Public Health Systems and Services

The structure, financing and staffing of the public health system each play a crucial role in improving the health status of Kansans. State and local health departments strive to organize and fund themselves in a manner that maximizes their positive impact on community health and well being. KHI researchers examine and evaluate the organization, financing and delivery of public health services across Kansas as a whole and within Kansas communities individually. KHI News Service journalists document developments that affect the public health system. For more information about the kinds of public health programs and issues that are relevant to Kansas, please see the Community Health topic.

KHI leads national public health project

0 | Public Health

The Center for Sharing Public Health Services is a $4 million national initiative managed by the Kansas Health Institute with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The project involves 16 teams in 14 states comprised of public health agencies, policymakers, their partners and key stakeholders that are collaborating to strengthen their ability to provide public health essential services, improve efficiency and control costs. The 16 teams make up a national Shared Services Learning Community working to identify, test and define methods of cross-jurisdictional sharing. The Center communicates these sharing activities and provides technical assistance to the Shared Services Learning Community and others in the broader public health arena.

Policy and Research

Kansas Health Institute Receives Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Continue National Public Health Effort

0 | Nov. 11, 2014 | Public Health Systems and Services

Grant extension will allow KHI to maintain Center for Sharing Public Health Services, a national initiative that supports cross-jurisdictional sharing in public health.

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: Community Health Assessment and Improvement Planning in Kansas

0 | Dec. 23, 2013 | Public Health Systems and Services

This issue brief summarizes the results of a study of community health assessments and community health improvement plans. The information for this study was gathered through various focus groups and surveys about experiences and outcomes in Kansas between 2012 and 2013.

Private Immunization Delivery System for Children in Kansas, 2012

0 | Sep. 02, 2013 | Public Health Systems and Services

This study documents and describes the characteristics of childhood immunization services in the Kansas private provider system.

Report: Integration of Kansas WIC Clinics with Childhood Immunization Activities

0 | Jul. 16, 2013 | Immunizations

This report, published by KHI for the Immunize Kansas Kids coalition, provides information about experiences, outcomes and current practices linking WIC clinic sites with immunization activities, both nationally and in Kansas.

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Legislative proposal: Health coverage for families of EMS responders killed in the line of duty

0 | Mar. 11, 2014 | Emergency Preparedness, Legislature, Insurance

Kansas’s municipalities would cover the healthcare costs of the families of emergency medical workers that die in the line of duty under proposed legislation heard by a Senate committee.

In case of tornado, electronic patient records prove critical

0 | May. 28, 2013 | Emergency Preparedness, HIE-HIT

If the hospital in Moore, Okla., had still been using paper, officials said, “the first thing we would have had to do was find their records. And with all of the hustle and bustle of a disaster, they can easily get lost.” As for any records left behind in files, “if the tornado doesn’t get them, the subsequent rain would ruin them.”

Brownback says state’s low public health preparedness ranking too harsh

0 | Dec. 21, 2012 | Emergency Preparedness, Public Health

Kansas officials are taking issue with a recent report that ranked the state last in the nation for public health preparedness. The Ready or Not report by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health, listed Kansas and Montana as the worst performing states in the nation, with each meeting only three out of 10 readiness criteria.

Officials warn drought likely to continue into 2013

0 | Dec. 20, 2012 | Emergency Preparedness, Environment

Communities, businesses and individual Kansans should prepare for the drought that has gripped the state for two years to continue at least into midsummer, officials said at a meeting today with Gov. Sam Brownback.

Kansas gets failing grade for public health preparedness

0 | Dec. 19, 2012 | Emergency Preparedness, Public Health

A new report ranks Kansas dead last for public health preparedness. The Ready or Not report, released Wednesday by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health, lists Kansas and Montana as the worst performing states in the nation, with each meeting only three out of 10 readiness criteria.

New effort to tighten regulation of mental health drugs concerns advocates

0 | Nov. 24, 2014 | Health Care Delivery, Medicaid-CHIP, Mental Health

Kansas law currently bars state officials from placing restrictions on mental health drugs prescribed to Medicaid recipients. A legislative committee recommended repealing that law last week, saying the state needs to step in to prevent inappropriate uses of such drugs.

Americans for Prosperity joins effort to license mid-level dental providers

0 | Jan. 08, 2014 | Advocacy, Legislature, Oral Health

"Really it's about the free market in the realm of professional licensure," said Jeff Glendening, state director for the Kansas Chapter of Americans for Prosperity. "For us, this issue is really about 'Is government the best at telling consumers who should providing their services?' This allows the market to dictate that. The benefit of that is greater access in underserved areas around the state."

Consultant's report calls for overhaul of state hospital's approach to caring for mentally ill patients

0 | Sep. 03, 2013 | KDADS, Hospitals, Mental Health

Professional staff at Osawatomie State Hospital need to spend more time interacting with patients, less time in meetings, according to a consultant's report. And KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan said he will put a new emphasis on programs aimed at keeping people from being admitted at Osawatomie and the other state hospitals.

National association honors Praeger

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

Praeger, a moderate Republican who is retiring in January after three terms as insurance commissioner, has been an advocate for health reform despite opposition from others in her party.

Kansas hospitals continue campaign for Medicaid expansion

0 | Nov. 20, 2014 | Hospitals, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

A report released by the Kansas Hospital Association says the state stands to lose more than $2.2 billion in federal matching funds between 2016 and 2020.

KanCare MCOs announce their benefit-package subcontractors

0 | Aug. 28, 2012 | KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

KanCare's managed care companies each will use its own set of subcontractors to oversee dental, vision, pharmacy and transportation benefit packages.

Salina dentists rally to halt anti-fluoride momentum

10 | Nov. 03, 2014 | Campaign 2014, Child Health, Oral Health

Dozens of dentists in Salina rallied opposition to a ballot measure to remove fluoride from the city's water supply, and voters rejected the measure by a 2-to-1 margin Tuesday.

Rising KanCare costs adding to state’s budget problems

1 | Nov. 19, 2014 | Budget, Legislature, KanCare

While the state already faces a projected $280 million revenue this budget year, an additional $40 million is needed to meet rising KanCare costs.

Medicare termination looms at Osawatomie hospital

1 | Nov. 18, 2014 | KDADS, Mental Health

A federal agency has sent notice that Medicare payments to overcrowded Osawatomie State Hospital will be terminated, but state officials say they will address concerns before the deadline and avoid that action.

Meetings on support programs for Kansans with disabilities set for next week

3 | Nov. 07, 2014 | KDADS, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services plans informational sessions in Wichita, Hays and Lawrence.

KDHE surveyors sent to Osawatomie State Hospital

4 | 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.

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.

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