Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

On Feb. 6, 2018, Travis Claussen had his right hip replaced at Blue Valley Hospital in Overland Park.

The 40-year-old resident of Lawson, Missouri, had been experiencing severe back pain for years. Before then, he’d been a physical fitness buff who was into off-road motorcycle racing.

Officials with Medicare have decided to cover an innovative but extremely expensive cancer treatment, setting the stage for more patients to get it. That's good news for the University of Kansas Health System.

KU has been a pioneer in using the treatment, known as CAR T-cell therapy, which involves removing a patient’s T cells (a type of white blood cell) and genetically engineering them to recognize and attack the patient’s tumors. The cells are then put back into the patient’s body.

Rick Kimpel / flickr Creative Commons

Health care officials say Kansas nursing homes are hesitant to take patients who need hospice care and who are waiting on Medicaid coverage because they may not get paid for the care they provide.

A backlog of Medicaid applications has been affecting Kansas nursing homes in recent years. Beneficiaries of Kansas' privatized Medicaid program, KanCare, wait months to see their applications approved while nursing homes provide care for which they aren't paid, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Inspectors arrived Tuesday at Osawatomie State Hospital to determine whether the state-run psychiatric facility can regain its federal certification and, with it, its Medicare funding.