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.

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, Press Releases, Public Health Systems and Services, 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.

Testimony: A Health Impact Assessment of Changes to the Kansas Liquor Control Act

0 | Mar. 06, 2014 | Health Impact Assessment, KHI Legislative Testimony

KHI offered neutral testimony on HB 2556, a bill that would permit convenience and grocery stores to hold retail liquor licenses.

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.

Medicaid Expansion: Is it worth it?

0 | Jan. 24, 2014 | Medicaid-CHIP

The Kansas Health Institute hosted an event for Kansas legislators and other key stakeholders on Medicaid Expansion. Our guest speaker was Kate Baicker, a national authority on the consideration of Medicaid expansion.

Kansas Medicaid: Beyond the Basics supplement

0 | Jan. 21, 2014 | Medicaid-CHIP

This supplemental guide to our Medicaid Primer provides an in-depth look at six key issues as they relate to the federal/state health insurance program for low-income Kansans: 1) KanCare, 2) The Affordable Care Act, 3) Medicaid Providers and Reimbursements, 4) Home- and Community-Based Services, 5) The Health Care Safety Net, and 6) Pharmacy Benefits.

More research from

Tucson and Southern Arizona: A Desert Region Pursuing Better Health and Health System Performance

April 17, 2014

The southern Arizona region encompassing Tucson outperforms many other regions with similar socioeconomic characteristics, which may stem from the emphasis providers place on delivery system innovation and best practices and the prevalence of managed care arrangements.

Grand Rapids and West Central Michigan: Pursuing Health Care Value Through Regional Planning, Cooperation, and Investment

April 17, 2014

The region of West Central Michigan encompassing Grand Rapids and surrounding communities performs especially well on measures of prevention and treatment quality, avoidable hospital use, and costs of care.

Opportunity for Regional Improvement: Three Case Studies of Local Health System Performance

April 17, 2014

Case studies of three U.S. regions that ranked relatively high on the Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on Local Health System Performance, 2012, despite greater poverty compared with peers, revealed several common themes.

Buffalo and Western New York: Collaborating to Improve Health System Performance by Leveraging Social Capital

April 17, 2014

The western region of New York State encompassing Buffalo and surrounding counties performs especially well on measures of access, prevention, and treatment.

Community Factors and Hospital Readmission Rates

April 16, 2014

A majority of the variation seen in U.S. hospitals’ readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia can be attributed to hospitals’ location, rather than to the quality of care provided in individual hospitals.

Motorbike Couriers Speed Lab Sample Delivery In Malawi

April 18, 2014

Owen Nyaka, a member of the Key Correspondents Network supported by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, writes in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog about how the “Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) plans to work with motorcycle couriers Riders for Health to expand the laboratory samples transportation network in Malawi.” He notes,More

The Atlantic Examines Factors Surrounding High C-Section Rate In Brazil

April 15, 2014

The Atlantic: Why Most Brazilian Women Get C-Sections “…Brazil has a free, public health care system, but many of its wealthier residents — about a quarter of the population — use a private insurance scheme that functions much like the U.S. medical system. … The economics of private insurance certainly play a role, but cultureMore

High-Level Panel Discusses Importance Of Universal Health Care In Development Framework

April 14, 2014

Devex: New high-level support for universal health coverage “World Bank President Jim Kim convened an impressive panel on the sidelines of the bank’s spring meetings on Friday to lend their voices to the growing chorus of support for a global goal for universal health coverage by 2030. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former New YorkMore

Health Workers Play ‘Critical Role’ In Delivering Quality Care Worldwide

April 11, 2014

Huffington Post: Thank a Health Worker — Unsung Heroes of Global Health Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for global health at USAID “…Health workers — whether a doctor, nurse, midwife or physician’s assistant — are an integral part of a well-functioning health system and necessary for the delivery of quality health care not only in theMore

Three Recommendations For Improving Provision Of Health Care In Africa

April 10, 2014

Huffington Post: Three Recommendations to Foster Development in Africa’s Health Markets James Bernstein, co-founder, chair, and CEO of Eniware LLC, and Aline Wachner, PhD candidate at the International Research Network on Social and Economic Empowerment at Zeppelin University, Germany “First, we all need to transcend our conceptual hesitations and start to act. … [Then, in]More


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