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Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Top Flex Activities

Program Area: Support for Quality Improvement

The Kansas Flex Program supports critical access hospitals (CAH) in collaboration with the Kansas Hospital Research and Education Foundation. Three Flex quality improvement (QI) activities that grant funds supported in fiscal year (FY) 2017 include:

  • Educate Kansas CAHs on the importance of and build capacity to collect and report OP-27 and IMM-2 quality measures
    • Provide education and technical assistance focused on helping hospital development of standardized processes for data collection, abstraction and submission of data
    • Results are measured by the percentage of hospitals reporting
  • Educate and incentivize Kansas CAHs to collect Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey data
    • Provide education and technical assistance
    • Online HCAHPS classes are being developed for all Kansas CAHs and will be available in 2018
    • Results are measured by the percentage of hospitals reporting
  • Improve the CAH participation in quality reporting initiatives including Hospital Compare
    • Provide core-competency training aimed at hospital quality improvement staff and additional technical assistance
    • Results are measured by the number of trainings hosted and the numbers of CAHs participating in the activities

Please share a success story about reporting quality data or using quality data to help CAHs in your state improve patient care.

As of first quarter 2017, 87% of Kansas CAHs are reporting OP-27 and 71% of Kansas CAHs are reporting IMM-2. As of fourth quarter 2016, 85% of Kansas CAHs were reporting HCHAPS data. Out of the 86 CAHs in Kansas, only one CAH did not report any quality data at all.

Program Area: Support for Financial and Operational Improvement

Three Flex financial and operational improvement activities that grant funds supported in FY 2017 include:

  • Compile, analyze and disseminate Kansas CAH financial performance information to stakeholders
    • Convene select hospital leaders in a focused discussion group to review and discuss findings
    • A summary report will be developed in 2018 to highlight key findings and recommend strategies for financial and operational improvement
    • Results are measured by discussion group minutes and action steps
  • Educate and assist CAHs in determining appropriate clinical and operational staffing to meet the future community needs and prepare for new payment and care delivery models
    • Host educational training events
    • Results are measured by the number of hospitals participating in the training and CAH feedback and rating of the programming
  • Educate hospital financial and business managers/leaders to grow their knowledge and skills around key financial performance indicators
    • Host educational training events
    • Results are measured by the number of hospitals participating in the training and CAH feedback and rating of the programming
    • Chargemaster 101 training was held in 2017 with 23 attendees. This is the fourth year this training has been offered.

Program Area: Support for Population Health Management and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Integration

Three Flex population health management and EMS integration activities that grant funds supported in FY 2017 include:

  • Provide education and assistance to hospitals participating in the Healthy Hospital initiative
    • Promote best practices in the implementation of population health worksite wellness activities within the hospital and its community
    • Results are measured by the number of CAH teams participating in activities and by CAH feedback and rating of programming
  • Convene EMS leaders to collectively discuss the challenges and opportunities facing hospitals and EMS providers in rural and frontier counties in Kansas
    • The EMS Hospital Committee, housed within the Kansas Hospital Association, is a group of EMS and hospital leaders that convenes regularly to collaborate on the challenges and opportunities facing hospitals and EMS providers in rural communities, specifically:
      • integrated rural care using new staffing models 
      • patient transportation and transfers
      • best practices in utilizing limited resources
      • models for integrated health in rural communities
  • Assist rural EMS medical and agency directors in strengthening local quality improvement competencies, and increasing capacity to collect and use data for decision-making and performance improvement
    • Regional EMS meetings and EMS medical director training
    • Results are measured by the number of trainings hosted and the number of EMS agencies participating and EMS feedback and rating of programming

Please provide information about Collaboration/Shared Services

The Kansas Flex Program promotes participation in the statewide immunization programs sponsored by the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative and the Kansas Healthcare-Associated Infections Program.

Please provide information about any efforts to assist CAHs/communities and partner organizations in the transition to value-based care.

Three multi-hospital collaboratives have been hosted, each with four to six CAH cohorts. Activities include:

  • Assisting CAH leadership in strategically preparing for new payment and care delivery models by supporting focused facilitation and consultation to assess hospital's current system affiliations/relationships
  • Examine hospitals' needs for/merits of further system affiliations/relationships
  • Planning for future opportunities to build new system affiliations

Please provide information about network activities in your state to support Flex Program activities.

Population health management needs are compiled, analyzed and disseminated to stakeholders via a population health management discussion group. Financial performance information is compiled, analyzed and disseminated to stakeholders via a Financial performance discussion group. Challenges and opportunities facing hospitals and EMS providers in rural and frontier Kansas are identified by the Kansas EMS Hospital Committee.

Please describe how your state Flex Program has enhanced its use of data in the past year.

To evaluate Flex QI activities, Kansas Flex staff and Kansas Health and Education Research Foundation staff utilize the quarterly MBQIP Data Reports received from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to measure results. The data is compiled into a spreadsheet database to track trends within participating hospitals. The Kansas Health and Education Research Foundation communicates findings back to hospitals and uses the data to guide improvement efforts by focusing on areas where metrics show existing opportunities for improvement. Kansas offers a quality reporting TA expert to all CAHs who need help with quality reporting. The TA expert will visit any hospital that has questions or problems and help get them back on track.

Program Statistics

Type of Organization State Government
Staffing 1.5 FTEs
Number of CAHs 86
Website URL Organization Website

Flex Program Staff

Cynthia Snyder
State Office Director, Kansas
785-296-8113

Specialty Areas / Background

Cynthia Snyder joined the Bureau of Community Health Systems in October 2017. Prior to joining the Special Population Health, Primary Care and Rural Health team, Cynthia was with the Bureau of Health Promotion focused on access to primary health care services for low-income and medically underserved populations through the Early Detection Works program.

State Office Director since October 2017

Tracy Zayac
Flex Coordinator, Kansas
(785) 291-3796

Flex Coordinator since May 2018

Ashley Wallace
Program Coordinator, Kansas
(785) 296-5751

Flex Coordinator since July 2017

Jennifer Findley
Hospital Performance Improvement Coordinator, Kansas
(785) 233-7436

Hospital Performance Improvement Coordinator since March 2015

Susan Runyan
MBQIP Coordinator, Kansas

MBQIP Coordinator since October 2016

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,100,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.