Current Report Articles
President's Perspective – Kansas Hospital Leaders Convene in Topeka

Advocacy Day (Jan. 20, 2023) – This week, more than 100 Kansas hospital leaders convened in Topeka to participate in the Kansas Hospital Association's Advocacy Day. The event, which has not been in-person since 2020, kicked off with opening comments from Governor Laura Kelly. As part of her remarks, Governor Kelly highlighted the importance of the health care sector and the need to support Kansas hospitals and health care providers, including her desire to expand the KanCare program. The attendees heard from several other presenters including Kansas Medicaid Director Sarah Fertig, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt, and a health care panel consisting of representatives from several of the Kansas congressional offices. The highpoint of the KHA Advocacy Day focused on the luncheon opportunity for Kansas hospital leaders to meet with their state elected officials. Several of the advocacy topics highlighted by the KHA membership revolved around ensuring financial viability, promoting health care workforce opportunities and reducing the administrative burdens imposed by health insurance organizations. While the KHA Advocacy Day is a key opportunity to engage our state-elected leaders, it will be vitally essential that Kansas hospital leaders continue to engage in the advocacy efforts throughout the legislative session.

Besides the KHA Advocacy Day, this week also marked the first opportunity for the KHA Board to meet in 2023. As part of the agenda, the KHA Board had the opportunity to hear from the Regional Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' senior administrator Kim Stupica-Dobbs. Ms. Stupica-Dobbs leads and coordinates local external engagement efforts with all regional stakeholders and customers in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. The KHA Board received an overview of CMS’ strategic pillars that focus on the following: engaging partners, driving innovation, expanding access, advancing equity, protecting programs and fostering excellence.

Other highlights from the KHA Board meeting included:

  • Approval of several new KHA members to the following organizations and committees:
    • HealthWorks: Dee Dee Dewell, Pioneer Health Network; Stephanie Bjornstad, Rooks County Health Center.
    • Kansas Healthcare Collaborative: Aimee Zimmerman, Logan County Hospital; Dallas Purkeypile, Advent Ottawa
    • KHA Audit Committee Chairperson: Harold Courtois, Memorial Health System
  • Received a status report on the changes and implementation of the hospital provider assessment program
  • Adopted the KHA finance and investment report
  • Completed the annual corporate compliance training
  • Heard from the KHA team regarding latest advocacy activities on the federal and state level as well as health care finance initiatives
  • Learned about the KHA workforce initiatives, including the Virtual Health Care Career Fair occurring later this spring in partnership with the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas Department of Education
  • Received the latest information on KHA activities in the areas of education, quality and patient safety

KHA would like to thank the hospital leaders who traveled to Topeka to advocate on our priorities. The key to effective grassroots advocacy is the personal interaction between elected officials and their constituents. If you were unable to attend this year's KHA Advocacy Day, you can still become part of our grassroots advocacy team by meeting with your elected officials when they are in their home districts. Let us know how we can assist you in this endeavor!
--Chad Austin