Bram Sable-Smith

Bram Sable-Smith

Bram Sable-Smith, Midwest Correspondent, joined KHN after eight years covering public health and the social safety net for Wisconsin Public Radio, The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, KBIA in Columbia, Missouri, and as a founding reporter of Side Effects Public Media, a public media reporting collaborative in the Midwest. He also taught radio journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. His reporting has received national recognition, including two Edward R. Murrow Awards, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards and two health policy awards from the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Medical exiles: Families flee states amid crackdown on transgender care

By: , , and - June 26, 2023

Hal Dempsey wanted to “escape Missouri.” Arlo Dennis is “fleeing Florida.” The Tillison family “can’t stay in Texas.” They are part of a new migration of Americans who are uprooting their lives in response to a raft of legislation across the country restricting health care for transgender people. Missouri, Florida, and Texas are among at […]

Can a fetus be an employee? States are testing the boundaries of personhood after ‘Dobbs’

By: - May 8, 2023

CLAYTON, Mo. — Kaitlyn Anderson was six months pregnant when a driver killed her and a Missouri Department of Transportation colleague in 2021 while they were doing roadwork near St. Louis. Her fetus also died. Although Anderson’s family tried to sue the department on her behalf, workers’ compensation laws in Missouri and elsewhere shield employers […]

Temp nurses cost hospitals big during the pandemic. Missouri lawmakers are mulling limits

By: - March 17, 2023

To crack down on price gouging, proposed legislation in Missouri calls for allowing felony charges against health care staffing agencies that substantially raise their prices during a declared emergency. A New York bill includes a cap on the amount staffing agencies can charge health care facilities. And a Texas measure would allow civil penalties against […]

Months-long wait for Missouri Medicaid coverage is a sign of what’s to come

By: and - April 4, 2022

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News.  Korra Elliott has tried to avoid seeing a doctor while waiting to get on Medicaid. She worries she can’t afford more bills without any insurance coverage. But in early March — five months, she said, after applying and with still no decision about her application — […]

Missouri tried to fix its doctor shortage. Now the fix may need fixing

By: - March 17, 2022

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News.  Missouri state Rep. Tricia Derges is pushing a bill to give assistant physicians like herself a pathway to becoming fully licensed doctors in the state. Not that Derges — among the highest-profile holders of the assistant physician license created in 2014 to ease a doctor shortage […]

Missouri takes months to process Medicaid applications — longer than law allows

By: and - February 18, 2022

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News.  Aneka French applied for Medicaid in October, not long after Missouri became the 38th state to expand eligibility for the program. But her application sat for months in a backlog with tens of thousands of others. While she waited, French, 45, an uninsured medical technician from […]

Bounties and bonuses: Small Missouri hospitals are left behind by COVID staffing wars

By: - February 7, 2022

This story was originally publish by Kaiser Health News. A recent lawsuit filed by one Wisconsin health system that temporarily prevented seven workers from starting new jobs at a different health network raised eyebrows, including those of Brock Slabach, chief operations officer of the National Rural Health Association. “To me, that signifies the desperation that […]

States like Missouri look to upgrade glitchy, outdated health care technology

By: - February 2, 2022

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News.  Jamie Taylor received two letters from the Missouri Department of Social Services Family Support Division that began, “Good news,” before stating that she was denied Medicaid coverage. Her income exceeded the state’s limits for the federal-state public health insurance program for people with low incomes. Missouri […]

Protesters at Medicaid expansion rally

A tale of two Medicaid expansions: Oklahoma jumps in, while Missouri lags

By: - December 3, 2021

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News. Temp worker James Dickerson applied for Medicaid because it will be cheaper than his current health plan. Home health aide Sharon Coleman looks forward to having coverage that will cover a hospital stay. Incoming medical student Danielle Gaddis no longer worries a trip to the doctor […]

Missouri’s thin dental safety net stretched amid Medicaid expansion

By: - November 16, 2021

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News and KSMU. At the Access Family Care clinics in southwestern Missouri, the next available nonemergency dental appointment is next summer. Northwest Health Services, headquartered in St. Joseph, is booked through May. The wait is a little shorter at CareSTL Health in St. Louis — around six […]

‘Are you going to keep me safe?’: Hospital workers sound alarm on rising violence

By: and - October 11, 2021

This story was originally published by Kaiser Health News. The San Leandro Hospital emergency department, where nurse Mawata Kamara works, went into lockdown recently when a visitor, agitated about being barred from seeing a patient due to COVID-19 restrictions, threatened to bring a gun to the California facility. It wasn’t the first time the department faced […]