Dan Margolies | KCUR

Dan Margolies

Health and Legal Affairs Editor

Dan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and moved to Kansas City with his family when he was eight years old. He majored in philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and holds law and journalism degrees from Boston University. He has been an avid public radio listener for as long as he can remember – which these days isn’t very long… Dan has been a two-time finalist in The Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, and has won multiple regional awards for his legal and health care coverage. Dan doesn't have any hobbies as such, but devours one to three books a week, assiduously works The New York Times Crossword puzzle Thursdays through Sundays and, for physical exercise, tries to get in a couple of rounds of racquetball per week.

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A day after Kansas notified Planned Parenthood in May 2016 that it would cut off its participation in Medicaid, the nonprofit group sued to block the move.

So Kansas hired three high-powered East Coast law firms to defend it in a case that would slog on for nearly three years before Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration agreed to drop the termination effort in April.

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Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt says a proposed deal to reduce public defender workloads doesn’t protect the interests of the public, and he wants permission to intervene in the case.

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Missouri and Kansas have joined 41 other states and Puerto Rico in a lawsuit accusing generic drug makers of conspiring to manipulate and drive up prices for more than 100 generic drugs.

The 510-page lawsuit, filed in federal court in Connecticut, names 20 drug companies and 15 executives as defendants, alleging they participated in a conspiracy led by generic drug giant Teva Pharmaceuticals USA.

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Kansas is one of just a handful of states that doesn’t allow a person injured by a drunk driver to sue the retailer who furnished the alcohol.

On Friday, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld that 34-year-old rule, saying it was up to the Legislature to change it.

On March 10, 2015, Jeff Kudlacik was driving down 135th  Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park around 11 p.m. when a Ford Fusion going 70 miles an hour ran a red light and slammed into his Mitsubishi 3000 sedan, slicing it in half.

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The parents of a Maryville, Missouri, teenager with autism have asked for a new trial after a jury declined to find the police officers who tased him liable for damages.

In a motion filed Friday, Ernest and Ella Kramer say the jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence, “resulting in a miscarriage of justice.”

The motion states that the officers had no reasonable suspicion to stop then-18-year-old Christopher Kramer in the first place and that his detention was unconstitutional.

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In 2015, two members of the nonprofit organization Free the Nipple-Springfield Residents Promoting Equality went topless – although their nipples were covered – in Springfield’s town square to protest the city’s indecent exposure ordinance.

After the protest, the Springfield City Council enacted an even stricter ordinance, which Free the Nipple and the two members challenged in court.

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Jurors who declined to find two police officers liable for tasing a teen with autism were willing to consider holding the city of Maryville, Missouri, liable – but the judge took that decision out of their hands.

One of the jurors who served on the seven-member federal jury told KCUR this week that the jury was never told why the city was removed from the case.

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

The Kansas Constitution protects a woman's right to an abortion, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The landmark ruling now stands as the law of the land in Kansas with no path for an appeal. Because it turns on the state's Constitution, abortion would remain legal in Kansas even if the Roe v. Wade case that established a national right to abortion is ever reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

(This story was updated at 4:45 p.m.)
 

Kansas women have a fundamental right to abortion, the state’s Supreme Court ruled Friday — a decision that has conservatives vowing to amend the state constitution.

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AdventHealth will take over operation of Ransom Memorial Health, a 44-bed acute-care hospital in Ottawa, Kansas, the Florida-based health system announced on Wednesday.

Ransom Memorial will be renamed AdventHealth Ottawa. It joins other members of the AdventHealth network, including AdventHealth Shawnee Mission in Merriam, Kansas, formerly known as Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

The University of Kansas Health System

Two Kansas City area hospitals joined 12 other transplant centers this week in a lawsuit over a new liver allocation policy that they say will result in “hundreds of liver transplant candidates needlessly dying.”

The University of Kansas Hospital and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed in Atlanta against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS, the private organization that contracts with the government to manage the nation’s organ transplant system.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Buoyed by the biggest gift in its history, $10 million from the Sunderland Foundation, Truman Medical Centers on Thursday launched an ambitious campaign to raise nearly $19 million to upgrade its neonatal intensive care unit.

The push to modernize and expand Truman's NICU has locked in pledges of $14 million, according to hospital officials. That includes additional commitments of $2.5 million from the Hall Family Foundation and other contributors such as Waddell and Reed CEO Phil Sanders, the president of Truman’s board. 

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An Overland Park psychiatrist has lost his medical license after state regulators alleged he had sex with a patient, exploited a patient relationship for financial gain and continued to practice after his license was suspended in 2018.

Under a consent order entered Tuesday, Brian Patrick Lahey waived his right to a contested hearing and agreed to an indefinite suspension of his Kansas license.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

A legal tug-of-war that’s engulfed the Missouri state auditor and tiny Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville, Missouri, appeared to have ended yesterday but may drag on a bit longer.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

A state court judge has thrown out a lawsuit seeking damages against the board of trustees of tiny Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville, Missouri, and Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway.

The lawsuit was filed by the owner of the hospital, Hospital Partners Inc., in Putnam County in April 2018, but the company had taken no action since then. The case was later moved to Cole County, where it continued to languish and was dismissed on Monday.

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Kansas has dropped its effort to terminate Planned Parenthood’s participation in Medicaid, ending a three-year-long court battle that the state lost at every turn.

The change in policy wasn’t announced publicly but rather came in the form of a joint stipulation to dismiss Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit challenging the state’s move.

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The parents of a teenager with autism who was shot multiple times with a Taser after he stopped to tie his shoe on the lawn of a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper have lost their lawsuit against the city of Maryville, Missouri, and two police officers.

The parents had sued for wrongful detention and excessive use of force. On Thursday, after a two-day trial and about 10 hours of deliberation, a federal jury of four men and three women found in favor of the officers. The jury declined to speak afterward.

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Allegations of financial fraud and stolen hospital records have surfaced in an increasingly nasty legal battle over the fate of Hillsboro Community Hospital in Hillsboro, Kansas.

The critical access hospital, which is partly owned by a company controlled by Florida resident Jorge Perez, is resisting efforts by Perez to move its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case to North Carolina.

That’s where a bankruptcy judge recently consolidated the bankruptcy filings of seven other rural hospitals controlled by Perez and Perez-affiliated groups. The hospitals include the now-closed Oswego Community Hospital in Oswego, Kansas; Horton Community Hospital in Horton, Kansas; and I-70 Community Hospital in Sweet Springs, Missouri.

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Kansas will have to cough up more than $168,000 in legal fees over its attempt to prevent the publication of investigative files related to the murders portrayed in Truman Capote’s book “In Cold Blood.”

The book, which Capote called a nonfiction novel, brought decades of attention to the slayings of four members of the Clutter family in their Holcomb, Kansas, home in 1959.

Missouri Department of Corrections

A narrowly divided U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Missouri death row inmate’s challenge to the state’s single-drug lethal injection method, finding Monday it does not amount to “cruel and unusual” punishment.

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An Overland Park weight-loss hospital that lost its Medicare certification last year remains in legal limbo.

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court upheld on procedural grounds a lower court’s dismissal of Blue Valley Hospital’s lawsuit challenging the loss of its certification.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated to add the comments of Olathe Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim McKee.

A global customer service company is closing an Olathe call center that employs 179 people — although they will be given the chance to work from home.

Concentrix, a Greenville, South Carolina-based subsidiary of publicly owned SYNNEX Corp., told employees on Monday that the facility will close on May 31.

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Even as it seeks to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional, the Trump administration on Monday reported that about 11.4 million people signed up for coverage in 2019 on the act’s state- and federally run exchanges.

That represents a dip from about 11.8 million in 2018, defying fears of a more precipitous drop after the Trump Administration cut promotion and outreach efforts and Congress eliminated the tax penalty for not having coverage.

Kansas City Police Department

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by a black teenager and his mother against the Kansas City Police Department after he was arrested and detained for three weeks for a crime he didn’t commit.

U.S. District Judge Greg Kays ruled on Thursday that the police were entitled to qualified immunity and granted the department’s and individual officers’ motion for summary judgment.

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Kansas Sen. Jim Denning’s defamation lawsuit against The Kansas City Star should be thrown out because the First Amendment protects even untruthful speech, the newspaper asserted in a court filing Wednesday.

In a brief supporting its motion made last month to strike Denning’s petition, The Star says that Denning would be unable to show that the newspaper acted with “actual malice” when it published a column by unpaid guest columnist Steve Rose about Denning’s opposition to Medicaid expansion.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

It’s no longer news that when it comes to its residents’ health, Wyandotte County ranks near the bottom of Kansas counties and Johnson County ranks at the top.

Dan Margolies / KCUR

Three Kansas hospitals are among six hospitals once run by a North Kansas City-based company that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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This story was updated to include comments from Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. 

Yet another ailing rural hospital once operated by EmpowerHMS, which used to be based in North Kansas City, has closed.

The Horton (Kansas) Community Hospital about 78 miles northwest of Kansas City shut its doors at 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to City Administrator John Calhoon.

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Three Kansas City-area hospitals are among 17 in Missouri and seven in Kansas that are being penalized by Medicare this year for high infection and patient-injury rates.

Truman Medical Centers, Research Medical Center and Belton Medical Center will see their Medicare payments reduced by 1 percent because of high rates of complications. It’s the fifth year in a row Truman has been penalized.

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In mid-February, I-70 Community Hospital in Sweet Springs, Missouri, took the unusual step of voluntarily suspending its own license after state regulators said it was “out of regulatory compliance.”

The 15-bed critical access hospital said it planned to reopen in 90 days. But now the path forward has become steeper.

On Thursday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services cut off the hospital’s participation in the Medicare program. CMS cited deficiencies that are “so serious they constitute an immediate threat to patient health and safety.”

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