The past week was a busy one for KMS. G. Aron Fast, MD, a family physician from Hesston, was installed as the new KMS President, replacing outgoing President Mark Brady, MD of Overland Park. Dr. Fast will serve a two year term.

Also joining the KMS Board of Trustees were the following:

  • Estephan Zayat, MD (Gastroenterology-Wichita) - President-elect
  • Deb Doubek, MD (Family Medicine-Manhattan) - AMA Delegate
  • Chad Johanning, MD (Family Medicine-Lawrence) - Eastern District Trustee
  • Alan Pribil, MD (Internal Medicine-Pratt) Central District Trustee
  • Dallas Walz, MD (Family Medicine-Hoxie) - Western District Trustee
  • Benjamin Stone, MD (General Surgery-Overland Park) - MSJWC Trustee
  • Kimberly Swan, MD (Obstetrics/Gynecology-Overland Park) - Jimmie A. Gleason Fellow
  • Art Snow, MD (Family Medicine-Shawnee Mission) - AMA Delegate


Wednesday saw over 150 physicians attend and participate in the KMS annual Advocacy Day event. Eleven medical specialty societies and the Kansas PA Association joined with KMS to sponsor the day, which began at the KMS office where the groups shared and discussed their policy priorities and heard from legislative leaders and Governor Laura Kelly. The day concluded with a luncheon and individual meetings with legislators at the Capitol. 

House Speaker Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita, discussed the legislature’s flat tax plan, as well as the reasons legislative leaders do not support passage of Medicaid expansion. He also expressed support for a comprehensive enhancement of Medicaid reimbursement for the provider community. Governor Kelly made it clear that she also supported tax relief, and that passage of Medicaid expansion was among her highest policy priorities.


As anticipated, late Friday the Governor vetoed the tax bill (HB 2284), setting up a veto-override showdown with the legislature. The Governor said that she supported responsible tax cuts, but could not support the plan sent to her because she felt it overwhelmingly benefited the super wealthy, not middle class taxpayers. She also pledged to call a special session of the legislature if they adjourned without “responsibly” cutting taxes.

The policy chasm between the Governor and legislature over taxes could have a significant bearing on how long the legislature stays in session, and how many other issues are taken up. 

Legislative Session Heating Up

Hearings on bills this session are continuing at a brisk pace. A few bills of interest being heard this week:

SB 384 Ambulance Staffing. The Senate Local Government Committee on Thursday will hear this bill which allows EMS vehicles to operate in rural cities and counties with just one authorized EMS provider (physician, PA, APRN or RN) onboard the vehicle.

HB 2510 Third Party Litigation Funding. Allows parties in litigation to discover the existence of any third-party agreement in which someone has agreed to fund the case in return for compensation contingent on any proceeds from the litigation. The bill is being heard in the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. KMS supports.

HB 2579 Narcan authorized for use by EMS providers. Allows EMS personnel to carry and dispense Narcan and other OTC drugs approved for distribution as stipulated by a physician-directed protocol. Hearing in House Health Committee on Wednesday

Among the bills introduced this week, but not yet scheduled for hearings:

SB 390 Conscientious Right to Refuse Act. Prohibits employers, schools, healthcare entities or others from taking any employment action (dismissal, suspension, refusal to hire, demotion, denial of entry, etc.) against a person who refuses to be vaccinated if such refusal is based on reasons of conscience. The bill also creates a cause of action (right to sue for damages) for any such acts. The bill also revokes the authority of the KDHE Secretary to order individuals to isolate or quarantine. KMS opposes.

SB 391 Constitutional Right to Health Freedom Act. Revokes the KDHE Secretary’s authority to order individuals to isolate or quarantine. KMS opposes.

SB 392 Prescription Monitoring Program. Amends the controlled substances PMP law to grant the state’s Medicaid inspector general access to the PMP database without a warrant, for the purpose of conducting drug-related audits and investigations. KMS opposes.

Another issue of importance that KMS is urging the legislature to address is that of continuing the process begun last year of incrementally increasing the Medicaid fee schedule in order to ensure an adequate network of physicians is available to care for the half-million Kansans who are insured by Medicaid/CHIP. While the 3% increase approved last year was helpful, it was just a start at updating a physician fee schedule that had not been increased for sixteen years.  

The coming week should show quite a few more bills introduced, as the deadlines for bill introductions approaches. 

For questions about these or other legislative matters, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Updates on Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Designations Featuring KDHE’s Office of Primary Care & Rural Health

February 15th

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Speakers: Ashley Wallace and Britney Nasseri with KDHE’s Office of Primary and Rural Health

On 1/2/2024, HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce published a Federal Register Notice which included a current list of Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) – which can be geographic areas, populations, or facilities – that have a shortage of primary, dental, or mental health care providers. The designations are used to determine eligibility for federal programs that support the health workforce, such as the National Health Service Corps, as well as safety net programs such as HRSA’s Health Centers and CMS’s Rural Health Clinics. The list includes information on designations that were proposed for withdrawal as of November 15, 2023, designations that have been withdrawn since that date, as well as information on designations that are currently active.

Ashley Wallace and Britney Nasseri from KDHE's Office of Primary Care and Rural Health will discuss the latest changes to Kansas HPSA designations, what their office is doing in response to these changes and how the changes may impact Kansas health care organizations.


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