Health Reform

Health reform has not played such a dominant role in public debate and policymaking for nearly 20 years. While there is growing agreement that fundamental changes must be made given the growing costs of health care and the toll that takes on individuals and the economy, there is still wide disagreement on what meaningful reform should entail. KHI researchers and journalists monitor and report on health reform efforts at the state and federal levels.

Issue Brief: Insurance Marketplace Now Open—Plan and Cost Options for Kansans

0 | Health Reform

After more than three years of preparation and debate, the health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act opened this week in Kansas for enrollment in coverage starting as early as Jan. 1. While the initial rollout is likely to experience technical challenges and limited online functionality, the plans available and the prices for coverage in the marketplace are described in this brief.

Policy and Research

Issue Brief: Health Reform Likely to Increase Demand on Mental Health System

1 | May. 30, 2014 | Research, Health Insurance, Health Reform, Press Releases

Recently released federal data show the Kansas mental health system could expect up to 7,700 new patients due to expansion of insurance coverage under ObamaCare. This influx of patients could create strain on the mental health system in some Kansas communities.

Kansas Health Insurance Marketplace: An Insider's Look

0 | Feb. 21, 2014 | Health Insurance, Health Reform

Join us in a discussion of early experiences with implementation of the ACA in Kansas The Marketplace and how it is structured and operating in Kansas.

Issue Brief: Nearly 182,000 Kansans in the ‘Eligibility Gap’

0 | Feb. 11, 2014 | Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 aims to increase the number of people with health insurance by expanding both private and public coverage. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the law will reduce the number of uninsured Americans under age 65 by approximately 27 million by the year 2017. However, in Kansas, approximately 182,000 people fall into an eligibility gap, and 78,400 of them currently do not have health insurance. Nearly half of Kansans in the gap are also employed.

Video: KHI's St. Peter on the economic outlook for the healthcare industry

0 | Dec. 05, 2013 | Health Reform

The Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University invited Robert St. Peter — president and CEO of the Kansas Health Institute — to present at its annual conference on the economic outlook for the healthcare industry.

KHI's St. Peter explains elements of ACA on NPR

0 | Dec. 04, 2013 | Health Reform

NPR recently interviewed KHI President and CEO Robert St. Peter for stories airing this week on the Affordable Care Act. As he explains, under the new federal health reform law, insurers can only set prices for an individual’s insurance based on three things: age and smoking, and where you live.

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News

Religious employers offered fix on birth control coverage rules

0 | Aug. 22, 2014 | Government, Health Reform

The measure will allow religious nonprofits and business owners to notify the government, rather than their insurance company, that birth control violates their religious beliefs.

HCF announces more than $345,000 for insurance marketplace outreach

0 | Aug. 22, 2014 | Foundations, Health Reform

The funding will be used to enroll the uninsured in the Kansas City area by providing enrollment counselors, increasing collaboration and recruiting additional enrollment partners.

Survey: 16% of large employers to offer low-benefit 'skinny' plans despite ACA

0 | Aug. 13, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

The results weren't unexpected by benefits pros, who realized last year that health reform regulations would allow lower-benefit coverage and even make them attractive for some employers.

Study: Rejection of Medicaid expansion costing Kansas, Missouri hospitals billions

1 | Aug. 08, 2014 | Health Reform, Hospitals, Medicaid-CHIP

The analysis says that without Medicaid expansion, Kansas hospitals stand to lose $2.6 billion between 2013 and 2022.

Survey: Insurance rates lag in health law holdout states

0 | Aug. 06, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

Kansas was the only state with a statistically significant increase in its uninsured rate, which climbed by 5.1 percentage points.

Kansas mental health system under increasing stress

13 | Aug. 18, 2014 | Mental Health

Directors at many of the 26 community mental health centers in Kansas say the system is breaking down because state funding hasn’t kept pace with the increasing demands for care in their communities.

New regulations could end dispute over Kansas coal-fired power plant

0 | Aug. 20, 2014 | Environment

Greenhouse gas regulations recently proposed by the EPA could block a proposed facility next to an existing coal-fired unit at Sunflower’s station outside Holcomb.

Efforts continue to expand Medicaid in Kansas and Missouri

0 | Jan. 06, 2014 | Health Reform, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The political dynamics are a bit different in Kansas than in Missouri, but in both states supporters of expanded Medicaid programs are taking the same tack in hopes of persuading reluctant Republican policymakers to eliminate the so-called "Medicaid gap" that is leaving more than 340,000 low-income Kansans and Missourians without health insurance.

Labor Dept. mandates minimum wage, overtime pay for home health workers

0 | Sep. 18, 2013 | Workforce

The U. S. Department of Labor issued new rules Tuesday that mandate home health care agencies pay their workers the minimum wage and receive overtime pay starting in 2015.

Doctors serve as laboratory for medical homes in Kansas

1 | Feb. 20, 2012 | Health Care Delivery, Medicaid-CHIP

Larry Rahn had never heard of a "patient-centered medical home," though his doctor's practice here is one of a handful certified in Kansas. Nonetheless, the 49-year-old John Deere mechanic said he had noticed something different about Dr. Jerad Widman's approach to medicine and that his health has improved in seven years under Widman's care.

High-tech gear helps disabled live independent, healthier lives

0 | Sep. 13, 2013 | Health Care Delivery, University of Kansas

Nearly 700 people got a look at the latest technology developed to help people with disabilities at the Assistive Technology Expo. The semi-annual event is organized by Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK), a federally funded center at the University Kansas that connects people with disabilities and health conditions with tools to help them learn, work, play, and live independently.

Kansas mental health system under increasing stress

13 | Aug. 18, 2014 | Mental Health

Directors at many of the 26 community mental health centers in Kansas say the system is breaking down because state funding hasn’t kept pace with the increasing demands for care in their communities.

Yoder stresses importance of federal funding for biomedical research

1 | Aug. 19, 2014 | Government, KU Medical Center, University of Kansas

Last year, KU and the University of Kansas Medical Center received more than $75 million in NIH funding.

New federal rules will disrupt care for disabled Kansans, state officials say

1 | Aug. 12, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery, KanCare

KDADS Secretary Kari Bruffett says with the changes, thousands of Kansans likely would need to move from home-based care to a nursing home setting.

Study: Rejection of Medicaid expansion costing Kansas, Missouri hospitals billions

1 | Aug. 08, 2014 | Health Reform, Hospitals, Medicaid-CHIP

The analysis says that without Medicaid expansion, Kansas hospitals stand to lose $2.6 billion between 2013 and 2022.

Accuracy of survey showing spike in Kansas uninsured rate questioned

1 | Aug. 11, 2014 | Insurance, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

With enrollment up in Medicaid and private insurance, it appears some sort of methodological or sampling error is the most likely explanation for the Kansas results in the Gallup poll.

KC public housing smoking ban puts onus on tenants

8 | May. 22, 2014 | Community Health, Government, Tobacco

A new policy aims to do away with smoking in city-owned housing, but many residents are not pleased.

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