Now that healthcare.gov is working better, more Utahns are going online to sign up for insurance. KUER’s Andrea Smardon reports that it’s affordable for some, expensive for others, and not available at all for more than 100,000 Utah citizens.
Some of Utah’s healthcare powerbrokers are honing in on a plan to expand Medicaid that they think the state legislature might approve. At a healthcare conference in downtown Salt Lake City Thursday, former lieutenant governor Greg Bell - now president and CEO of the Utah Hospital Association – laid out his vision.
Bell says the state’s decision on Medicaid expansion will really be decided by the Utah legislature.
Community groups around the state have been holding events to educate people about the Affordable Care Act, but Utah Pride is trying something different Wednesday to reach their target demographic - healthcare happy hour.
There’s a new health center coming to Murray. University of Utah Health Care broke ground Monday on a new facility that will provide services from the U’s Moran Eye Center and Department of Dermatology.
It will be called the Mid-Valley Health Center, and it will be just north of Fashion Place Mall, easily accessible from I-15, 215 or 80. Randall Olson, CEO of the Moran Eye Center, says the U campus is not the easiest place for most people in the Salt Lake valley to get to.
A state legislative committee has decided not to consider a full Medicaid expansion as defined by the federal Affordable Care Act. Instead, the Health System Reform Task Force is considering three alternative options.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert received letters Wednesday from those encouraging him to expand Medicaid and provide health insurance to more low-income citizens in the state. Medical groups, religious groups, and advocates for the poor filled the rotunda at the capitol asking the Governor and their state representatives to rise above politics in making this decision.
On behalf of the Episcopal Diosese of Utah, Reverend Canon Mary June Nestler reads from a letter to Governor Herbert.
Sponsors of the bill say that raising the age limit would help prevent younger teenagers from starting smoking. The Senate sponsor, Republican Stuart Reid, says the change would also promote better public health.
A group of Utah physicians is accusing the governor and the state’s health department of misleading the public about the safety hazards of living near a medical waste incinerator. They are calling on Utah’s hospitals to boycott Stericycle’s North Salt Lake incinerator and stop sending their waste there.
At his monthly KUED news conference, Governor Gary Herbert said it is government’s role to protect the public, and that’s why he has ordered the state health department to conduct an investigation into Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator.
Governor Gary Herbert has still not made a decision about expanding Medicaid benefits, but at his monthly KUED news conference today he did shed some light on the decision making process.
For the past several months Governor Herbert has insisted that all options are still on the table when it comes to the expansion of Medicaid benefits, but his most recent comments suggest that he’s looking at finding some sort of middle ground.
The Utah Department of Health released data Wednesday that show a 94 percent increase in the number of reported cases of gonorrhea in the state.
State health officials say 633 cases have been reported so far this year compared to 327 cases during the same period last year. Lynn Meinor is manger of the Communicable Disease Program at the Utah Department of Health. She says much of 94 percent increase is due to more women getting the disease.
Obama administration memos released this week reveal that Utah insurance officials requested to shut down the state’s shopping portion of the federal exchange last month. The request was made after Utah’s biggest issuer, SelectHealth, was not appearing on the website marketplace.
Utah’s Assistant Insurance Commissioner Tanji Northrup says it took a few days after the federal exchange was launched on October 1st to figure out there was a major problem.
More than 4000 Utahns have been stalled in their efforts to get health insurance because federal and state computer systems are not yet able to communicate. Officials from the state Department of Workforce Services say Utah was ready when the exchange went online October 1st, but the federal system was not.
The Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is about to double its research space. On Friday, philanthropist and cancer survivor Jon Huntsman Senior announced plans for a new research building on campus focused on children and the genetics of cancer.
Jon Huntsman Senior watched his mother die of breast cancer, his father of prostate cancer, and his step-mother of ovarian cancer. Huntsman himself has fought four separate battles with cancer. His goal is to find a cure before his children and grandchildren have to go through the same thing.
A group of non-profit and advocacy organizations launched a new coalition today that is asking the governor to expand Medicaid benefits.
The new Coalition for a Compassionate Utah is made up of 11 non-profit and advocacy groups including Voices for Utah Children, the League of Women Voters, Equality Utah and the Alliance for a Better Utah. The Alliance’s Maryann Martindale says she believes the coalition brings a whole new set of voices to the governor’s attention that don’t typically get involved in health care advocacy.
The Utah Department of Health is doing a public health assessment in the North Salt Lake neighborhood near Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator. State officials say they are focused primarily on investigating levels of cancer-causing dioxins in the soil.
Amid public concern about air pollution generated by Stericycle’s North Salt Lake incinerator, two major hospital systems in Utah say they are reconsidering their processes for disposing of medical waste. Officials from University of Utah Health Sciences and Intermountain Healthcare say they are exploring their options, but are continuing to use Stericycle’s incinerator for the time being.
Governor Gary Herbert says he’s getting closer to making a decision about Medicaid expansion in Utah, and that it could come by the end of the year.
Herbert says as he learns more about the impacts of expanding Medicaid benefits, it is becoming clearer what his decision will be. But, he wouldn’t yet rule out any of the options, or variations of options, that he’s been presented with.
The federal health insurance exchange opened for business Tuesday, and state regulators have revealed the rates that Utahns have to choose from. In Salt Lake and Davis Counties, there is one insurer who has lower price plans than the rest. But insurance experts say consumers should look at more than just monthly premiums when making their choice.
The federally funded Women, Infants, and Children program, or WIC, is among the long list of services and benefits that are no longer available because of the government shut down. But what does that mean for Utahns?
Open enrollment for the new health exchange marketplace starts October 1st, and Utahns will have a variety of options for health insurance. Among the choices is a new insurance provider called Arches Health Plan. Arches is a non-profit cooperative governed by its members. Joining KUER in studio is the CEO Linn Baker, who has a long history with healthcare in Utah. He was founder and executive of the state’s Public Employee's Health Program for more than three decades.
As governor Gary Herbert weighs a decision on whether to extend Medicaid coverage to more low-income Utahns, a group of healthcare leaders appointed by the state has spent the summer exploring the options. Their findings will be presented to the governor at his health summit next week. Among those options, is to expand charity care in the state. KUER looks at what forms of charity care already exist in Utah, and whether this model could be a realistic alternative to expanding Medicaid.
Small business owners convened at the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake on Tuesday to learn about the Affordable Care Act and significant changes coming in health care. The Salt Lake Chamber along with insurance company SelectHealth released a survey revealing that the Affordable Care Act is perceived negatively by a majority of businesses, but that many of those businesses are also uninformed about the requirements of the law.
Ask small business owners how they will be affected by the Affordable Care Act… and you get answers like this…
A new University of Utah study highlights the health benefits of short bouts of brisk activity. Jessie Fan is a professor of family and consumer studies at the University and lead author of the study. She says higher intensity activity was associated with a lower risk of obesity.
The Affordable Care Act has given hope to Utahns with disabilities who want to avoid nursing homes. The state’s Disabled Rights Action Committee held a rally in front of the federal building Wednesday calling on Utah’s leaders to support a lesser known provision of the federal health care law that allows citizens to get health care in their own home, instead of a nursing home.
“I’d rather go to jail than to die in a nursing home,” demonstrators chant.
Some information was released Thursday about how the Affordable Care Act will impact Utah consumers. Utahns shopping for health insurance on the new federal online marketplace will have 99 plan choices. The state insurance department provided an estimate for what these options will cost Utah consumers. They also compared prices to the state’s exchange for small businesses known as Avenue H.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he’ll likely make a decision on whether to expand Medicaid in the state by early next year. Utah is among a handful of states facing the decision as the Affordable Health Act rolls out this fall. But the Governor told reporters at his monthly KUED news conference, he’s not in a hurry.
A University of Utah Rehabilitation Center now has the ability to help paralyzed patients walk again. A clinic in Sugar House is the first in the Intermountain West to obtain a robotic exoskeleton known as ReWalk.
He’s not exactly Iron Man, but when you see Stephen Wilson moving around in a ReWalk exoskeleton, it does feel like you’re watching something out of a sci-fi movie.