Government to overhaul Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals

Medicare will change the way it pays hospitals and doctors to reward quality over volume, the Obama administration said Monday, in a shift that officials hope will be a catalyst for the nation's $3-trillion health care system.

Heartland Community Health Center CEO, Jon Stewart, presents his testimony for Kancare expansion in front of the Kansas House Vision 2020 Committee.

Heartland Community Health Center

Heartland, KAMU testify for Kancare expansion at the Capitol

In what can be seen as a flicker of hope for Kancare expansion in 2015, the Kansas House Vision 2020 Committee has started holding hearings ...

A mom and daughter participate in a "Kids Need to Know" sexuality education class at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, 200 Maine St. The Health Department is accepting enrollment for a girls and boys class this winter and spring.

Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department

Health Department offering family-based sex education course for fifth, sixth graders

Parents need and want to be involved in the sexuality education of their children, but often do not know how to discuss it at age-appropriate ...

VA settles more retaliation complaints by whistleblowers

The Veterans Affairs Department said Tuesday it is offering relief to more than two dozen employees who faced retaliation after filing whistleblower complaints about wrongdoing at VA hospitals and clinics nationwide.

Students build chairs that help autistic children

Stuart Jackson was on a mission. For years, the Overland Park father had searched for a way to help his son find relief from the stress and anxiety often experienced by children with autism. Like many of those children, Joshua could be soothed through deep touch pressure — the kind of feeling one might get by being tightly hugged or squeezed. Jackson came across a few potential solutions on the market, but they tended to be clunky, noisy or ineffective. And way too expensive. So he took it to CAPS — the Center for Advanced Professional Studies in the Blue Valley School District.

Kansas governor reorganizing Medicaid, foster care units

Gov. Sam Brownback is trying to reorganize the licensing of foster care homes and the state workers who determine whether people are eligible for Medicaid.

Be still my heart: Irregular heartbeat affects millions

Atrial fibrillation (AF or A-fib) is a quivering or fluttering of the heart or an irregular heartbeat that affects 2.7 million Americans. It is the most common form of abnormal heart rhythm. Knowing the symptoms and treatment options for AF can help you address an issue before it’s too late.

Double Take: In class, a team is not always a solution

While a good study or work group can make (or break) you, those are synergistic enterprises, not socially engineered gatherings. We all work better when we can choose how we work, and, in this regard, schools are behind the curve in expecting kids to get much out of group projects.

One foot in front of the other

Lawrence artist's epic hike inspires others to tackle new goals one step at a time

A Lawrence artist took an epic hike in the woods to meet her ultimate goal: walk the entire Appalachian Trail. But one expert says you don't have to set giant goals to get big benefits.

Number of flu cases in Lawrence, Kansas City trending down

After reports of an early peak in influenza activity across the nation and Kansas emerged at the end of December, the virus' presence is trending down in both Lawrence and Kansas City, hospital officials said.

Booking a trip to the ER on your smartphone? It's a breeze

Online services such as ZocDoc and InQuicker are enabling patients with non-life-threatening conditions to schedule everything from doctor's office visits to emergency room trips on their laptops and smartphones — much like OpenTable users do with restaurant reservations.

'Navigators' to help with health insurance enrollment at library

The Cover Kansas Navigator Project will have a Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment event at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., from 2 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3. Certified Navigators from the Lawrence area will be on hand to assist individuals and families with navigating the online application and enrollment process.

Larryville Mom

Parents, Stop Parenting Other Parents

It never ceases to amaze me how people ignore or completely throw out the idea of social norms when it comes to parents. Fellow moms ...

Tease photo

Love, forgiveness abound in households with young children, old pets

Every year among the slew of picture books I order for the library are a few really good ones about the death of a pet. I keep a list of the best at bitly.com/furryfarewells, and while they are helpful to toddlers, they may be just as comforting to the parents who read them aloud. With each new baby, a common, yet rarely named demographic thrives: the household with young kids and old pets.

Getting organized can help teens avoid mayhem

Organization isn’t just for people with ADHD. The secret of happiness can be how you organize your life. We’d rather see happiness as something magnificent like meditating toward a higher state of consciousness or perhaps something trite yet unattainable, like, “look on the bright side,” “seek your true love." But a catchy mantra, no matter how much you practice it, can’t create happiness unless your life is organized so you can gain its benefit.

LMH offers screenings and programs to assess heart health

Heart disease is the nation’s number one killer. Living a heart healthy lifestyle is imperative. Ways to put this into practice include being physically active, controlling cholesterol, eating better, managing blood pressure, losing weight, reducing blood sugar and quitting smoking. Lawrence Memorial Hospital offers programs and services to assist you in living a heart healthy lifestyle and to help prevent you from becoming a statistic.

Bob Lominska of Hoyland Farms, preps for the upcoming growing season.

Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department

Ramping Up Fresh Fruits & Veggies at Your Worksite

If you are like me, about this time of year you miss having access to fresh, local produce. It’s been months since I harvested the ...

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Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department

Community invited to Jan. 14 meeting regarding new data about walking, biking to school

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department in conjunction with Lawrence Public Schools, the City of Lawrence and the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization will host a ...

Medicare pays doctors to coordinate seniors' chronic care

Adjusting medications before someone gets sick enough to visit the doctor. Updating outside specialists so one doctor's prescription doesn't interfere with another's. Starting this month, Medicare will pay primary care doctors a monthly fee to better coordinate care for the most vulnerable seniors — those with multiple chronic illnesses — even if they don't have a face-to-face exam.

KU hospital among 11 penalized in Kansas

Kansas University Hospital representatives say a study resulting in cuts to its Medicare payments relied on old data and flawed methodology, and was particularly unfair to academic hospitals.

Alliance to offer free program for families of people with mental illness

The Douglas County chapter of NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer a free program in Lawrence for families of those with mental illnesses.

Brenda Hawkins, Child Care Licensing surveyor, provides orientation training to prospective home child care providers at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, 200 Maine St. There are about 160 child care homes in Douglas County.

Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department

Health Department offering orientation class Jan. 13 for prospective child care providers

Douglas County residents interested in learning more about operating a child care home are encouraged to attend the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department’s child care licensing ...

CDC: Flu season continues to worsen, could peak this month

The flu is rampant in most of the country, and health officials say the season could peak soon. Flu was widespread in 43 states and flu activity was intense in most of them during the week of Christmas, according to the latest figures issued Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tanya Guy, right, with her Bert Nash case manager Alison Cropp.

Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center

Lifestyle changes improve woman's physical and mental health

Tanya Guy had plenty of reasons to give thanks this holiday season. “I’m energetic. I feel healthy. I’m not as depressed. My mental health is ...

With temperatures below freezing, it's important to make sure you're bundled up when you go outdoors. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department

Tips to avoid cold-weather injuries such as hypothermia, frostbite

With temperatures below freezing, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department encourages residents to exercise caution when outdoors. Kim Ens, registered nurse and director of Clinic Services, ...

7 strategies to beat back heart disease

Cardiovascular (heart) disease is still the leading cause of death for Americans. With a new year beginning, resolve to do all that you can to maintain a healthy heart.

Double Take: Students' sleep suffers with early schedules

Every January marks “Back-to-School: The Sequel” for students all over America. In honor of this annual holiday rebound, Kyra and I will be doing four columns on school-related topics this January. Three of them are about things we’d like to see schools do differently, not just our schools but all schools. This week, it’s teen sleep — or, more correctly, what most American schools do to make it worse.

27th & K-10 - Accident waiting to happen

In The Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene

Safer Streets

The City of Lawrence has a critical need for safe pedestrian infrastructure. Too many of our controlled intersections and major thoroughfares are downright hostile to ...

Major study of bereaved military families underway

By the hundreds, widows, widowers, parents, siblings and children are sharing accounts of their grief as part of the largest study ever of America's military families as they go through bereavement. About 2,000 people have participated over the past three years, and one-on-one interviews will continue through February. The federally funded project is being conducted by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Maryland-based Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. The study is open to families of the more than 19,000 service members from all branches of the military who have died on active duty since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, regardless of whether the death resulted from combat, accident, illness, suicide or other causes.

New diet guidelines might reflect environmental cost

For years, the government has been issuing guidelines about healthy eating choices. Now, a panel that advises the Agriculture Department is ready to recommend that you be told not only what foods are better for your own health, but for the environment as well.