(June 11, 2021) – Last week, the Kansas Hospital Association Board held its annual retreat and board meeting in Wichita. This event marked a key milestone, as it was the first time the board gathered in person since the COVID-19 pandemic started. A significant portion of the meeting was dedicated to strategic planning and identifying the critical issues important to Kansas hospitals and the patients they serve. To help guide the discussion, the board heard from national experts on the current health care trends and the changes resulting due to the pandemic. They reviewed priorities KHA members highlighted in the recent member satisfaction survey, as well as feedback from KHA staff. KHA Board members also completed a board self-assessment prior to the retreat, which continued to lay the groundwork for a very thoughtful discussion where they were able to identify several key priority areas for the association. The topics discussed included advocacy, workforce development, health improvement in the areas of behavioral and population health, hospital finance and reimbursement, member and partner engagement, along with identification of future and emerging trends. The focus areas identified by the KHA Board will be used to develop KHA's three-year strategic plan beginning 2022. A draft of this plan will be shared with the KHA membership during the fall 2021 district meetings.
In addition to the strategic planning session, the KHA Board also held its official board meeting to discuss several upcoming events and emerging issues. Highlights of the June board meeting are bulleted below:
- Adoption of four new membership applications:
- Kansas Heart Hospital (specialty hospital member)
- Integrated Psychiatric Consultants (health care organization member)
- Class Action Capital (associate member)
- HealthCare Associates Credit Union (associate member).
- Appointments of KHA members to the following boards:
- AJ Thomas, CEO, Rooks County Health Center, Plainville, to the KHA Board of Directors;
- Robert Whitaker, president and CEO, Southwest Medical Center, Liberal, to the Kansas Health Services Corporation Board of Directors; and
- Patrick Custer, CEO, Morton County Health System, Elkhart, and Mary Chipley, RN, director of nursing, High Plains Retirement Village, Lakin, to the Healthworks Board of Directors.
- Federal and state advocacy efforts were discussed. KHA staff reported on the American Families Plan and other federal priorities including the 340B Drug Discount Program, Medicare sequestration and the latest on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' consideration of the changes to the Hospital Provider Assessment Program.
- On the state level, KHA staff reported on the end of the 2021 Kansas legislative session and highlighted the healthcare-related bills that were considered. The topics included the Rural Emergency Hospital legislation, liability protections, rural opportunity zones, telemedicine and the COVID-19 emergency declaration.
- A review of the KHA communication activities included the "Catch Up on Care" campaign. The campaign is focuses on encouraging Kansans to resume care they delayed during the pandemic.
- An update was provided by the KHA Education Department on the preparations for the in-person 2021 KHA Convention and Trade Show.
- KHA continues to focus on several hospital governance and physician leadership activities, including the planning of a joint virtual physician leadership program with the Kansas Medical Society in June.
Thank you to KHA Board Chair Larry Van Der Wege, Lindsborg Community Hospital, Lindsborg, for leading us through some important but challenging discussions. And thank you to the entire KHA Board for their excellent leadership!