health care

WKYU

There’s a saying credited to TV therapist Dr. Phil that borders on cliché.

It goes: “Life’s a marathon, not a sprint”, meaning obstacles are inevitable, it’s going to exhaust the hell out of you, and you’ve got to keep fighting anyway.

It applies to mental health too, making support networks crucial.


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The Brentwood Springs treatment center in southern Indiana does its best to remove the stigma from mental health. The space looks modern, the cafeteria smells like tasty food, and you may hear the sounds of a guitar coming from creative therapy down the hall.


Laura Ellis

Norton Healthcare executives said the hospital system is still adequately staffed after 45 employees have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease and about 280 others are on paid furlough after showing symptoms.

The executives would not say specifically where those employees worked. During a virtual press conference Monday, Steven Hester, Norton’s chief medical officer, said the employees worked “across the system.”

The Norton Healthcare system includes 16,000 employees at five hospitals, seven outpatient centers and more than a dozen immediate care centers and hundreds of clinics, according to information on the nonprofit’s website. 

Michael Brumage

As new cases of coronavirus mount in the Ohio Valley, health officials are bracing for an onslaught of patients and what could be unprecedented demand for beds, medical staff and specialized equipment.

Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia have disproportionately high rates of people vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19. But the region’s capacity to treat them has been sharply reduced by the closure of some 21 hospitals over the past 15 years. An analysis by the Ohio Valley ReSource shows some of the communities where hospitals have closed have some of the nation’s poorest health outcomes, making them especially vulnerable.

Still more hospitals in the region are being closed now, even as the pandemic unfolds. 


Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Cancer was what finally pushed Kristi Reyes into living in her car.

The mother of four had worked all her life, starting at age 7 when she helped out at her family’s furniture store. Most of her work was in retail. It was paycheck-to-paycheck but she kept her kids together and a roof over their heads.

But then in 2012 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She started cycling through jobs because of the time she needed to take off for recovery from treatment. Soon, she was too sick to work at all and things continued to slide. She had Medicaid, what she calls a medical card, but it wasn’t enough.


How Cultural Training Helps Doctors Treat Refugees

Sep 4, 2019
Carter Barrett I Side Effects Public Media

Across the United States, there’s a push to give new doctors cultural training to work with refugees and other immigrants. And some say it’s the difference between healthy and sick patients.

On a block on Indianapolis’ southside, there are three international grocery stores -- Saraga international grocery, Tienda Morelos and Chinland Asian Grocery. 

This area once was almost all-white and hostile to minorities, according to a newspaper clipping from 1965. Now, a community of Burmese refugees, along with a growing subset of Congolese and Syrian refugees, call this southside suburb home. 


This article was produced in partnership with nonprofit news organization MLK50, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

This year, a hospital housekeeper left her job just three hours into her shift and caught a bus to Shelby County General Sessions Court in Memphis, Tenn.

Hardin Memorial Health

While Kentucky hospitals use electronic health records, that data typically stays in-house, but a new partnership is allowing hospitals to share the information with each other. 

The Kentucky Hospital Association and the Kentucky Office of Rural Health have partnered with the company Collective Medical to develop a statewide care coordination network. 

Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Godfrey at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown says the system gives providers real-time information to identify at-risk and complex patients.

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Louisville Metro government is the latest employer to experiment with the idea that providing employees with fresh vegetables might decrease health costs and improve worker health.

Over the summer, 41 employees from three city departments — Youth Detention Services, Resilience and Community Services and Public Health and Wellness — signed up for a pilot employee benefit: weekly deliveries from Rootbound Farm at a discounted rate. This sort of delivery is traditionally called community-supported agriculture, or CSA.

Mary Meehan

The political ads in the Ohio Valley are playing on what seems like a constant loop. That’s not unusual for election season. But what is unusual this year is how many ads focus on health care. Consider this one from Kentucky Republican Andy Barr, who’s facing a tough challenge in the 6th Congressional District from Democrat Amy McGrath.

McGrath supports maintaining the Affordable Care Act and its essential benefits with some tweaks. Barr’s campaign ads proclaim her a radical socialist whose plan “doubles your federal taxes and ends Medicare as we know it.” It is complete, of course, with dramatic background music.


A Texas hospital that charged a teacher $108,951 for care after a 2017 heart attack told the patient Thursday it would slash the bill to $332.29 — but not before a story about the huge charge sparked a national conversation over what should be done to combat surprise medical bills that afflict a growing number of Americans.

The story of Drew Calver was first reported by NPR and Kaiser Health News on Monday as part of the "Bill of the Month" series, which examines U.S. health care prices and the troubles patients run up against in the $3.5 trillion industry.

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A new non-profit group in Kentucky is advocating state health care tax reform as a way to fund the state’s Medicaid expansion.

Balanced Health Kentucky is asking state lawmakers to review all of the health care industries in the commonwealth, and consider how much they are—or aren’t—being taxed.

Kentucky expanded the number of people eligible for Medicaid in 2014 under then-Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin has filed a lawsuit in response to a legal challenge over Kentucky’s new Medicaid work requirement.

Kentucky is the first state in the country to require people to work or volunteer in order to keep Medicaid benefits.

Three advocacy groups are suing the federal government on behalf of 15 Kentuckians who are on Medicaid, saying the approval of Bevin’s Medicaid changes violate the Social Security Act.

The insurance program that provides health insurance to almost a third of Kentuckians — Medicaid — will soon change. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is awaiting approval from the federal government on his proposed reforms. But even if Bevin gets everything he asked for, Medicaid providers and advocates say there are still a lot of unknowns to how Kentucky will manage the program.

In Kentucky, Medicaid used to just cover pregnant women, children or people who were disabled or living in poverty. Under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, former Governor Steve Beshear expanded the insurance program to include people living outside of poverty – up to about $33,000 a year for a family of four. The program now covers about a third of Kentuckians, many of whom got on Medicaid through the expansion.

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Despite numerous failed legislative attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is rolling out regulatory changes that are likely to clear the way for Kentucky’s plan to remake its Medicaid system.

At a National Association of Medicaid Directors conference in Arlington, Virginia on Tuesday, Trump administration official Seema Verma said the government will give states more freedom over their Medicaid programs, including allowing states to require Medicaid enrollees to work or volunteer to keep their coverage.

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