Capitol Comments Articles
Senate Ways and Means Committee Hears Updates on Nursing Shortages at State Hospitals

Kansas State House in Jan (Jan. 24, 2024) – Today, the Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Senator Rick Billinger (R-Goodland), heard from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Deputy Secretary Scott Brunner regarding nursing staffing levels at the four state hospitals. Brunner highlighted they have 1,400 direct care employees at the four hospitals. He shared that the committee vacancy rates for Osawatomie were 38 percent, for Larned 44 percent, more than 25 percent at KNI, and just over 22 percent at Parsons. He shared the current direct care openings and the need in nursing and other specialty areas. Deputy Secretary Brunner suggested that for Larned, the registered nurse vacancy rate is 67.9 percent, and for mental health developmental disability Technicians is 57.4 percent. View the slides here. Brunner highlighted difficulties in competing with agency staffing.

The committee also heard from Yvonne Case, director of operations for Medicaid at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The committee heard an overview of the timelines and process. Case highlighted that as of the Dec. 31st numbers, 53,444 individuals in Kansas have been discontinued from the Medicaid program. Call response times and process improvements were discussed with the committee.