

Workshop offers tips to keep kids save on farms; biggest risks include tractors, animals, machinery

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Growing up on a farm gives children the opportunity to play in ways that few others get to experience, and gain a set of useful skills, but agricultural safety experts caution that farm life also comes with safety challenges that all too often can result in injury or even death. According to the National Ag Safety Database, 33 children sustain agriculture-related...

FDA probing 127 reports of seizures and other neurological issues possibly related to e-cigarettes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating 127 reports of seizures, tremors, fainting or other neurological symptoms that may be related to electronic cigarettes, and is asking people to report if they have such symptoms, the agency announced last week. “The FDA is continuing its scientific investigation to determine if there’s a direct...

Bluegrass Care Navigators to complement clinical care plans with new integrative medicine program

Patients and families served by Bluegrass Care Navigators will soon have access to supportive therapies to complement their clinical care plan, through a new integrative medicine program.  Integrative Medicine brings conventional and complementary practices together in a coordinated way as part of the patient’s medical care plan. The program was developed at the recommendation of the organization’s...

Allen County Health Department nurse supervisor Carolyn Richey named latest Health Policy Champion

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has named Carolyn Richey, a nurse supervisor with the Allen County Health Department who has worked to increase access to healthy foods for youth, as the latest Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion. Carolyn Richey receives the Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion award from Ben Chandler, CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. (Photo by Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky) Richey,...

Foundation for a healthy Ky., Green River ADD to host health forum in Owensboro Aug. 14

Organizations and individuals working to improve health are invited to attend a Regional Community Health Forum in Owensboro on August 14. Hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in partnership with the Green River Area Development District (GRADD) and Green River District Health Department. The 90-minute afternoon forum will include information on efforts to address teen vaping and the latest...

Change in Medicare reimbursement rules means more money for 39 rural Kentucky hospitals

The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services said Friday that it will adjust its Medicare payment formula, starting in October, in a way that will boost payments to rural hospitals, which “have complained that this measure has unfairly disadvantaged some of them because wages are lower in their communities,” Dan Diamond reports for the Politico Pulse newsletter. (Photo from Rural Health...

CHFS launches new Medicaid program to help members obtain commercial insurance

In line with its commitment to support improved health outcomes for Kentuckians, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has launched a new Medicaid program. The Kentucky Integrated Health Insurance Premium Payment (KI-HIPP) program helps eligible Medicaid members cover the cost of an employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Kentuckians qualify for KI-HIPP if they or a member of their...

Health departments have another year before pension hikes kick in, but some are already raising taxes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News While local health departments are more than grateful that legislation passed in the recent special legislative session gives them another year to manage their looming pension crisis, several counties have already asked for a tax increase as a way to help pay for it. The Kentucky Department of Public Health said in an email last week that it had received 63 of...