Rural Health Task Force Briefed On Challenges

Feb 24, 2016

Lieutenant Gov. Jeff Colyer leads the discussion over dinner Tuesday evening at the first meeting of Gov. Sam Brownback’s Rural Health Working Group.
Credit Jim McClean / Heartland Health Monitor

Members of Gov. Sam Brownback’s Rural Health Working Group have their work cut out for them.

Representatives of the state’s hospitals and doctors briefed Lieutenant Gov. Jeff Colyer and other members group Tuesday night at its first meeting.

The Kansas Hospital Association’s Melissa Hungerford says many rural providers are being hit hard by the combination of older and sicker patients, the lack of Medicaid expansion and declining Medicare reimbursements.

“We just can’t keep going the way we’re going without kind of changing the whole system and looking at the system as a whole," Hungerford said.

Jerry Slaughter, who represents the state’s doctors, says the only way to solve the problems facing rural health care providers is to address the broad ranges of economic issues affecting many of the state’s rural communities.

More from KHI News Service.