Ensuring sustainable health care in Kansas is a top priority for the Kansas Health Foundation, the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, and the Kansas Hospital Association.
On March 6, a Community Conversation about the future of health care is coming to Arkansas City. Community members are invited to join together for a conversation about ongoing efforts to improve access to health care, as well as learn about new options to provide health care to Kansans. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation and community discussion starts at 6:00 p.m.
A number of Kansas communities are facing ongoing and emerging challenges including health care delivery. In Kansas, seven hospitals have closed since 2010, and 55 Kansas hospitals are operating at a financial loss. While declining and aging populations are contributing factors for these challenges, the vision for the future is still coming into focus. And though hospitals play a role in the health of a community, we know that health is about more than health care.
Access to health care is critical for healthy Kansans and healthy communities. Health care is more than the brick and mortar of hospital buildings. It’s a complex system that’s facing increasing challenges. Kansas now exceeds the national uninsured rate, which creates barriers to care for patients and significant decreases in payments for providers. Kansas already faces major health care workforce challenges—most counties in our state have shortages for primary care, dental care, and mental health care. These shifts will further challenge how we think of health care.
By recognizing shifting demographics, workforce challenges, and changes in health care delivery, we have the opportunity to build a sustainable health care system for the future. The interactive, Community Conversation on March 6, will discuss:
• Current state of hospital/health delivery system at the local level
• Future projections on the state of health care
• Discuss essential services for Arkansas City
• Review potential options for health care delivery
For all Kansans to have access to health care for their bodies, minds, and spirits, we will have to rethink care access and delivery as well as ensure how to finance the system in a sustainable way. Community members are encouraged to join together on March 6 for a conversation about ongoing efforts to improve access to health care, as well as learn about new options to provide health care in Kansas and in Arkansas City.