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Kaiser Health News

Two-thirds of farmers said the pandemic impacted their mental health. But providers are underfunded and underequipped.

The stigma of acknowledging the need for mental health care can prevent people from seeking it.


Rural Americans in pharmacy deserts hurting for COVID vaccines

111 rural counties, mostly between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, have no pharmacy that can give the vaccines. But counties in Colorado pharmacy deserts still are getting vaccines to residents.


Montana’s health policy MVP takes her playbook on the road to Colorado

Marilyn Bartlett, credited with saving Montana’s state employee health plan millions of dollars, is a busy consultant now, as states, counties and big businesses try to use her playbook to bring down hospital costs.


As demand for mental health care spikes in the West, budget ax is set to strike

Some cuts to Colorado's mental health budgets have been restored, but providers still are worried.


Colorado eases license rules to let foreign-trained health workers help during coronavirus

Early on Colorado eased some licensing requirement in anticipation of a worker shortage. Through mid-December, 36 foreign-trained doctors sought temporary licenses, although only one met all the criteria.


At risk of extinction, black-footed ferrets in Colorado get experimental COVID vaccine

For the newly vaccinated ferrets, the main risk is to the animals themselves. They’re part of a captive population at the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center outside Fort Collins where there have been no cases of COVID-19 to date


Colorado ski resorts work to stay open as COVID cases snowball

The skiing itself doesn’t feel much different during the pandemic. But “the après ski scene is just gone,” one Telluride visitor said.


One in 8 Americans lives in a community that has lost its local public health department leader during the pandemic.

181 public health employees, including at least 14 in Colorado, have left jobs as the typically invisible army charged with preventing the spread of infectious diseases has become a public punching bag.


Health care magnate Kent Thiry wants to fix democracy, starting in Colorado

Former DaVita CEO Kent Thiry has given $5.9 million to support ballot measures since 2011. All of them won.

Politics and Government

Contact tracing in Colorado immigrant communities is most effective with voices from within

Long-standing health care disparities, job insecurity, immigration status, language barriers and a profound distrust of government all complicate the already tricky task

$8,000 a week drawing COVID nurses from Colorado, other states to hard-hit areas

Dire need for staff in places like Fargo, North Dakota, has created a new class of traveling nurses


In Colorado and across the U.S., people are proving to be the weakest link for coronavirus exposure apps

Data from early-adopter governments suggests even those who download the app and use it might not follow directions at the most critical juncture


Mask-wearing mandates in Colorado, other states leave big gaps in protection

As new COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge, many public health experts wonder whether it’s time to move beyond the anything-goes approach toward more standardization and higher-quality masks


The best coronavirus warning system? Poop and pooled spit, Colorado State University says

Emerging research suggests infected people start shedding the coronavirus in their poop early in their infection, and possibly days before they begin shedding it from their mouths and noses


If Coloradans approve Proposition 115, middle America’s “abortion desert” would be expanded

In 1967 — six years before the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision protected the right to an abortion in the U.S. — Colorado became the first state to pass a law widening access to legal abortion


Making money off masks, coronavirus-gear chain store with location in Colorado aims to become obsolete

With many U.S. stores closing during the coronavirus pandemic, especially inside malls, the owners of COVID-19 essentials have seized on the empty space

Not pandemic-proof: Insulin copay caps fall short in Colorado and other states, fueling underground exchanges

Colorado’s cap does nothing for the majority of people with employer-sponsored plans or those without insurance coverage. According to the state chapter of Type 1 International, an insulin access advocacy group, only 3% of patients with Type 1 diabetes under 65 could benefit from the cap.


COVID exodus fills vacation towns, including Colorado’s high-country destinations, with new medical pressures

From the shores of Long Island to the resorts of the Rocky Mountains, traditional vacation destinations have seen a major influx of affluent people relocating to wait out the pandemic


Opposition to Obamacare becomes political liability for Cory Gardner and other Republican incumbents

Despite Cory Gardner’s multiple votes to repeal the ACA, he has largely avoided talking about the measure during the 2020 campaign

A Colorado veteran had appendicitis. But the fight over his hospital bill may have been worse.

Shannon Harness, 39, received a bill for more than $80,000

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