A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KHIP: Kentucky adults familiar with needle exchange programs more likely to support them; almost half do

As leaders in Kentucky continue to implement strategies to reduce the harm of injection drug use, needle exchange programs are becoming more common throughout the Commonwealth. Data from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services show that more than 50 such programs are currently operating in the state. To better understand public opinion about these programs, which are also commonly called...

Franklin County Circuit Court delays hearing in Passport Health Plan rate case; now set for March 5

A Franklin County Circuit Court judge, at the request of the state’s attorneys, has delayed the initial hearing in a lawsuit Passport Health Plan filed against the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Originally scheduled for Tuesday, the hearing will now take place March 5. Passport filed suit on Feb. 15 after months of discussions with leaders at the Cabinet and its Department for...

Passport halts construction on West Louisville HQ; nonprofit health plan seeking critical rate relief

Passport Health Plan is delaying construction on its new headquarters building at 18th and Broadway while the organization attempts to resolve a dispute with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services. Passport is seeking immediate relief from a reduction in reimbursement rates that disproportionately impacts Medicaid beneficiaries in the Louisville area – where the majority of Passport’s...

Judge Bertlesman denies ‘qualified immunity’ to social workers in Holly and David Schulker’s lawsuit

By Judy Clabes KyForward publisher U.S. District Senior Judge William O. Bertelsman issued a rare ruling in a Covington lawsuit when he denied “qualified immunity” for two social workers employed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “Qualified immunity” is rarely – if ever – set aside for social workers in Kentucky, growing as it does from “sovereign immunity” of...

Kentucky food benefits customers to get February benefits early in wake of government shutdown

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is giving an update to food benefits recipients because of the partial federal government shutdown and its effect on assistance distribution. Tuesday, Jan. 15, is the deadline for completion of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cases for early issuance. Applicants who are approved after Jan. 15 and before Jan. 30 will receive...

Cabinet for Health and Family Services Child Welfare Summit set for January 16 at Cardinal Stadium

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) will host the first-ever Child Welfare Summit at the University of Louisville Cardinal Stadium next month, and prospective participants should save the date. Participants in the “Transformers of Child Welfare” event on Jan. 16, 2019, will focus on transforming child welfare in Kentucky, and leading the nation in implementing the Family...

Department of Public Health reminding all Kentuckians to get vaccinated against flu

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reminding Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the flu. “Getting the flu can be debilitating and sometimes life-threatening,” said Jeffrey Howard, M.D., commissioner of DPH. “Vaccination is the best tool we have to prevent the flu and it is also extremely important to take simple preventive steps to avoid the flu and other illnesses...

Kentucky Health Cabinet takes steps to address lack of adequate ambulance service in several counties

Citing a research report released by Pegasus Institute in July, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has issued an emergency administrative regulation to meet a public health crisis in counties without adequate ambulance service. The Cabinet pointed to the Louisville-based think tank’s white paper which found that several larger Kentucky counties have only one Class I ambulance provider...

Statewide campaign urges ‘Focus on Flu’ in advance of statewide flu shot day September 26

“Focus on Flu” is a statewide campaign launched in Frankfort Thursday to prevent another epidemic-level flu season like the one last year that hit every region of the state, infected 10,500 Kentuckians and led to the deaths of 325 people, including five children. The campaign urges Kentuckians to get their flu shots on Kentucky Flu Shot Day, which is September 26, or at least by the end of October,...

Pew Trusts: It’s hard to manage your credit when you’ve never been taught about ‘interest’

By Marsha Mercer Pew Trusts When Kentucky state Treasurer Allison Ball and a colleague talked with high school seniors last year about credit cards and other pieces of the personal finance puzzle, something wasn’t right. “We kept using the word ‘interest’ and we kept getting blank stares,” Ball recalled. Finally, she asked the students who knew what interest is. No one did. “Here they...

Democrats claim Bevin’s requirement that able-bodied Medicaid recipients must work is illegal

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Democrats claimed Monday that actions by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration to require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work are illegal. 

A contingent of Democratic leaders led by U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth made the claim at a press conference outside a Louisville health clinic.

“Medicaid is not a work program,” Yarmuth said.  “It is a program...

Prichard Committee gets W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant to expand access to early care and education

Developing innovative methods to support family home child care providers will be the focus of a new initiative of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, which will work in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Division of Child Care. The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent statewide advocacy organization dedicated to the improvement...

Lawmakers named to permanent child welfare committee created by passage of HB 1

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislative leaders have named most of the members of the permanent Child Welfare and Oversight Advisory Committee created by the passage of House Bill 1, the adoption and foster care reform measure in the 2018 General Assembly. Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, named three Republican members: Sens. Julie Raque Adams of Louisville, Tom Buford of Nicholasville...

Aetna Foundation donates $50,000 to Chrysalis House to fund employment training services

During the R. J. Corman 5K Run/Walk to benefit Chrysalis House on earlier this month Aetna Better Health of Kentucky, which operates the company’s Medicaid plan, presented a $50,000 Aetna Foundation grant to help Chrysalis further its employment training services. Aetna Better Health and the Aetna Foundation know that a positive health impact can be made when communities work together to tackle social...

Tick warning: Bites can transmit serious, potentially deadly illnesses; plan ahead to protect yourself

With spring now in full swing, people are taking advantage of the warmer weather and spending more time outside. This also is the time when tick activity increases across Kentucky. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Kentucky Department for Public Health are reminding people to take precautions against tick bites, which can transmit serious and potentially deadly illnesses. “A...

2018 legislature: Big winners — children in foster care, crime victims; the rest — losers and questions

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The 2018 General Assembly is now history and while there are some obvious winners and losers, there are two other categories to consider: “both” or “too soon to tell.” Children in foster care, or awaiting adoption, is one area that is an obvious winner. A bipartisan working group named on the final day of the 2017 session by then-Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown,...

R.J. Corman 5K Run/Walk benefitting Chrysalis House set for May 19 in Nicholasville

The R. J. Corman 5K Run/Walk to benefit Chrysalis House will be held Saturday, May 19, at R. J. Corman Railroad Group in Nicholasville. Online registration is now available online at www.cormanracesforchrysalis.com or by calling 859-977-2502. Pre-registration is $20 and will remain open until Wednesday, May 16. Early packet pickup will be Thursday, May 17th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, May 18th...

State providing financial assistance to family foster caregivers; relatives, fictive kin could get payments

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has begun financial assistance payments to eligible relative and fictive kin caregivers with children placed in their home by CHFS. An October 2017 federal court ruling by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case D.O. v. Glisson requires that Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster parents in the same manner it pays adults...

Stress can increase child abuse and neglect during holidays; here are tips, reminders of responsibility

Stress can increase during the holidays, even in the most loving of families. And that can put some children at risk for abuse or neglect. With children home from school, holiday travel and seasonal shopping and associated expenses, parents can get frazzled more easily than usual. What is typically a fun and joyful time for children can become devastating when parents or caregivers cope with stress...

Public Service Commission reports Natural Gas costs to rise this winter, provides assistance options

Kentucky residents who heat their homes with natural gas will see somewhat higher prices at the start of the 2017-2018 heating season than they did a year ago, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) advised today. Gas prices have risen, on average, about 13 percent from this time last year, but are still about 58 percent below the November 2008 average price of $11.70. When base rates – which...