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 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.

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.

Report: Pertussis Cocooning — The Concept, Experiences and Lessons Learned

0 | Jul. 16, 2013 | Immunizations

This report, published by KHI for the Immunize Kansas Kids coalition, examines ways to protect infants from Pertussis, commonly called whooping cough.

Issue Brief: Impact of the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act on Restaurants and Bars

0 | Jan. 23, 2013 | Community Health, Public Health Systems and Services, Tobacco

This new issue brief examines whether a statewide smoking ban enacted in 2010 was associated with a change in sales at Kansas restaurants and bars. The Legislature approved the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act to protect the health of Kansans by reducing their exposure to secondhand smoke in most public places.

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News

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.

Overuse of antipsychotic drugs in some Kansas nursing homes endangering patients

0 | Aug. 25, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery

Experts say powerful antipsychotic drugs are used too much as “chemical restraints” or sedatives to control the behavior of Kansas nursing home residents suffering from dementia, and that efforts to curb the practice are showing weak results compared to other states.

KanCare payment delays threaten rural hospital

1 | Aug. 27, 2014 | Hospitals, KanCare

Roger Warren, a surgeon and administrator at Hanover Hospital for 54 years, says the three managed care companies owe his hospital more than $140,000 in claims — or more than half of the hospital's monthly operating budget.

Switch to KanCare complicates Medicaid fraud detection

0 | Aug. 29, 2014 | Agencies, Legislature, KanCare

A national organization leader and a federal report say other governmental agencies tasked with rooting out Medicaid fraud also are struggling to adapt to the managed care model.

Rural Kansas hospital focuses on 'mission-driven' medicine to recruit doctors

0 | Jul. 07, 2014 | Workforce, Rural Health

In Kearny County, on the High Plains near the Kansas-Colorado boundary where there are only about five residents per square mile, one small hospital has adopted a distinctive approach to recruitment that in a relatively short time has produced a staff that includes five doctors, five physician assistants and a growing volume of patients.

Physician payment data put costly eye treatments under the microscope

0 | Sep. 01, 2014 | Government, Health Care Delivery

Many eye doctors say recently released Medicare payment information falsely creates the impression that ophthalmologists were getting rich off Medicare.

KDHE launches 'health home' framework for Medicaid enrollees with mental illness

1 | Aug. 04, 2014 | KDHE, KanCare, Medicaid-CHIP, Mental Health

The initiative had been slated for a Jan. 1, 2014, rollout but was pushed back to Aug. 1 after Ross and other health care officials said they needed more time to ensure the program’s readiness.

Kansas mental health system under increasing stress

15 | 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.

KanCare payment delays threaten rural hospital

1 | Aug. 27, 2014 | Hospitals, KanCare

Roger Warren, a surgeon and administrator at Hanover Hospital for 54 years, says the three managed care companies owe his hospital more than $140,000 in claims — or more than half of the hospital's monthly operating budget.

Yoder stresses importance of federal funding for biomedical research

1 | Aug. 19, 2014 | Government, KU Medical Center, University of Kansas

Last year, KU and the University of Kansas Medical Center received more than $75 million in NIH funding.

KC public housing smoking ban puts onus on tenants

8 | May. 22, 2014 | Community Health, Government, Tobacco

A new policy aims to do away with smoking in city-owned housing, but many residents are not pleased.

New federal rules will disrupt care for disabled Kansans, state officials say

1 | Aug. 12, 2014 | KDADS, Health Care Delivery, KanCare

KDADS Secretary Kari Bruffett says with the changes, thousands of Kansans likely would need to move from home-based care to a nursing home setting.

Study: Rejection of Medicaid expansion costing Kansas, Missouri hospitals billions

1 | Aug. 08, 2014 | Health Reform, Hospitals, Medicaid-CHIP

The analysis says that without Medicaid expansion, Kansas hospitals stand to lose $2.6 billion between 2013 and 2022.

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