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

Fact Sheet: 57,013 Kansans Signed Up for Health Coverage in ACA’s First Year

0 | Oct. 21, 2014 | Health Reform

As the second open enrollment period approaches for the health insurance marketplaces created through the Affordable Care Act, the Kansas Health Institute has developed a fact sheet providing a look back at enrollment results from the first year.

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.

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News

Health care compact gains attention as campaign issue

0 | Oct. 30, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Agencies, Health Reform

If the compact is approved by Congress, its nine member states could suspend federal health care regulations within their borders and take over several programs now administered by the federal government.

Kansas City conference tackles language of health care

0 | Oct. 27, 2014 | Health Reform

As reformers work on making the U.S. health care system more efficient, they’re also looking to improve communication with consumers - a concept known as "health literacy."

ACA gets mixed reviews at economic conference

0 | Oct. 24, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance, Medicaid-CHIP

Less than a year after the first plans were sold in the Obamacare marketplace, it’s clear that the law’s impact on consumers, providers and employers has been mixed. But it’s also clear that it’s too soon to fully gauge its impact.

Legislator seeking to lead health committee open to Medicaid expansion discussion

0 | Oct. 21, 2014 | Legislature, Health Reform, Medicaid-CHIP

Rep. Susan Concannon, a Beloit Republican and vice chair of the health committee, says expanding Medicaid eligibility in Kansas is "something we should look at."

Administration signals doubts about calculator permitting plans without hospital benefits

0 | Oct. 16, 2014 | Health Reform, Insurance

Treasury Department officials are preparing to reverse course on an official calculator that permits plans without hospital coverage to pass the health law’s strictest standard for large employers.

Lawsuit against KanCare company puts program in spotlight again

0 | Oct. 30, 2014 | Courts, KanCare

In a lawsuit filed this week, the former Sunflower State Health Plan official claimed she was fired after she objected to a directive to shift KanCare members away from high-cost providers.

KDHE surveyors sent to Osawatomie State Hospital

2 | Oct. 30, 2014 | KDADS, KDHE, Mental Health

The 206-bed inpatient facility for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses this week had 235 patients.

Solving the puzzling mental health issues of Bhutanese refugees

0 | Oct. 28, 2014 | Health Disparities, Mental Health

Yoga - an ancient practice - has helped Bhutanese refugees lower their levels of pain, anxiety and depression.

Shannon Cotsoradis takes helm at children's group

0 | Jun. 29, 2010 | Advocacy

Shannon Cotsoradis, executive vice president at Kansas Action for Children, has been tapped to replace Gary Brunk as the advocacy group's chief executive. Brunk will continue to work on special projects and federal issues for the group he headed for 14 years.

Pharmacy dispute settled

0 | Jun. 18, 2010 | KHPA, Health Care Delivery

A day after the Kansas Health Policy Authority was asked to review its upcoming contract extension with CVS Caremark for state employee pharmacy benefits, CVS and Walgreens announced they had settled their problems.

Businesses challenge smoking ban

1 | Jun. 22, 2010 | Government, Legislature, Tobacco

Several businesses have joined a lawsuit against the state, asserting that the statewide public smoking ban that becomes effective July 1 is unconstitutional.

KDHE surveyors sent to Osawatomie State Hospital

2 | Oct. 30, 2014 | KDADS, KDHE, Mental Health

The 206-bed inpatient facility for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses this week had 235 patients.

Governor launches first of three childhood-poverty forums

1 | Nov. 14, 2011 | Children, Social Determinants of Health

Reducing the number of children born to single mothers is the most effective way to combat childhood poverty. That's according to Robert Rector, the Heritage Foundation fellow picked by Gov. Sam Brownback to keynote the first of his administration's three planned meetings this week on the topic of childhood poverty. Rector's remarks angered some in the audience of about 250 people.

Davis vows to reverse controversial KanCare decision if elected

6 | Oct. 08, 2014 | Campaign 2014, KanCare

The Democratic candidate for governor says support services to Kansans with developmental disabilities should not be part of the state's privatized Medicaid program.

KanCare initiative concerns parents of developmentally disabled adults

3 | Oct. 20, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare

A health home initiative announced by KDADS encourages but does not require KanCare companies to let developmentally disabled Kansans keep their current case managers if they so choose.

Kansas mental health system under increasing stress

16 | 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.

Few adults taking advantage of new KanCare dental coverage

1 | Oct. 24, 2014 | KanCare, Oral Health

When the state handed over administration of Medicaid to three managed care companies, the companies granted basic dental services to more than 130,000 adults who hadn't previously had it under Medicaid. But relatively few of those adults took advantage of it in KanCare's first year.

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