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

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

Provider Incentives: Thinking Beyond Financial Rewards and Penalties

Sept. 2, 2014

A new set of grants—part of The Commonwealth Fund's Incentives 2.0 initiatives—looks to the fields of behavioral economics, psychology, sociology, and the management sciences to identify new ways of designing incentives that encourage providers to consistently make decisions that promote higher-value health care. For some background on this initiative, we asked Mark Zezza, assistant vice president of Delivery System Reform and Cost Control, a few questions.

State Strategies for Integrating Physical and Behavioral Health Services in a Changing Medicaid Environment

Aug. 28, 2014

Drawing on a review of the literature and interviews with consumers, providers, payers, and policymakers, this report explores strategies states are deploying to address or eliminate system-level barriers to integrated care for a medically complex and high-cost Medicaid population.

The Next Frontier: Insurance Marketplaces That Promote Quality Improvement

Aug. 21, 2014

In 2014, most state-run health insurance marketplaces focused on the technical challenges of enrolling millions of people in new coverage. While this will continue to be a challenge this year, ongoing operational improvements will allow marketplaces to better focus on encouraging the delivery of better, more cost-effective care.

Arkansas: A Leading Laboratory for Health Care Payment and Delivery System Reform

Aug. 19, 2014

In crafting their health care payment and delivery system reform strategies, states can learn from early innovators. This issue brief focuses on one such state: Arkansas.

After Halbig: Considerations for States Revisiting the Option to Establish a State-Based Marketplace

Aug. 14, 2014

Last month, a federal appeals court ruled that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not authorize premium subsidies for low- and middle-income consumers who purchase health coverage through one of the law’s federally run insurance marketplaces.

Ebola Outbreak Having Devastating Effects On HCWs, Health Systems In West Africa

Sept. 2, 2014

News outlets report on how the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is affecting health care workers and health systems. Agence France-Presse: Ebola epidemic decimating health workers in Guinea “…The World Health Organization said last week that more than 120 health workers across the region had died during the ‘unprecedented’ outbreak which began early this year,More

New Issue Of ‘Global Fund News Flash’ Available Online

Sept. 2, 2014

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash Issue 48 of the Global Fund News Flash discusses five general and six technical recommendations “identifying areas where concept notes could be strengthened” under the new funding model (9/1).

Editorial, Opinion Piece Call For Additional Resources To Control Ebola, Strengthen Health Systems

Aug. 29, 2014

The following editorial and opinion piece discuss the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. New York Times: An Ominous Ebola Forecast Editorial Board “The World Health Organization warned on Thursday that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, already the largest outbreak ever recorded, is going to get much worse over the next six months, the shortestMore

Defeating Ebola ‘Requires Commitment And Support’ From Global Community

Aug. 29, 2014

Global Health Governance: The Truth about Ebola: Global Health Leaders Try to Fight Panic with Information Contributing blogger Tara Ornstein writes about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, concluding, “…[T]his outbreak has provided a clear example that maintaining and protecting global health requires commitment and support from the international community” (8/28).

Government, Public Health Officials Work To Gain Public Trust Amid West African Ebola Outbreak

Aug. 27, 2014

News outlets explore the issues of leadership and public trust as governments attempt to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Devex: Amid the fog of Ebola, can civil society leaders help keep the peace? “…The international community is bent on stopping the spread of the [Ebola] virus and bringing the crisis to a peaceful,More

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