Policy & Research

We believe that a broad approach is needed to improve the health of Kansans. To make sound decisions that optimize health, policymakers must understand how our health is influenced by a wide range of factors. Among these are the lifestyle choices we make, our socioeconomic status, our cultural diversity, the quality of our communities and schools and the financing, organization and effectiveness of our public health and health care systems.

KHI helps policymakers understand the linkages between these factors and the health of Kansans in several ways. We conduct research; provide policy analysis; convene conversations; and sponsor educational forums. This section highlights our recent work and our commitment to encouraging a comprehensive approach to health policy.

Featured Reports

Monthly Consumer Costs In the Kansas Marketplace

Health Reform, Health Insurance

As of October 1, 2013, there are many new options for Kansans to consider when purchasing health insurance. This report provides information detailing the cost of various health insurance plans available by premium rating areas across the state.

Fact Sheet: Kansas FY2014 Budget Includes Lower Revenue, Spending


The annual budget is the most visible reflection of the policy priorities of the governor and the Legislature. This fact sheet summarizes the budget decisions made by Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature for fiscal year 2014.

Issue Brief: KanCare—MCO Contracts Aim to Achieve Savings and Quality Improvement


This issue brief examines the financial structure for KanCare MCOs, including contract provisions that aim to maintain access to quality services while saving money.

Kansas Health Institute Team Member Elected President of International Health Impact Assessment Association

0 | Jul. 28, 2014 | Health Impact Assessment

SOPHIA is an international association of individuals and organizations that provides leadership in the practice of health impact assessments. The organization serves 370 members spanning 14 countries.

Annual Report Describes Insurance Coverage in Kansas

0 | Jul. 07, 2014 | Health Insurance

The Kansas Health Institute has released its Annual Insurance Update, providing an in-depth look at insurance coverage in the Sunflower State. The report examines public and private insurance coverage using data from the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS).

Expansion of Liquor Licenses to Grocery and Convenience Stores Could Increase Drinking in Youth

0 | Jun. 19, 2014 | Health Impact Assessment

KHI releases second statewide health impact assessment (HIA). This study examines the potential positive and negative health effects of proposed legislation that expands liquor licenses to grocery and convenience stores in Kansas.

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 Groups Partner to Celebrate World Immunization Week

0 | Apr. 23, 2014 | Community Health, Immunizations, Press Releases

In celebration of World Immunization Week, Immunize Kansas Kids and Kansas Health Matters join efforts to inform communities about best practices for immunizations in Kansas.

Issue Brief: Currently Eligible Adults in Medicaid: The Few Who Qualify

0 | Apr. 10, 2014 | Medicaid-CHIP

It is a common misconception that all poor Kansans are eligible for Medicaid. In reality, only a few are actually eligible. To inform the discussion KHI has released a new issue brief (link) that examines in detail who is—and who is not—currently eligible for the combined Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Kansas.

2014 County Health Rankings

0 | Mar. 26, 2014 | Research, Community Health, Press Releases, Rankings-Indicators

With the release of the 2014 County Health Rankings, Kansas counties can see how they compare with their neighbors so they can identify where they do well and where they can improve.

Multiple media outlets cover KHI's health impact assessment work

0 | Mar. 21, 2014 | Health Impact Assessment

Kansas Health Institute policy experts were cited in newspaper and television news reports for stories about health impact assessments influencing changes for Wichita bus system.

More research from

Two Courts, Two Strategies: A Guide to the Recent Decisions on the ACA

July 30, 2014

Much hangs in the balance in the four cases brought by opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In each, the plaintiffs have challenged the power of the IRS to issue a rule that extends premium tax subsidies to all who are eligible, regardless of where they live. As noted in my earlier blog post, in January 2014, federal courts in Washington, D.C., and Virginia upheld the legality of this rule, which draws no distinction between people who receive assistance through state-established exchanges, or marketplaces, and those who rely on the federally facilitated exchange, at the election of their state. Not surprisingly, the plaintiffs in these cases appealed, and two different Appeals Courts weighed in last week. (No rulings have been issued as yet in the other two cases.)

Implementing the Affordable Care Act: State Action on Quality Improvement in State-Based Marketplaces

July 29, 2014

This issue brief reviews actions taken by state-based marketplaces to improve health care quality in three areas: 1) using selective contracting to drive quality and delivery system reforms; 2) informing consumers about plan quality; and 3) collecting data to inform quality improvement.

The Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT) Quality Improvement Program: An Overview for Medical Directors and Primary Care Clinicians in Long Term-Care

July 28, 2014

With support from The Commonwealth Fund, researchers and experts developed Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT), a publicly available quality improvement program that helps nurse aides and other direct-care staff at long-term care facilities identify, evaluate, and manage acute changes in residents’ medical conditions.

Structural Capabilities in Small and Medium-Sized Patient-Centered Medical Homes

July 28, 2014

Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers used accreditation survey data to assess the adoption of these so-called structural capabilities in 30 small and medium-sized primary care practices participating in medical home pilot programs in Colorado, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

Early Experience of a Safety-Net Provider Reorganizing into an Accountable Care Organization

July 18, 2014

This study examines the experience of Cambridge Health Alliance, a safety-net health system in Massachusetts that is working to address the challenges posed by the Affordable Care Act’s payment reforms.

Nearly 570 Dead Of Encephalitis In Indian Outbreak

July 28, 2014

Reuters: India battles to contain ‘brain fever’ as deaths reach almost 570 “Almost 570 people in India have died after contracting encephalitis, commonly known as ‘brain fever,’ health authorities said on Friday, warning the death toll may rise with more people still at risk…” (Bhalla, 7/25).

West African Health Systems Stressed By Ebola Outbreak

July 16, 2014

News outlets report on challenges to stemming the spread of Ebola in West Africa. New York Times: Death Toll From Ebola Surges in West Africa, Prompting Alarm “New cases and deaths from the Ebola virus outbreak in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, already the worst ever recorded for the disease,More

Building Health Systems’ Capacity Can Prevent Future Health Emergencies

July 8, 2014

The Guardian: Ebola cannot be cured but West Africa’s epidemic may have been preventable Lisa Denney, research fellow in the politics and governance program at the Overseas Development Institute “…[Ebola] is plaguing three of the countries least equipped to cope with it [-- Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone]. … To bring the virus under control,More

Blog Post Discusses Private Financing In Uganda’s Health Sector

July 8, 2014

USAID’s “Impact”: Can Private Financing Answer Uganda’s Health Care Woes? Daryl Martyris, a health development officer in USAID Uganda’s Office of Health, HIV/AIDS and Education, discusses private financing for health in Uganda (7/8).

U.N. Agencies Scale Up Health Care Responses In Iraq

July 7, 2014

U.N. News Centre: Iraq: Amid massive displacement, U.N. agencies move to combat spread of communicable diseases “United Nations relief agencies and their partners working amid the ongoing turmoil and massive population displacement in Iraq are scaling up their health care responses, with a major polio vaccination campaign in Baghdad, and efforts to help relieve theMore


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