A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Gov. Beshear announces more actions aimed at protecting Kentucky families in COVID-19 pandemic

Gov. Andy Beshear Wednesday announced more actions he is taking to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect Kentuckians. “This is our duty. This is the challenge that we face in our lifetimes,” Gov. Beshear said of people doing their part to stop the coronavirus. “None of us have seen anything like this before, but I believe we are up to it. I believe we can do this,...

Clinicians suspected Kentucky’s first case of coronavirus, but patient didn’t qualify for testing

Crystal Miller, head of the health department serving Harrison County, at a press conference Saturday. Others, L to R: Gov. Andy Beshear; Health Commissioner Steven Stack; Harrison County Judge-Executive Alex Barnett; Cynthiana Mayor James Smith; and Mark Newman, head of UK HealthCare. (Photo from KHN) By Melissa Patrick and Al Cross Kentucky Health News Kentucky found its first case of the new coronavirus,...

John Inman: Ky’s rural healthcare facilities are in crisis — and Senate Bill 50 will further reduce access

Kentucky’s rural healthcare facilities are in crisis. Our Commonwealth is ranked as having one of the highest percentage of hospitals at risk of closure in the nation with nearly one-fourth of rural hospitals in Kentucky at risk of closure. The most at-risk of closure are the small, nonprofit or public safety-net hospitals. These hospitals, along with nonprofit primary care clinics known as Federally...

Dennis Keene: Beshear’s proposed budget moves Kentucky forward, reverses effects from years of cuts

In my previous roles at Southbank Partners and as the 67th district representative, my mission was to fight for economic development and growth for Northern Kentucky. Now, as the commissioner for the Department for Local Government (DLG) I am broadening that purpose by collaborating with local officials across the commonwealth to improve every community. So far, I am encouraged by Gov. Andy Beshear’s...

Legislation to legalize medical marijuana overwhelmingly clears House committee

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky easily won passage in a House committee on Wednesday. “We want to get this to as many sick people as we possibly can,” said Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, the main sponsor of the bill, which has undergone much fine-tuning before coming before the House Judiciary Committee. “As part of that, 13.5 percent of the...

Emily Beauregard: More Kentucky young children lack health insurance, but things could be changing

If you’ve ever had young children, you know how often they need to see a doctor. With well-baby appointments, routine immunizations for toddlers, and screenings for development milestones with preschoolers, pediatricians recommend that children have 15 check-ups by the time they’re 6 years old. That’s why it’s so alarming that the number of children under age 6 without health coverage is growing....

Attorney General announces more than $170,000 returned to Medicaid program as part of multistate agreement

Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that the Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control returned more than $170,000 to the state’s Medicaid program as part of a multistate agreement with web-based electronic health records company Practice Fusion, Inc. The agreement settles allegations that the company accepted payments from specific drug manufacturers in exchange for promoting the same manufacturers’...

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Leaky Bucket update shows state still struggling to slow spending

Kentucky continues to struggle to slow state spending in key areas that are diverting funds from investments in education, according to a new report from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. The Leaky Bucket: 10 Years Later, released Tuesday, is an update of the Chamber’s original report that identified corrections, Medicaid and public employee benefits as major budget leaks that were consuming tax...

Passport Health Plan moves forward with West Louisville project, releases RFP for development

Passport Health Plan is taking the next step to revive the construction of its planned headquarters development at Louisville’s intersection of 18th and Broadway. The health plan, which administers Medicaid benefits to more than 300,000 members statewide, has announced it is releasing a Request For Proposals (RFP) the week of Jan. 6 to identify parties interested in developing the prominent site....

Commerce Lexington releases legislative agenda in preparation for 60-day regular legislative session

Commerce Lexington Inc. has released its legislative agenda developed by the Public Policy Council and aimed at improving Kentucky’s business climate. The group’s advocacy position statements guide the organization’s advocacy efforts for the year.    Click to access full reportReview the 2020 LEGISLATIVE FOCUS to learn about issues Commerce Lexington Inc. will be tracking on behalf...

Ky. taking advantage of five-year-old federal policy allowing more kids on Medicaid to get healthcare

Trimble County school nurse Nellie Hewitt takes as student’s temperature at Bedford Elementary School. After a federal rule changed five years ago, states are billing Medicaid for health care provided in schools. (Photo by Amy Wallot, Kentucky Teacher) By Michael Ollove Pew Charitable Trusts A mountain of evidence proves it: Good health translates to better student performance. Children who have...

Insure Kentucky: Strong safety net programs are vital in helping communities across Kentucky thrive

Safety net programs like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) fill gaps in access to food, financial support and medical care across the commonwealth. Recently, these critical programs have been in the public conversation. Members of the Public Assistance Reform Task Force have concluded their work and recommended further...

Pew Trusts: The politics of Medicaid expansion have changed; trend appears likely to continue in 2020

By Michael Ollove Pew Charitable Trusts Year by year, resistance to extending Medicaid to more low-income Americans in conservative states has given way. That trend seems likely to continue into 2020. In some states, Democratic governors who favor expansion have replaced Republicans who were stalwart opponents. GOP critics have had a change of heart in some holdout states. And in several Republican-led...

Medicaid program for employer-sponsored insurance premiums has new application process

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A program that will pay the premiums of working Medicaid members who have access to insurance through their employers has a “new and improved” application process, the state says. The voluntary program, called the Kentucky Integrated Health Insurance Premium Payment program or KI-HIPP, allows Medicaid members to sign up for their employer-sponsored...

Kentucky receives approval to provide increased access to Medicaid health services for students

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has received final approval for a Medicaid state plan amendment that will expand health services in schools. The change to Medicaid will be phased in during the current school year, and approval for direct services reimbursements to school districts is retroactive to Aug. 1. “Approval of this amendment is a game-changer,” said CHFS Secretary Adam...

Open enrollment for federally subsidized health insurance begins this Friday, runs through Dec. 15

Open enrollment for federally subsidized health insurance in Kentucky next year will begin this Friday (Nov. 1) and run through Dec. 15. Plans will cost more or less than this year, depending on the insurer and the type of plan. And many consumers will have more choices. (Click for larger image) Policies offered on the federal insurance exchange by Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky will be an average...

Attorney General Andy Beshear announces $40 million in settlements in two drug lawsuits

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Andy Beshear announced settlements in lawsuits against two drug companies Wednesday that are worth nearly $40 million. “Oftentimes it takes years, sometimes it even takes almost a decade, to hold these large companies accountable for the harms they inflict on our families. Today, we have won two of those battles,” Beshear told a Capitol press conference...

Officials say issues with Medicaid pharmacy benefit managers will be a priority in next legislative session

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News State Rep. Danny Bentley didn’t mince words when he told a health advocacy group that a priority of the next legislative session will be to deal with pharmacy benefit managers’ Medicaid payments to drug stores. Independent pharmacies in Kentucky and around the nation have said for years that the problems are so bad that PBMs threaten their survival. “I’m...

Federal judges indicate they aren’t likely to revive Governor’s plan for Medicaid work requirements

Federal judges were dubious Friday of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s campaign to add work requirements to the Medicaid program, as they heard an appeal of rulings that have blocked it. “People are going to lose coverage … and you haven’t addressed that,” Judge Harry Edwards told Trump administration lawyers during oral arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia...

U.S. Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments Friday related to Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., will hear oral arguments today in a case concerning Gov. Matt Bevin’s changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program, known as Kentucky HEALTH. Earlier this year, a federal judge blocked the new rules, which would have required Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer for 80 hours a month in order to receive...