Jim McLean

Jim McLean, Executive Editor of KHI News Service, oversees the KHI News Service. From 2005 until 2013, McLean coordinated all communications activities at KHI as Vice President for Public Affairs. The position he now occupies was created as part of a strategic initiative to solidify the editorial and operational independence of the KHI News Service. Prior to coming to KHI, McLean had a distinguished career as a journalist, serving as the news director and Statehouse bureau chief for Kansas Public Radio and a managing editor for the Topeka Capital-Journal. During his more than 20 years in Kansas journalism, McLean won numerous awards for journalistic excellence from the Kansas Press Association, regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. In 1997, McLean and two Capital-Journal colleagues received the Burton W. Marvin News Enterprise Award from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism for a series of stories on the state’s business climate. McLean holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washburn University.

Jasleen Kaur, flickr Creative Commons

Some Kansas doctors will soon be participating in a massive new effort by the Obama administration to improve the nation’s healthcare system. Jim McLean of the KHI News Service has the details.

In today’s healthcare system doctors are rewarded for seeing as many patients as they can.

The $700 million “transforming clinical practice initiative” is aimed at reversing that, so quality of care is rewarded over volume.

Abigail Wilson file photo

The debate over the size and role of government isn’t just polarizing national politics. It's also causing divisions in Kansas at the state and local levels. Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has the story about how public health programs here in the state's largest county have been thrust into the center of that debate.

Via Christi

The CEO of Kansas’ largest health care system is renewing his call for Medicaid expansion.

Jeff Korsmo runs the Via Christi health system. It operates hospitals in Wichita, Manhattan, Pittsburg and Wamego.

Korsmo says the health care system is initiating cost-cutting measures because its revenues are running behind projections two months into the budget year.

The number of people without health insurance is going down in both Kansas and Missouri, but not as fast as in many other states. One of the main reasons is that neither state expanded its Medicaid program.

Robert St. Peter, president of the nonprofit think tank the Kansas Health Institute, says new data from the U.S. Census Bureau show a clear distinction between those states that expanded Medicaid and those that didn’t.


Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Republican presidential candidates promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act are misleading voters. Sebelius made the comment in a speech yesterday at a luncheon marking the 10th anniversary of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Mercy Hospital Independence

The hospital that has served the residents of Independence, Kansas, for nearly a century is closing its doors. Officials say several factors are to blame for the hospital’s financial struggles. But they say one stands out: Gov. Sam Brownback’s rejection of Medicaid expansion.

Jim McLean of the KHI News Service has more on how the closure of the southeast Kansas hospital could change the expansion debate in the state.


Kansas child care advocates say the state’s new welfare law could jeopardize a $42 million federal grant. State officials disagree.

The welfare law at issue was passed by conservative Republicans to tighten eligibility requirements and move low-income Kansans off welfare and into jobs.

Some of the changes in the law could make it harder for some welfare recipients to maintain their eligibility without interruption, says Shannon Cotsoradis, CEO of the nonprofit advocacy group Kansas Action for Children.

Bigstock Images

Some advocates for seniors and Kansans with disabilities are calling for changes in the state’s privatized Medicaid program. As Jim McLean of the Kansas Health Institute reports, they want a more independent process for resolving disputes over services.

More from Dave Ranney at the Heartland Health Monitor.

Premiums for Kansas health insurance plans offered in the federal marketplace won’t increase as much as originally proposed, state Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer said Tuesday.

In May, Kansas insurance companies requested rate increases of up to 39 percent for individual market policies to be sold through the healthcare.gov marketplace during the next open enrollment period, which begins Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31, 2016.

A recent ruling by a federal appeals court could affect whether some elderly and disabled Kansans continue to receive the services they need to remain in their homes and stay out of nursing facilities.

This is another case that pitted the Obama administration against states led by conservative Republicans.