Midwest

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

For the hundreds of rural hospitals struggling to stay in business, health policy decisions made in Washington D.C. this summer could make survival a lot tougher.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City announced on Wednesday that it will not offer individual plans on the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges next year The move will affect about 67,000 people across 30 counties in Missouri and two counties in Kansas

“Through 2016 we have lost more than  $100 million [on ACA plans],” the company’s CEO Danette Wilson said in a release. “This is unsustainable for our company.”


As Kansas Foster Care System Sets Records, Advocates Call For More Family Services

May 22, 2017
Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service

Editor’s note: Kansas privatized its foster care system in 1997 after a lawsuit revealed widespread problems. Twenty years later, the number of Kansas children in foster care has shot up — by a third in just the last five years — and lawmakers are debating whether the system once again needs serious changes. 

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks Indiana among the states with the highest rates of hepatitis C infection, a virus that destroys the liver and leads to liver cancer. Indiana's rate is double the national average with 2 per 100,000 people affected. These people recently tested for and were diagnosed with hepatitis C.

Lauren Chapman/WFYI

Janaya Wilkins, 25, dropped out of high school when she was a teenager. She has tried and failed to get her GED twice since then.

Now, Wilkins, a mother of two is giving high school another shot in her hometown of Indianapolis.  

And she’s getting help sticking to her goals from a life coach, whose services are paid for by an unexpected source, her health insurance company.

Bram Sable-Smith / Side Effects/KBIA

When 2-year-old Ryan Lennon Fines was born on Christmas day 2014, his mouth wasn’t connected to his stomach, a condition known as esophageal atresia. After three months in a NICU in St. Louis the family flew to Boston, where Ryan had surgery.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

Six years ago, 53-year-old Corla Morgan noticed blisters forming on her neck and back.

“I couldn’t sleep because when I took my shirt off, if my shirt touched my skin, the skin just peeled off,” Morgan says. “I was in really horrible pain.”

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