Photo: Andy Marso / Heartland Health MonitorDr. John Fasbinder, shown working on a patient, was featured in a recent public radio piece by KHI News Service’s Andy Marso about rural dental care challenges for Medicaid recipients.
Two recent stories aired on public radio explored the challenges faced by poor rural Americans in need of dental care. These stories have also offered examples of providers who are working mightily to help address those needs while confronting challenges of their own.
In “A Good Dentist is Hard to Find in Rural America,” Alison Kodjak, a health policy correspondent on NPR’s Science Desk, introduced listeners to a Wisconsin woman gratefully getting accustomed to a new denture. “It feels weird right now, but I’ll get used to it,” said Jessica Stefonik.
“Stefonik is just 31 years old,” Kodjak noted in her piece. “She is one of the millions of people who are poor and live in rural America and have little to no access to dental care.” Continue reading
Photo: Rachel S. O’Hara/Sarasota Herald-TribuneJennifer tries to pay bills and go through some paperwork while her son, David, 2, competes for her attention.
Reporters can find it daunting to cover Medicaid, the huge state-administered federal program charged with providing health care benefits to more than 70 million Americans.
Maggie Clark embraced the challenge. In recent months, her Two Million Kids series for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has delved into many aspects of Florida’s troubled Medicaid system. Continue reading
Medicaid enrollment has jumped 27 percent since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, with 31 states and the District of Columbia choosing to expand program eligibility. Medicaid now covers 72.8 million Americans.
But reimbursement rates for Medicaid remain lower than private insurance and a shortage of participating providers is causing access challenges. Continue reading
Anyone who has started a new reporting job knows the feeling: You want to find some story somewhere on your beat that you can crank out to show you know how to deliver good copy on time.
It’s unlikely that you’re thinking you’ll uncover a big story that turns into a five-part series. But that’s what happened to Megan Hart, a reporter covering health care for KHI News Service in Topeka, Kan. Continue reading
Photo: Rachel S. O’Hara /Sarasota Herald-TribuneFelix Perlata, 4, Alani Waiters, 5, and Cymia Martin, 4, floss their teeth before heading back to class at Morton Clark Head Start preschool in Bradenton, Fla.
In recent months, Maggie Clark’s Two Million Kids series for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has explored many facets of the state’s troubled Medicaid program: a dearth of preventive and specialty care in many communities, problems faced by providers and a decade-long legal battle to reform the system. In a recent installment, Clark focused upon the shortage of oral health care services for Florida’s poor children. Continue reading