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A resident sits outside Hennessey Care Center. The nursing home is one of six in the state that will be transferred into receivership while the landlord finds a new operator.
The Hennessey Clipper

A company that bought six nursing homes across rural Oklahoma this month also acquired more than $500,000 in overdue lease payments from the homes’ operator, and the homes can’t pay their rent.

Trinik Holdings wants to bring in a new tenant, but said in court filings that simply evicting the operator would be harmful to the residents who need specialized care.

Dr. Scott Dellinger talks with a patient at Willowood at Mustang senior living center in Mustang.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Last week the insurance industry group Genworth released an annual report that showed returns for home health care in Oklahoma fell in 2015 compared to previous years. But the costs for all healthcare segments in Oklahoma are going up, and the price of home healthcare rose 2.5 percent over last year.

That’s related to a nationwide trend of rising home care costs as Medicare providers try to keep chronically ill patients out of hospitals, The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports:

Christmas lights still wrap the entrance to Sayre Memorial Hospital, which has been closed for five months. The nearest emergency room is now in Elk City, 14 miles away.
Dale Denwalt / The Journal Record

The hospital in the small town of Sayre closed its doors in February after municipal trust authority members weren't able to renegotiate bond payments.

jfcherry / Flickr.com

Five county health department locations in Oklahoma will close July 1 due to the state’s projected $1.3 billion budget shortfall. Deborah Nichols, chief operating officer at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, told The Oklahoman’s Jaclyn Cosgrove the closings are only a portion of the department’s cuts.

Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma
Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority says it is ending its contracts with two Planned Parenthood organizations that provide health care services to low-income women and families in the state.

OHCA Chief Executive Officer Nico Gomez confirmed in a statement Wednesday the contracts will be terminated effective June 29.

Gomez says the agency in February notified Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma and Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma of its intent to terminate the provider agreements.

Mike and Mary Ann Johnson, and her daughter Deanie  Neugebauer, bought this home in Frederick, Oklahoma in the summer of 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 

Mary Ann Johnson and her husband bought a spacious 1970s-era ranch home in Frederick last summer. The remodeled kitchen is wide and open with a brand-new island juxtaposed by a retro cooking stove.

The couple grew up in Frederick, and they still have lots of friends and family here. It’s quiet and peaceful and they love the slow pace of life after years of living in Oklahoma City. It was an easy decision to buy the house and retire in this small, southwestern Oklahoma town.

But now, Johnson is worried about her daughter, Deanie.

Five years ago, Tonia Sina was diagnosed with a blood-clotting disorder called atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Photo illustration by Brent Fuchs and Bryan M. Richter / The Journal Record

There’s no shortage of issues to address when it comes to the $900-million-and-counting budget shortfall over the next four months of legislative session.

The number could grow larger when the Board of Equalization certifies new numbers later this month. In Gov. Mary Fallin’s executive budget unveiled Monday during her State of the State address, most state agencies will see a 6 percent cut. Some, like the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, will take a smaller 3 percent hit.

For most of its existence, Oklahoma City has been an oil-fueled place, ringed and riveted by superhighways and boulevards unsullied by shoulder or sidewalk. It was a city built to make cars happy. Parking was effortless, walking unnecessary and suburbs sprang like fungi across the unfruited plain.

Donrae Moore (left) placed her son Skyler (to her left) on the waiting list for state-funded services for the developmentally disabled. The family is still waiting for those services.
Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

Ten years is a long time to wait for state help to improve the care of a developmentally disabled child or other relative.

But that is the current wait time for assistance for Oklahoma families seeking state-paid special-needs services. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services reports more than 7,200 households are on the list; the estimated waiting time for more than half is six years.

Brad Collins, of nonprofit addiction recovery center 12&12, said an alternative to jail provided by 12&12 would help both those with alcoholism and those who need to sleep off a one-night party.
Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

Each year, 3,000 to 4,000 people are booked into Tulsa’s David L. Moss Correctional Center, the county jail, on complaints of public intoxication.

Some are chronic alcoholics. Others went out for a good time and had too much to drink, said Tulsa Police Department Maj. Travis Yates.

The Science Of Mindfulness And Meditation

Oct 22, 2015

Here & Now spoke yesterday with Andy Puddicombe, the one-time Buddhist monk turned entrepreneur whose Headspace meditation app has been downloaded millions of times around the world. Yes, there is an app for that, and it’s good for people with any level of meditating experience. The app includes meditations for when you’re cooking, running, or even having a melt-down. It’s huge in Silicon Valley.

British-born Andy Puddicombe spent 10 years studying in Buddhist monasteries in India, Nepal and Burma, and then another three in a Tibetan monastery in England. So why is his name now synonymous with Silicon Valley? Puddicombe found a way to combine his passion for mindfulness and meditation with a technology that can bring it would-be-meditators around the world.

Buffy Heater, chief strategy officer of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, is evaluating options for shifting part of Oklahoma’s Medicaid population into a “coordinated care” program using private-sector contractors.
Warren Vieth / Oklahoma Watch

At the insistence of state lawmakers, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority is exploring cost-saving options that could lead to partial privatization of the state’s $2.4 billion Medicaid program for aged, blind and disabled people.

The state tried that once before, and it didn’t work out. Costs escalated, companies dropped out, and the state pulled the plug. Supporters of the new effort predicted it might turn out better because of improvements in managed-care practices.

For nearly a decade, Dan Buettner has been researching so-called Blue Zones – those areas of the world where people live longer, healthier and happier than anywhere else on the planet.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Affordable Care Act health insurance rates are expected to rise in Oklahoma in 2016, and the state Insurance Department insists it cannot do anything about rates except review and approve the paperwork.

In the past, however, the department held a somewhat different view, according to a former high-ranking state insurance official.

Coca-Cola Health Campaign Under Scrutiny

Aug 10, 2015

Coca-Cola is behind an effort to promote physical activity over calorie counting, according to a report out today by the New York Times.

The story starts in the bullpen of the independent baseball team the Portland Mavericks. The team was owned by actor Bing Russell – Kurt Russell’s father, who was famous for his role in the TV series Bonanza.

Two pitchers, Rob Nelson and Jim Bouton, didn’t like players’ habit of chewing tobacco – they found it disgusting. Nelson had an idea: small bits of bright pink chewing gum in a pouch – you could take as little or as much as you wanted.

The sudden death of Dave Goldberg, the husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, is still being investigated. Goldberg, who was 47, died after falling off a treadmill he was using while on vacation at a resort in Mexico. He is said to have died from head injuries, but there are reports he may have had a heart attack while using the exercise machine.

Panera Bread announced this week that it will stop using a number of artificial ingredients in its foods. John Coupland, a professor of food science at Penn State University, talks with Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti about what these additives are, and why more and more companies have been making moves to eliminate them in foods.

Interview Highlights: John Coupland

On whether these changes will make Panera’s food healthier

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has completed its first national study on Hispanics’ health risks, disease, causes of death and access to health services. The report shows there are differences in disease and health behaviors such as smoking and drinking among U.S. Hispanics from different countries.

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