Health Care Delivery
Delivering health care to all Kansans presents challenges because of the size and rural nature of the state. Because it is rural, Kansas has more federally designated critical access hospitals than any other state. Delivery of care in Kansas is made more difficult because of the shortage of nurses, primary care doctors and other health professionals — and those shortages are expected to deepen as baby boomers age. Access to specialty providers is especially limited, which makes it harder for those without health insurance or limited financial means to receive that care. For thousands of Kansans, dental care is worth a long wait in line, sometimes in harsh weather, for access to one of the large, temporary charity clinics pulled together by Mission of Mercy organizers and volunteers. Although access to specialty providers is limited, Kansas has a disproportionately large number of specialty hospitals. KHI researchers and journalists keep abreast of the multitude of issues related to care delivery and provide timely, accurate information to policymakers and the public.