Audio of WKU Public Radio's story about a new breast cancer radiation program in Kentucky
When Brenda Bradley was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, she had no idea she would soon become one of the first American women to undergo a radically different approach to radiation treatment.
Bradley lives in the Hardin County town of Stephensburg with her husband, Tony. After Brenda received a lumpectomy, she and Tony discussed radiation treatment options with Dr. Anthony Dragun at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville.
“And he asked would we be willing to become part of a study," recalls Brenda. "And we talked about it and went back and said ‘absolutely.’”
The program Dr. Dragun was proposing would drastically cut down on the traveling time and number of radiation sessions Brenda Bradley would endure. Instead of driving from Stephensburg to Louisville five days a week for up to seven weeks, Dr. Dragun told Brenda she could instead receive radiation once a week for five weeks.
“And he got us from 30 or 35 treatments to five. And we’ve never had a reason to look back. It worked so well, it was unbelievable,” the Hardin County native says.
Representatives of the state's health department and various hospital executives say almost two years later they are still having payment issues with Medicaid managed care organizations.
Speaking before a House budget subcommittee on health issues, the two groups described situations in which payment for care they administrated months ago were still outstanding claims.
Scott Lockard works in the Clark County Health Department and told lawmakers the state public health department was still owed more than $18 million in late payments. More than $14 million of that is with Kentucky Spirit, which is trying to break its contract and leave the system.
But he added that conversations about those payments are ongoing.
A bill aimed at allowing victims of sexual assault to ask for quick HIV testing of their alleged attackers has cleared the Kentucky House.
Under current laws, only prosecutors can ask for HIV testing of the accused person, and they can only ask after a conviction. The bill would allow a victim or the prosecutor to ask for such a test before a conviction.
Bill sponsor Joni Jenkins says medical advances can prevent HIV from advancing into AIDS if caught early, but convictions often take up to three years.
"So it's critical for victims to know the offender's HIV status as soon as possible and not wait 1 to 3 years for the completion of trial for such information," said Rep. Jenkins.