Access to Care

Access to care plays a critical role in supporting Kansans’ health and strong communities. Particularly in rural areas where the population is growing older and more sparse, providers are looking for ways to both stay financially viable and provide quality integrated care for the people they serve.

Our Goal: Innovative and sustainable health systems that ensure people have access to all facets of care

To attain optimal health outcomes and overall well-being, Kansans need health care coverage and access to a full range of services, but there are many barriers and challenges. To improve health insurance coverage, we will continue to fund or secure funding for navigators to educate Kansans about options and enroll them in affordable health coverage. We will support public awareness efforts and policies that ensure access to vaccines. We will support efforts to expand access to KanCare and safety net services. We will advocate for policies that reduce disparities and barriers to care. We will also help create an environment that fosters culturally competent care delivery.

Strengthening and stabilizing health care will require exploring innovative delivery models and investing in future-focused workforce development. We will help create an environment that fosters scalable new ideas including study, development, sharing, and pilots for innovative delivery systems that decrease costs and improve care, including implementation of the Rural Emergency Hospital model and the deployment of community health workers.

For sustainability, health care providers need a stable and adequate reimbursement system. Kansas needs to improve payment policies and to become competitive for federal grants to support health care delivery. We will continue to support research, pilot projects that can inform policy, grant applications, and technical assistance. We will support advocacy for policy changes and grassroots efforts for sustainable financing. We will also support efforts to sustainably broaden access to care, such as through payment parity for telehealth services.

KanCare Expansion

More than 150,000 Kansans fall into a health coverage gap. They earn too much to qualify for KanCare but not enough to be eligible to get financial help to buy private insurance. These are hard working men and women who are left with few options for affordable health coverage. To close that gap, a diverse coalition of over 100 business, civic, and health care organizations from across the state have come together to form the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas and advocate to expand KanCare. The Alliance is collaborative effort supported by the Health Fund and our philanthropic partners in Kansas.


Telehealth and Broadband

Telehealth provides an opportunity to leverage technology to maximize our health care workforce and better serve Kansans. Before COVID-19, just 11% of US consumers were using telehealth, but in 2020 its unique advantages (especially in rural areas) became clear. Now, consumers and providers agree telehealth is here to stay, playing a key role in integrated, patient-centered systems of care. Ensuring all Kansans have access to reliable broadband allows us to distribute workforce and re-design our health system in a different way. Residents can access hard-to-recruit specialty care in their communities, benefiting them while reducing burdens of recruitment. However, we must change policies to foster this innovation for the long term.


© United Methodist Health Ministry Fund