healthcare

Catherine Wheeler

Gillette Reproductive Health is located in a nondescript building surrounded by many other doctors offices, pharmacies and the hospital. Not many people in the community know it's there or what exactly they do.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the nation to figure out something it's tried to do for years: increase access to telehealth.

That’s true across the nation and in rural Western states like Idaho. 


Hospital finances around the nation have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes Wyoming hospitals as they had to stop providing the non-essential services that make up a huge percentage of their revenue for a period of time. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with the president of the Wyoming Hospital Association Eric Boley on the situation in our state.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming is waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment for its members.

As hospitals continue to fill up with COVID-19 patients, one major health care provider in the Mountain West announced it’s cutting pay for some of its medical staff.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jacob Sippel

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States, we hear a lot about the shortage of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. But there's another critical shortage, especially in rural areas, of health care providers.

Cooper McKim; Stitches website

On March 12, Amy Surdam and her husband Dr. Dan Surdam waged war on COVID-19. The two Wyoming residents own Stitches Acute Care - a clinic in Laramie, Cheyenne and Wellington, Colorado. The clinics have transformed into a testing and treatment center for the global pandemic at a local level as well as an information hub for the whole state. Amy and Dan Surdam tell the story of how their world has changed in just a week.

Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAMS


The official recommendation for people who might have COVID-19 - the coronavirus you've been hearing about - is to stay home. But that's easier said than done for many in the state.

Catherine Wheeler

The auditorium at the Sheridan VA Health Care System is a space for veterans to come, shoot pool, play board games, or just hang out.

But on Tuesday, March 3, it was serving as an art gallery. The VA is hosting its annual Creative Arts Festival that allows veterans from across the state to submit a wide range of artistic creations.

American Heart Association

The Wyoming Legislature will be addressing a number of issues surrounding health care when it convenes next week. One will be Medicaid expansion and another is the return of an effort to give optometrists the ability to perform certain eye surgeries.

Some believe that should be left up to Ophthalmologists who specialize in such things. Doctor David Wheeler is the President of the Wyoming Medical Society joins Bob Beck to discuss views on those bills.

Survey: Americans Agree Health Care System Needs Fixing

Feb 7, 2020
Bigstock

Americans are divided on lots of issues. But a new national survey finds that people across the political spectrum agree on at least one thing: Our health care system needs fixing.

The "Hidden Common Ground" survey from Public Agenda, USA Today and Ipsos found that 92 percent of Americans say changes are needed.

And a majority of Americans want "either major changes or a complete overhaul of the system," says Chris Jackson, vice president of the market research firm, Ipsos.

Nearly 40 hospitals in the Mountain West are being penalized for having high rates of infections, patient injuries or other complications from hospital stays. That’s according to data released last week from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


Public Domain

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected a proposal that would have lowered air ambulance cost for Wyomingites.

Willow Belden

In a rural state like Wyoming, state health care providers are no longer newcomers to utilizing telehealth to help bridge distances. But Cody Regional Health is experimenting using remote technology for an opioid treatment that is generally underutilized in the nation.

Raif via Flickr

After three years of discussion, Powell Valley Healthcare, a critical access hospital, will become an affiliate of Billings Clinic in Montana.

New division of an appropriations bill to be included in the final funding package
Congressional Research Service

A bill that would secure lifelong pension and healthcare benefits has been incorporated into the final funding package to keep the U.S. government open past Friday, December 20.

Cooper McKim

U.S. senators have introduced a bipartisan bill that promises to protect the pensions for 92,000 retired coal miners and secure 13,000 miners' healthcare benefits.

Public Domain

Services agency sixty days to flush out the details of how to force hospitals to be up front with patients about the costs of their procedures. It's intended to help average Americans shop around the marketplace for cheaper rates. And Wyoming's junior Senator John Barrasso is fully on board.

Melodie Edwards

Gary and Celeste Havener live forty miles outside of Laramie in southeast Wyoming. They spend a lot of their time growing vegetables and riding horses across the prairie.

Campbell County Health

Campbell County Health was ranked as one of the top places to work in healthcare this year. The list was put together by Becker's Hospital Review, a leading healthcare industry publication.

wyomingmedicalcenter.org

The closing of an inpatient psychiatric unit in Lander has highlighted another issue in the state's mental healthcare system. That's the difficulty of transporting a mentally ill patient to and from a hospital.

https://pxhere.com

With busy schedules, extra visitors and new toys, the holidays can introduce new hazards into an environment. According to the Nebraska Regional Poison Center, accidental poisonings increase over the holidays. 

The number of uninsured children across the country has increased for the first time in more than a decade.


Bob Beck

A Wyoming legislative committee has quietly put together a series of bills that is looking at the high cost of health care in the state as well as making health care more accessible. At a recent meeting of the legislature's Health and Labor Committee, Senator Charles Scott stated that consumers pay a lot for health care in the state.

Creative Commons CC0

A plan to try to reduce health insurance premiums on the federal health care exchange was approved by a Wyoming legislative committee. 

healthcare.gov

The Wyoming legislature has a long history of exploring ways to get quality and affordable insurance to more citizens, but for a variety of reasons, nothing has really ever worked. The legislature has long opposed accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid due to fears that the money would eventually dry up and the state would have a program it could no longer afford. But there is not an available state solution either.

USDA

Hot Springs County Hospital in Thermopolis and Westward Heights Care Center in Lander received a combined $25.5 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture. The hospitals will be using the funds to modernize and expand their facilities.

Market Summary of Cloud Peak Energy just after announcing its potential sale
Google Market Summary

Cloud Peak Energy, one of the largest coal producers in the country with two mines in Wyoming, announced today it will review strategic alternatives which include a potential sale of the company. The announcement comes after company stock shares hit a 52-week low today at $1.32. That’s nearly half of its value from this time last year.

Cloud Peak Energy logo
Cloud Peak Energy

One of Wyoming’s largest coal companies cut health care benefits for its retired workers. In its third quarter report released October 25, Cloud Peak Energy said the move will provide it with $19.4 million in net income. It was announced to employees in August. The report also recounted an approximately 15 percent reduction in coal shipments compared to Q3 last year. Coal has been costlier to remove from the ground due to additional overburden from digging deeper.

Thursday, November 1 is the first day of the six-week open enrollment for health insurance plans on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. States in the Mountain West are seeing minor rate hikes — if any — this year.

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