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Your World Today - Thursday January 3, 2013

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A new report from the Missouri Hospital Association found that in 2011, Missouri hospitals provided $1.1 billion in uncompensated care to Missourians — a record level. The report underscores the central role hospitals play in supporting Missourians’ health and the economic health of communities throughout the state. The report found that the 129 participating hospitals provided $622.8 million in charity care in 2011. Hospitals’ total uncompensated care is comprised of both charity care and bad debt. When they are added together, hospitals reported $1.1 billion in uncompensated care. The Affordable Care Act cuts hospital payments to Missouri hospitals by $3.3 billion from 2013 to 2020. However, these cuts are partially offset by the act’s expansion of Medicaid and premium support for the uninsured to purchase health insurance on a health insurance exchange. If fully implemented, these changes would significantly reduce the cost of the uninsured in Missouri. If Missouri does not expand the state’s Medicaid program as outlined in the ACA, many of Missouri’s poorest residents will remain uninsured, and these costs will continue to be borne by hospitals, taxpayers and those with commercial insurance. There are additional benefits provided to the communities served by hospitals. Medicare and Medicaid programs often pay less than the cost of providing care. In 2011, hospitals absorbed $1.7 billion in the unpaid costs of treating these beneficiaries. In addition, hospitals’ community benefit investments are often driven by defined areas of local need. In 2011, hospitals donated $36 million to causes in their community and $33 million to free or reduced costs for medical clinical services. Hospitals also contributed $287 million to the education of health professionals to build and sustain the health care workforce. The report found that in 2011, participating hospitals employed 142,123 individuals in 119,843 full-time equivalent positions. The salary and benefits of these individuals totaled $8.4 billion in 2011. Hospitals’ $1.4 billion investment in 2011 for facilities and equipment added to the economic impact. These investments underpin Missouri’s economy, providing support for families and businesses throughout the state. The Missouri Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association in Jefferson City that represents 153 Missouri hospitals. In addition to representation and advocacy on behalf of its members, the association offers continuing education programs on current health topics and seeks to educate the public about health care issues.

Dent County Master Gardeners and Dent County Extension invite interested gardeners to attend several educational sessions at the Salem Community Center @ the Armory this January and February to enhance gardening skills and prepare for the 2013 gardening season. A variety of gardening webinars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s People’s Garden Initiative will be presented.  Gardeners of all skill levels are encouraged to attend and to share their knowledge of gardening at the end of the presentations.  The January 28th session will be Seed Saving: Processing and Storage I; February 4th will be Seed Saving: Processing and Storage II; Pollinators for Your Garden will be shown February 11th; and the final session will be February 18th Composting and Compost Use – How, Why, and Where.  All sessions will begin at 6:00 pm and will be approximately one hour in length.  There is no charge to attend these sessions. Questions should be directed to Thom Haines at 247-7951 or 19ranger84@gmail.com or Sarah Massengale at Dent County Extension 729-3196 or hultines@missouri.edu. 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports eight people died during the New Year's holiday counting period from 6:00 pm, Friday, December 28th, to 11:59 pm. Tuesday, January 1, 2013. Troopers investigated 486 traffic crashes with 147 injuries and seven fatalities. In addition, troopers made 124 arrests for driving while intoxicated. Two fatalities occurred in the Troop A, Lee's Summit area (which includes a fatality the Lee's Summit Police Department investigated), the Troop B, Macon area, and Troop G, Willow Springs area. One fatality occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring area, and Troop H, St. Joseph area. During last year's New Year's holiday counting period, troopers investigated 163 traffic crashes with 75 injuries and five of the six fatalities. In 2011, troopers arrested 90 people for driving while intoxicated. Last year, 777 traffic crashes occurred statewide over the New Year’s holiday weekend, which included 311 injuries and six fatalities.

An accident occurred at 10:05 Monday morning in Crawford County on Highway 8 about five miles west of Sullivan. According to the highway patrol report, 63-year old Michael Birbee of Steelville lost control of a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado on the snow-covered roadway, causing the vehicle to slide off the left side of the roadway and strike an embankment. Michael Birbee and an occupant, 65-year old Debra Birbee of Steelville, suffered minor injuries and were taken by Steelville ambulance to the Missouri Baptist Hospital in Sullivan. Michael Birbee was the only one wearing a sear restraint. The vehicle sustained minor damage and was towed by Miles Towing.

Martin Hart will give a talk about the prehistoric Native American Indians culture in our area at the Dent County Historical Society Speaker Series at 6 p.m., in the Bank of Salem Meeting Room in Downtown Salem, Tuesday, January 8th. He will have a sample display and talk about his adventures collecting arrowheads and that of his late father Dr. Martin Hart. Dr. Hart had one of the most extensive arrowhead collections in this region on display in the Walnut Bowl Restaurant in the 1960s. For more information contact Deloris Gray Wood at 729-2545.

Intercounty Electric Cooperative is sponsoring the January 8th Salem Area Chamber members’ luncheon meeting. This meeting will be held at Southwest Baptist University, 501 S Grand, beginning at noon. Karen McNew, Manager of Member Services and Development, will be speaking on how the co-ops are addressing current energy needs and challenges for the future.  There is no cost for lunch but please RSVP by January 4th, by calling 573-729-6900, e-mailchamber@salemmo.com or stop by at 200 South Main Street.   

Sports [TOP]

Collin Hart's three-pointer late in the 4th quarter broke a 39-39 tie and propelled the Hermann Bearcats to a 53-49 win over Salem in the
first round of the Owensville Tournament Wednesday night. Chad Elliott scored 17 points to lead the Tigers while Brady Floyd netted 13 points. Salem falls to 2-6 on the year and they will play Steelville tonight at 6:00 at Owensville. You can hear that game on KSMO Radio and online at ksmoradio.com.

The Salem Lady Tiger basketball team will be hosting St. James tonight. The JV will start things off at 6:00 with the varsity to follow.

Obituaries   [TOP] 

Graveside services for Charles Franklin Dace of Sullivan, age 67, will be held on today at 1:00 at the Mill Creek Cemetery in Wayne County. Interment will be in the Mill Creek Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the family of Charles Dace. All arrangements are under the direction of the Wilson Mortuary Chapel of Viburnum.

Graveside services for Betty Ann Wooliver formerly of Salem, age 68, will be held Saturday, at 11:00 at the Stone Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 at the Kutis South County Funeral Home.

Funeral services for Harriet Giebink of Rolla, age 88, are incomplete at this time. All arrangements are under the direction of James and Gahr Mortuary in Rolla.

Weather   [TOP]

Today..Mostly sunny, high of 32.
Tonight..Mostly clear, low of 14.
Friday..Sunny, high of 38.
Friday night..Mostly clear, low of 23.
Saturday..Mostly sunny, high of 44.
Saturday night..Partly cloudy, low of 24.
Sunday..Mostly sunny, high of 38.
Sunday night..Mostly clear, low of 25.

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