The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 11, 1997 · Page 21
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 21

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, May 11, 1997
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Page 21
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SUNDAY MAY 11, 1997 THE SALINA JOURNAL Money PERSONALS / C2 CLASSIFIED / INSIDE c T SALINA TV KSN plans TV station for Salina NBC station would have its own news anchor and reporters By ALF ABUHAJLEH The Salina Journal The development of Salina's first television station has picked up some interference, but it's uncertain whether it will delay the projected January 1998 start-up date. The hitch is a Federal Communications Commission rejection of an application for the station because the proposed tower site north of Salina is 6 miles too far west. The developer of the station, Kansas State Network, a web of NBC affiliates headquartered at KSNW in Wichita, has filed documents asking the FCC to reconsider. Al Buch, general manager of the Kansas State Network, said he didn't know when the federal commission would respond. "Our lawyers are looking into this, but these things always take time," he said. Kansas State Network is owned by Iowa-based Lee Enterprises and has three satellite stations — at Great Bend, Garden City and Oberlin. To build the tower and develop the Salina television station would cost about $5 million, Buch said. The project was announced last fall. He didn't know how far the television signal would reach, but said residents of north-central Kansas would be able to pick it up. Buch was optimistic the station would be launched. He wouldn't disclose, however, what the programming line-up would be, except that the Salina station would have its own news team with anchors and field reporters. "You are a growing town with a lot of things going on, so you have room for local television news," Buch said. "Central Kansas is a big, black hole. There is a large population but no commercial network." Roxanne Earnest, administrative coordinator of Community Access Television of Salina, said Salina is due for a commercial television station. . But Earnest said Community Access Television could fill a niche in delivering television news. >"If the people and the businesses of Salina would support us financially, Access Television is ca- of producing unbiased news our community," she said. Cook, president of the -Saima Area Chamber of Commerce, said it's about time Salina had its own station. "They have television stations in other towns that are smaller than us and they seem to be doing well," he said. Rick Christy, general manager of the cable television company TCI of Salina, 144 N. Seventh, said he didn't know why Salina is without a television station. My opinion is that we might be in between markets," he said. "We have the market to support a television station, and it would be really good for Salina." A Salina station would give local businesses a new avenue to market themselves, said Barry Weis, co-owner of Nelson-Weis, an advertising firm at 131 N. Santa Fe. "I would think that some dollars shifted from newspaper and radio to television advertising," he said. "Television is a very powerful medium. We would advise customers to spend part of their advertising budget there." Airfare comparison AT THE WATERCOOLER Redirect your energies Focusing all your resources on your current job could kill your career, finds Exec-U-Net, a management information service. A survey of executive search firms found that 75 percent believe working all-out at your job should take second place to network- and contact- building if you want to be on the move. D«»llnallon From Salina From Wichita Chicago-O'Hare D^YoA-UOuafdia St. Louis 214 . .291 : ;..:. 284 223 :.•••;•«?,••:>:•.. 260 Pittsburgh 338 514 All lares are USAir and show the cheapest round-trip prices as ot the previous Thursday it tickets are bought three weeks in advance. Fares from Kansas City to these cities are $40 less than lares from Salina. Destinations are the most popular ones for Salinans (lying USAir. A limited number of tickets Is available at these prices. Hot wheels Owning and operating a car costs more in Los Angeles than any other metropolitan area in the country, finds management consultants Runzheimer International. It costs $8,762 to drive a typical 1997 midsize car in Los Angeles. Philadelphia is the second most expensive metro area for driving, with a tab of $7,959. Gee, thanks The Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto has some advice on cleaning. When you're vacuuming and dusting, don't forget drapes, light bulbs, picture frames and lamp shades. If you're worried about dust and allergens on stuffed animals, just vacuum Teddy, put him in a plastic bag and freeze for 24 hours. Kansas Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebellus describes the program she put In place In her state agency. Employees can bring newborns to the office until the babies are 6 months old. Kendall Copp and her mother, JaLynn Copp, are the first to take part in the program. The Associated Press Kids at the Office At state agency, newborns can accompany parents to work By DICK LIPSEY Tlie Associated Press TOPEKA — JaLynn Copp works full time as a lawyer with the Kansas Insurance Department, but she was on hand to see her infant daughter roll over for the first time — right next to her desk. Copp is the first working parent in the department's "infant at work" program, and for the past four months daughter Kendall has shared her mother's work space. The program, announced last week by Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius, allows new mothers and fathers to bring their infants to work for the first 180 days after the baby's birth or adoption. "This program is a benefit I could provide which allows JaLynn to do her job and be with her child," Sebelius said. "Fora lot of people, a three- or four- or six-week maternity leave is not when they're ready to part with the baby." Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebellus who implemented program The program was developed by an employee committee, but Sebelius said she knew it could work because she had taken part in a similar program 16 years ago when her first child was born. "I was struggling with whether to quit my job or work part time," Sebelius said. But she found that there were no problems in bringing her child to work in her small office then. "Given that experience, I knew it could work," she said. Copp said her immediate supervisor was skeptical at first, but the program has gone smoothly. "There was only one day I had to go home, and that was the day after she got her shots," Copp said. "The most time I spend away from work is when I feed her, and that's twice a day." The department has about 160 employees, and several of them are considering the program, Sebelius said. The department has developed written guidelines that employees must sign and they can be dropped from the program for violations. A sick child cannot be brought to work, for example, and the parent must have a written agreement from another employee who is willing to watch the child when the parent is in a meeting or otherwise unable to do so. Sebelius said the program would help productivity by reducing turnover and reducing stress that new parents might feel. "I think that for a lot of people, a three- or four- or six-week maternity leave is not when they're ready to part with the baby," she said. Kendall is almost six months old, and is about to "graduate" from the program, her mother said. "She's getting more active, so she'll go to day-care," Copp said. T STAYING AHEAD HMOs may be poor choice for senior citizens Source: USAir Journal Graphic Cost is a big plus, but quality of care and deceptive sales pitches can be minuses NEW YORK — Solid evidence exists that for some patients, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) can be hazardous to health. They don't take good care of the most vulnerable among the sick. In a study of the chroni- A cally ill, the elderly and the sickest poor fared much worse in three urban HMOs than their counterparts did in traditional health plans, reports John Ware, senior scientist at Boston's New England Medical Center. On the other hand, younger patients in his study — who had higher average incomes and whose chronic illnesses weren't as bad — did just as well in the HMOs and at lower cost. So HMOs — good *— HMOs — can be a reasonable option for working people. Older people, however, have to think carefully about whether to join. JANE BRYANT QUINN The Washington Post HMOs serve more t!- mn 13 percent of the Medicare population, "hey're concentrated in the West. In the Eas~, the top states are Florida, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, according to the industry's trade group, the American Association of Health Plans. There are pluses and minuses to Medicare HMOs. Big HMO advantage Is cost The big plus is cost. Medicare HMOs give you Medicare Parts A and B (for hospitalization and doctor bills), coverage for all Medicare deductibles and coinsurance, plus benefits that traditional plans for the elderly don't include: things like annual physicals, eyeglasses, dental coverage and low-cost prescription drugs. You also get preventive care. Premiums may go up and free services decline if Congress, as expected, cuts payments to Medicare HMOs. But the plans will still be attractive, financially. You can join a Medicare HMO with no waiting period and regardless of health, unless you have kidney failure or are in hospice care. You pay your Part B Medicare premiums (currently $43.80 a month). But you don't have to buy a Medigap policy to help pay the bills that Medicare doesn't. The HMO is Medigap and Medicare, rolled into one. Two-thirds of Medicare HMOs charge zero monthly premiums, the American Association of Health Plans says. Most of the rest charge between $20 and $60. There might also be copayments for every doctor visit, in the range of $2 to $10. Another plus is paperwork. There isn't much. In fact, there may not be any at all. Not every city has a Medicare HMO. To find one, call your Area Agency on Aging. Medical care can be a minus The minuses fall into two categories. One is sales, the other is care. Enormous deceptions have been recorded in surveys by "mystery shoppers," who listen to pitches by salespeople who may bill themselves as "Medicare consultants." For example, they may not explain that you're locked into seeing the doctors on the HMO's list. If you go to an outside specialist without authorization, neither the HMO nor Medicare will pay. Your own doctor may be on the list. But once you join the HMO, he or she may have to give you less treatment, or different treatment, than you got under regular Medicare. You're entitled to urgently needed care when you're temporarily out of town. But your HMO may argue over whether your problem was really "urgent." If you spend part of the year away from your HMO's service area, no one will normally cover your medical expenses. As for quality of care, there's evidence that the oldest patients and the disabled get poorer access to care in HMOs than in traditional plans, Diane Archer, head of the Medicare Rights Center in New York City, told my associate, Kate O'Brien Ahlers. The industry cites other studies showing, for example, that elderly people with cancer are diagnosed earlier in HMOs. By law, Medicare beneficiaries have appeal rights if they're refused a service they think they need. But a Tucson, Ariz., judge last October ruled that the HMOs' appeals system isn't working. Cases may go on for months. In the meantime, the patient's health may deteriorate beyond repair. The Health Care Financing Administration, which administers Medicare, is planning a 72-hour limit for resolving most cases. But how well this works remains to be seen. For more information on Medicare HMOs, send for the brochure, "Medicare Health Maintenance Organizations: Your Rights, Risks and Obligations," $3 from the Medical Rights Center, Box RRO, 1460 Broadway, 8th floor, New York, N.Y. 10036. SUGGESTIONS? CALL MARY JO PROCHAZKA, MONEY EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjnew8®saljournal.com

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