The Health Care Foundation is here to help and make reform easy to understand. If you are a small business owner, staff members from the Health Care Foundation can provide on-site visits at your company or organization and provide employees and community members education and information regarding reform. Contact Jessica Hembree at 816-241-7006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Below are several articles with both a local and national perspective regarding reform and how it affects you and your community.
From The Kansas City Star, "Tax credits designed to help Missourians, Kansans afford health insurance." Click here to read the article.
From the Huffington Post, "Middle Class Losing Health Insurance Faster Than The Rich Or Poor." Click here to read the article.
From KCUR, "With Insurance Exchanges, Who Needs Agents?" Click here to read the article.
From the Kansas City Business Journal, "Most Missouri, Kansas small firms can get health coverage tax credits." Click here to read the article.
From Fox 4 KC, "Obama administration proposes rules for healthcare partnerships" Click here to read the article.
Area Organizations proactively address change and reform.
For some time, the university has been looking for ways to expand its training of physicians and nurses as budget cuts have forced cutbacks in these areas. As a way of distributing medical education, the university is expanding its satellite medical school programs for students in Salina and Wichita. The Wichita program currently takes students after their first two years at KU. The goal is to grow from 55 third- and fourth-year students to implementing a full four-year program with 75 per class. The four-year Salina program will train eight new students each year. The focus is on training people who want to practice primary care in rural areas, where there is often a shortage of providers.
The labor force is expected to need 10,500 new health care information technology workers trained annually for the next five years. To help answer that need, the local community college has accepted a $280,000, two-year HITECH grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to train workers for the predicted boom in the health care technology sector. The college is part of the Midwest Consortium, a group of innovative colleges lead by Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. JCCC is offering six-month career programs to train 55 students annually in the areas of technical/software support staff and workflow management and redesign specialists. The programs will run simultaneously and begin by Sept. 30, 2010, with another group starting in January 2011. The classes will initially be taught on campus, but they will incorporate distance learning to train remote students as well.
The Metropolitan Community Colleges created the Institute for Workforce Innovation earlier this year with two goals: reaching out to nontraditional students and helping employers prepare for staffing needs, many of which are related to health reform. The Institute for Workforce Innovation is focusing its resources on students who traditionally wouldn’t apply for this kind of training. The students may not have high school degrees, or have lower reading and math skills and less training in general workforce skills. The institute offers certification in myriad specialties including certified nursing assistants, phlebotomy, pharmaceutical technicians, and palliative and hospice care. MCC is seeking input from area employers to find out specifically what kind of positions are in need and they incorporate that into their training. They are currently developing a program in electronic medical coding to help meet the local needs for the coming boom in health information technology.
The Full Employment Council was a recipient of a workforce training grant through the Recovery Act. The organization was awarded a $5 million, three-year grant for the Greater Kansas City HIT (health and health IT) Careers Program. The bi-state program is training workers to meet the employment needs of local acute-care institutes like hospitals, long-term care facilities like nursing homes, and the technology needs of small businesses moving to digital health records. Approximately 1,600 people will take part in the program, which officially began July 1, training in areas including nursing, health care education and health care IT. They are also creating a program to help young, economically disadvantaged teens find a career path. The Full Employment Council is providing funding support for the students who will be taking courses at local community colleges, vocational schools and universities. Participants will go through an assessment and career counseling to help find the best path for them prior to taking part in the program. Other groups participating in the endeavor include the Greater Kansas City Healthcare Alliance, Missouri and Kansas hospital associations, the Kansas City Workforce Partnership, the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City has applied for stipend funding for students and to expand the school’s Helen Gragg Adult Clinic so more students can practice. This fall, UMKC will be applying for another grant to increase the number of students in their doctoral program, to educate more nurses to teach.
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