A lack of direction from federal administrators is causing confusion for many hospital administrators. Rural hospitals are among the ones hit hardest.
Missouri Hospital Association says the switch of data collection from the CDC to a new HHS contractor is “a major disruption.” In Kansas, the move likely will delay hospitalization data.
In an investigation last year, KHN detailed the rise and fall of Miami businessman Jorge A. Perez’s rural hospital empire, which spanned eight states and encompassed half of the rural hospital bankruptcies in 2019.
Following a KCUR report, Kansas officials said the state’s public reporting of pandemic trends will count all tests that come back positive for the new coronavirus, even when the patient has no symptoms.
At the start of the spring planting season, farmers across the U.S. heartland were already trying to recover from last year’s flooding amid worsening economic conditions when the pandemic struck. Farm bankruptcies and suicides continue to climb. A lack of mental health resources in rural America makes finding help more complicated.
Because the surge of COVID-19 cases hasn’t yet hit all parts of America, some hospitals are able to learn lessons from the hot spots and prepare for the onslaught. In Wichita, Kansas, Ascension Via Christi hospitals converted a portion of a hospital cafeteria into a grocery store and offered alternative housing and child care for staff members working long hours in a stressful setting. The hospital group is also working with local aircraft manufacturers and 3D-printing hobbyists to produce face shields and other safety materials.
President Donald Trump says he “saved” popular protections for preexisting conditions, even though his administration is in court asking them to be struck down. Meanwhile, Democrats who want to run against Trump in the fall continue to argue among themselves over health issues. And Kansas may become the next state to expand Medicaid. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Shefali Luthra of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.
It’s been about a year since the hospital in Fort Scott, Kan., closed. The lessons for this community about meeting its residents’ health needs could provide insights for the rest of the country.
After surviving two double lung transplants, Dylan Mortimer, a Kansas City artist, turns his battle with cystic fibrosis into joyous, whimsical art. Now Mortimer buys glitter by the pound and uses it to create mixed-media collages and sculptures for hospitals, private collectors and public spaces.
Eight years ago, a new medical program opened in Salina, Kan., as an experimental way to promote rural medicine. Hailed as a solution to the rural doctor shortage, only three of its eight newly minted doctors are now working in the most rural communities.