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November 20, 2017

 Donald Hicks, a local veteran and Megan Tackett, a 2nd year dental hygiene student are all smiles after finishing up his exam during the Veterans Dental Clinic hosted by Big Sandy Community and Technical College Donald Hicks, a local veteran and Megan Tackett, a 2nd year dental hygiene student are all smiles after finishing up his exam during the Veterans Dental Clinic hosted by Big Sandy Community and Technical College


PRESTONSBURG, Ky. – On November 8th Big Sandy Community and Technical College Dental Hygiene program hosted a Veterans Clinic on their Prestonsburg campus.

“We wanted to host a Veteran’s dental clinic to give back to our Veterans’ who gave so much for us.” Said Dr. Jill Keaton, dental hygiene program coordinator. “It was an honor to provide this service to them for free.”

Since opening its doors in 1995, the clinic, which is fully operational and provides cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, and much more to help train future hygienists.

“I was blessed with this opportunity, and I am so thankful for our Veterans.” said Jerica Meade, a 2nd year dental hygiene student.

There were several veterans from around the area who took advantage of the clinic and were delighted at the service.

“I think dental health is very important and I’m glad that they provided this clinic.” Said Veteran Donald Hicks.

For more information about the Dental Hygiene/Dental Assisting program or to schedule an appointment in the clinic, call us today (606) 886-7352

 

 

NOVEMBER 13, 2017

Move paves way for Bevin's revamping of program, including premiums...

The Trump administration has announced rules changes for the Medicaid program that allow states to require some enrollees to work or volunteer – changes that likely pave the way for Kentucky's new Medicaid plan to be approved.


Seema Verma (US News photo)Seema Verma (US News photo)"Let me be clear to everyone in this room, we will approve proposals that promote community engagement activities, " Seema Verma, director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a speech to state Medicaid directors Nov. 7.

Gov. Matt Bevin proposed changes to Kentucky Medicaid by requesting a waiver from federal rules more than a year ago.

The proposal largely targets "able-bodied" adults who qualify for Medicaid under the expansion of the program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – those with household incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

If approved, the plan would require such beneficiaries who are not "medically frail" or primary caregivers to work or volunteer 20 hours a week to keep their coverage. Work requirements for Medicaid recipients have historically not been approved because they didn't line up with the program's mission to provide medical assistance to low-income people; now the rules are different.

Kentucky Medicaid Commissioner Stephen Miller said at the directors' meeting that Kentucky hopes to implement the state's work requirements by July, Lisa Gillespie reported for Louisville's WFPL.

At the Nov. 6 meeting of Kentucky's Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation, Dr. Gil Liu, the state's medical director for Medicaid, said the state will initially implement work requirements in regions that have the most jobs available, and will then figure out how to implement them in other parts of the state where fewer jobs are available.

The plan would also require most Kentuckians on Medicaid to pay small monthly premiums, initially $1 per person to $15 per family, depending on income. People with disabilities, pregnant women, children and caregivers would not have to pay.

"Miller said the administrative costs of collecting those premiums would be higher than the actual amount of premium collected. But he said the point of the change isn’t to make money — it’s to encourage enrollees to transition out of Medicaid and into private coverage," Gillespie reports.

Critics of the plan, called Kentucky HEALTH, say that won't work because employers don't offer health insurance as a benefit nearly as much as they used to, and the state has many working poor who can't afford private insurance. Most covered by the Medicaid expansion work.

Miller said he expects about 200,000 Medicaid enrollees will be affected by the changes, Gillespie reports. The expansion covers about 478,000 Kentuckians; Medicaid as a whole covers about 1.4 million. For a spreadsheet of enrollment by county in June 2017, click here.

If federal officials approve the waiver, as expected, the state estimates that 95,000 fewer Kentuckians will be on Medicaid in five years than if the proposal is not accepted. The state estimates that will save the state and federal government $2.4 billion over the next five years.

The state pays 30 percent of traditional Medicaid costs. The federal government paid all the expansion costs for the first three years, but this year the state is paying 5 percent, and that will rise in annual steps to the law's limit of 10 percent in 2020.

Bevin has said the state cost is "unsustainable," and rejects arguments that the multi-billion-dollar expansion has generated state tax revenue by boosting employment in health care.


Commissioner Stephen MillerCommissioner Stephen MillerThe governor's lieutenants also make the argument that the expansion hasn't improved Kentucky's health. Miller did that at the Medicaid directors' meeting.

"He said that even though the state’s Medicaid rolls have soared to cover 33 percent of residents, Kentucky still has high rates of cancer, smoking and obesity," Phil Galewitz of Kaiser Health News reports, quoting Miller directly: “We have to try something else. We need to do more than just help people access health care.”

Officials of then-Gov. Steve Beshear's administration said when they expanded Medicaid that it would take several years to change the state's health status, and that it might even decline temporarily as people who hadn't received care for many years were diagnosed with health problems.

Tens of thousands of Kentuckians have used their new Medicaid benefits to get screened for cancer and other health problems, or get treatment for substance abuse or other issues. A three-year study of the expansion in Kentucky and Arkansas found a 23 percent increase in the share of people in federal surveys who reported that their health is excellent.

Emily Beauregard, executive director of Kentucky Voices for Health, an umbrella group of pro-Obamacare organizations, wrote in an op-ed that Bevin's changes are designed to "remove people from the rolls, rather than to promote health and access to affordable care."

Verma, who played an active role in designing Kentucky's waiver request, told the Medicaid directors that the new rules are "ushering in a new day for Medicaid" that will increase states' flexibility while improving accountability and integrity.

"We owe our fellow citizens more than just giving them a Medicaid card. We owe a card with care, and more importantly a card with hope," Verma said. "Hope that they can achieve a better future for themselves and their families. Hope that they can one day break the chains of generational poverty and no longer need public assistance, and the hope that every American, no matter their race, creed, or origin, can reach their highest potential. We will approve proposals that accomplish this goal."

Verma also said, "Believing that community engagement requirements do not support or promote the objectives of Medicaid is a tragic example of the soft bigotry of low expectations consistently espoused by the prior administration."

Seven other states — Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Utah and Wisconsin — have submitted varying requests to CMS that would require non-disabled Medicaid enrollees to either work or provide community service.
Posted by Melissa Patrick at 9:35 PM

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Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

 

 

Date: 11-09-2017

Insider Louisville

According to a report in Nature, the Environmental Protection Agency told the Lexington (Ky.) - based startup MosquitoMate that “it could release the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis into the environment as a tool against the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus).”

The lab-grown mosquitoes developed by MosquitoMate seek to eliminate the disease-carrying Asian tiger mosquito. (Aedes albopictus, shown here) | Courtesy of NatureThe lab-grown mosquitoes developed by MosquitoMate seek to eliminate the disease-carrying Asian tiger mosquito. (Aedes albopictus, shown here) | Courtesy of Nature

Translation: The company can release lab-grown, bacteria-infected, so-called killer mosquitoes in 20 states and Washington, D.C., Nature reported. As described by MosquitoMate, “Our ZAP male mosquitoes (non-biting!) are released prior to the mosquito season to begin the suppression of the mosquito breeding season.”

According to Quartz, “When bacteria-infected males mate with uninfected females, the females produce eggs that don’t hatch. In addition, infected mosquitoes are less likely to spread disease.”

 


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