(Oct. 18, 2019) – This week, we finished our fall round of Kansas Hospital Association District Meetings. We always appreciate the hospitality shown to KHA members and staff by our district meeting hosts. Let me say a special thank you to this fall's hosts: Jeremy Armstrong, Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems, Beloit; Steven Anderson, The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus, Topeka; Randy Cason, Ascension Via Christi Hospital Pittsburg, Inc., Pittsburg; Pat Patton, Patterson Health Center, Anthony; Tara Ramlochan, Meade District Hospital Artesian Valley Health System, Meade; and Eddie Herman, HaysMed The University of Kansas Health System, Hays.
A major focus of our meetings was quality and how hospitals are using dashboards to drive quality efforts in their facilities. Our attendees shared many best practices that help to engage hospital leaders and community members in quality efforts.
We also discussed, as always, the many important advocacy issues that KHA is dealing with in Washington and Topeka. Certainly, Medicaid expansion and the changing status of that issue was high on the agenda. Other state level issues on the agenda included progress in updating our hospital provider assessment program, the status of the Kansas cap on non-economic damages, and potential scope of practice issues we could see next session. On the federal level, we talked about surprise billing, 340B, and potential drug pricing legislation.
During this round of district meetings, we spent a significant amount of time discussing the increasing level of interest in providing another model of care delivery for some rural parts of our state. As you know, KHA has been exploring this issue for some time through a task force of our members. However, it does appear that there is now a growing awareness by both elected officials and regulatory agencies that the development of such an option is important for the future of rural healthcare. Our district meeting discussion centered around how this conversation is occurring on a federal, state and local level.
In addition to these important topics, we covered a number of other issues during our recent district meetings, including the KHA Strategic Plan and Budget; upcoming KHA educational programs; KHA Political Action Committee, and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kansas Hospital Education and Research Foundation.
Thanks to our sponsors the Kansas Health Service Corporation, APS and KAMMCO for allowing us to have another successful round of district meetings. And thanks most of all to those of you who attended our meetings and gave us such great feedback!