HUTCHINSON, Kan. — With the legislative session kicking off on Monday, many will be watching to see if there can be some movement on the Medicaid expansion proposal.
“I’m excited with the fact . . . it’s a bipartisan approach,” Ken Johnson, president and CEO of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare Systems, said. “A lot of work has been done by Sen. Denning and Gov. Kelly and lots of folks from the provider community, the hospital community . . . a lot of folks have come together.”
If the bill gets past the legislature, it would provide care for up to 150,000 Kansans. Johnson says the hospital could see a benefit from the legislation in curbing some of the donated healthcare provided each year.
“The estimates that have been provided to us from Kansas Hospital Association and others . . . we estimate that the impact for our community from the two and a half million to the four million dollar range,” Johnson said. “We think that’s a conservative estimate.”
Johnson says, not only would this provide an avenue for those in need to get help, it may also provide a more proactive avenue for those who may put off seeing a doctor because of the expense.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity for citizens who may be and probably have not received proactive care,” Johnson said. “We think this is an opportunity for citizens to be seen in a mental health facility, maybe in a hospital, but not in a setting that’s very expensive.”
Johnson says the program will allow residents under the program to have better care without the expense, thus allowing them to use their income for other needs. He says the program, if passed as proposed, would benefit about 1,600 residents in the area.