Kansas Governor Sam Brownback today issued the following statement addressing KanCare funding and challenges being faced by rural hospitals due to declining Medicare reimbursements.

“At the end of the 2016 legislative session, we worked with healthcare organizations to find a solution to offset proposed cuts to KanCare reimbursement by implementing an increase in the provider tax. Those negotiations were not successful, resulting in implementation of a 4 percent cut in reimbursement rates.

“We will continue those efforts in the next legislative session. I look forward to working with the legislature to restore the 4 percent cut in reimbursement rates and will call on them to pass an increase in the provider tax.

“Our rural hospitals face many challenges, caused primarily by declining Medicare reimbursement rates. Initiatives like our Rural Health Working Group are looking at the broader issues facing rural healthcare and identifying solutions that will be presented in early 2017.”