(April 16, 2021) – This week, the Kansas Hospital Association hosted its spring district meetings with hospital leaders from across the state virtually convened to discuss the latest advocacy issues and association activities. The agenda was wide-ranging and covered a variety of topics confronting Kansas hospitals and health care providers.
Each virtual district meeting began with an update on KHA's advocacy efforts on the state and federal levels. Besides covering the policy details associated with the American Rescue Plan of 2021, we also reviewed the latest information on the federal infrastructure package; the status of the 340B drug discount program; and Congress' recent approval of postponing the moratorium on the 2 percent Medicare sequester through the end of 2021. We also touched upon the status of several state legislative priority issues being considered in Topeka. While KHA saw positive results with the passage of the COVID-19 provider liability protections, rural emergency hospital designation and certain state budget provisions, there has been some pushback from key legislators on other policy issues such as telemedicine. The KHA advocacy team also had to play a lot of political defense to overcome several unexpected policy proposals, including those dealing with limiting the ability of employers to require any type of vaccine as a condition of employment.
Members also had the opportunity to share their thoughts during a roundtable discussion focused on the recent requirements related to price transparency, as well as the workforce challenges experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional information and resources were provided on the quality and patient safety initiatives currently underway, which included the statewide immunization project and the Fourth Trimester Initiative. Also highlighted were the results of the 2020 KHA Membership Satisfaction Survey, as well as the name change of KHA's foundation from KHERF to Healthworks. Several other updates were shared with the membership that included the "Catch Up On Care Campaign," KHA awards program, the Walk with a Doc initiative, and KHA's educational programs. As always, we greatly appreciate our KHA sponsors who shared valuable information from KHSC, APS and KaMMCO.
Thanks to all of you who attended our meetings. Your participation and involvement are much appreciated! If you weren't able to join us for one of the virtual meetings, a recording of the meeting and PowerPoint presentation are available to members on the KHA website. Please let us know if you have questions or need additional assistance.