Rachelle Colombo, Executive Director

Seven working days remain before the important turnaround deadline on February 23rd. Turnaround day is the deadline by which all non-exempt bills must be passed by their house of origin. This means non-exempt committees may only meet and consider bills until February 20th, making this upcoming week one of the busiest of the year for committee activity and to signal which bills have the most momentum at this point in the session.

The Governor has continued to press legislative leaders to allow a hearing on Medicaid Expansion. Though the issue was not debated before Kansas Day on January 29 as she requested, there is talk that both bodies may yet hold hearings for the first time in several years. SB 355 and HB 2555, the identical Medicaid Expansion bills introduced in both chambers are exempt from the turnaround deadline and are not likely to move before.

Next week will prove to be significant for the health provider community with hearings in the House and Senate health committees on bills allowing for expedited partner therapy, restricting physician delegatory authority and discouraging public health measures, including vaccine exemptions and the role of the Secretary of Health and Environment.

The following measures have passed out of Health and Human Services and move to the full House of Representatives for consideration:

These bills have had hearings or are scheduled for hearings next week, but have not yet been passed by committee:

In addition to the bills listed above, there are many more proposals affecting the practice of medicine that have not yet been scheduled for hearings and could begin to move before the turnaround deadline on February 20th. Optometrists, CRNAs and Naturopaths have all introduced legislation seeking to expand their professional scope of practice. KMS strongly opposes these measures and continues to advocate for protecting patients by keeping the practice of medicine in physicians’ hands.

Though the legislative session is only one month in, the election-year dynamics are shaping out mostly as expected. There is no doubt that issues which emerged as a result of COVID continue to dominate many legislative efforts and feelings among some in the public about health care officials, institutions, and physicians. The personal trauma that so many experienced during that time has shaped the way many people, and legislators specifically, feel about public health, medical expertise, patients’ rights, government mandates on health measures and more. Now more than ever it is critical to remember that even as we work through this environment, protecting the patient-physician relationship is key to restoring public and personal trust in medical care. While you all do that day in and day out in your practice with each of your patients, public policy is still catching up and will need our attention and commitment.

The intersection of government and medicine should rarely take a one-size-fits-all approach. KMS will continue to advocate for laws that protect patients from substandard care, promote access, respect physician judgment and delegation, and ensure a strong network of physicians that can serve the needs of Kansans. Though many of the bills before the committees in the next week challenge those principles, we will continue to take your voice to the statehouse and remind legislators of your dedication to provide the best possible care for Kansans. At the end of the day, when life is in the balance and a loved one is at risk, everyone, everywhere wants access to the most highly-trained and educated expert treatment – they want a physician. It is our duty to ensure the Kansas law promotes an environment where that expectation can be met.

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

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