The Medical Society of Sedgwick County engaged in these activities in 2017 under the leadership of President Denis Knight, DO
“It’s been a privilege to lead the Medical Society through a time of transition, one I believe has prepared us well for the years ahead.” — Dr. Knight
April 4 – A CME Event: Diabetes Done Differently
- Nothing is more effective for warding off Type 2 diabetes than a patient entering and taking an active role in a diabetes prevention program. That was one message of Diabetes Done Differently, a program for MSSC members and others presented by Dr. Justin Moore, medical consultant for MSSC affiliate Health ICT. Dr. Moore shared how new CMS payments are allowing doctors’ offices to increasingly recoup the costs and referring patients to such programs.
May 2 – QuickFire: MSSC Member Medical Briefings
- In the fast-moving QuickFire sessions, MSSC member physicians shared their knowledge of the latest prostate cancer recommendations, colonoscopy and cervical cancer screening, KUSM-Wichita’s new curriculum, robotic joint replacement surgery, and other topics. The presenters were Drs. Lindsay Strader, Randall Morgan, Marilee McBoyle, Justin Moore, Jeffrey S. Davis, Damion Walker and Scott Moser. The evening allowed members to learn the outcome of officer elections and meet new Executive Director Phillip Brownlee, who was appointed the week before.
Oct. 24 – Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: Thomas Dent Mütter & His Fight to Bring Humanity into 19th Century Medicine
- During the joint meeting of the MSSC and the Jager Club, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz gave an energetic talk about 19th century surgeon Thomas Dean Mütter, whose life and innovations she detailed in her best-selling book “Dr. Mütter’s Marvels.” In addition to his many surgical innovations, Dr. Mütter espoused a philosophy of patient compassion rare among physicians of his time. The event marked the medical history club’s 50th anniversary, including attendance by the widow and grandson of its namesake, Dr. Thor Jager.
Dec. 5 – A Special Visit from AMA President David Barbe
- David Barbe, who practices family medicine in Mountain Grove, Mo., shared a update on American Medical Association activities and recalled his days in Wichita, where he did his residency at St. Joseph Medical Center. Dr. Robb Gibbs, president of the KMS, was also a special guest at the annual meeting, where the yearly Wine with a Purpose auction raised about $3,900 to benefit the work of Project Access.
Annual Election of MSSC Officers and Board
Dr. Michael Lievens was chosen as MSSC president-elect during the May 2 membership meeting for a term beginning on Jan. 1, 2018. Also selected for leadership positions were:
- Secretary: Jason Taylor, MD
- Treasurer: John Lohnes Jr., MD
- MSSC Board: E. Jeanne Kroeker, MD, Jany Moussa, MD, and Diane Steere, MD
- Membership & Ethics Committee: R. Joseph Nold, MD, and Donna Sweet, MD; they will be joined by Dr. Denis Knight as immediate past president.
MSSC: A Year of Transitions
The MSSC underwent a rarity in 2017, a change in its top leadership:
- Penny Vogelsang served as the MSSC’s interim director. She had worked extensively in the medical field, most recently as CEO of the Kansas Eye Bank and Cornea Research Center.
After a three-month search, the Medical Society hired Phillip Brownlee as its new director in May. Brownlee, opinion editor of the Wichita Eagle since 2001, majored in business administration and worked as a certified public accountant before entering the newspaper business.
Kansas Sports Concussion Partnership
- With Dr. Bart Grelinger as chairman, Kansas Sports Concussion Partnership members from across the state, including Dr. Jennifer Koontz, evaluate information about concussions and oversee KansasConcussion.org, the website that provides free, accurate information about sports-related concussions.
- The KSCP and its members review and share new and peer-reviewed data, endeavoring to keep the website timely and relevant as a source for concussion identification and management. The partnership updated its online package of forms used by physicians, sports trainers and other providers in response to advancements in identifying and treating sports concussions. The most noticeable change involves adoption of the SCAT5 on-field assessment tool – created by the international Concussion in Sport Group. Other changes involved forms guiding a student athlete’s recovery and return to the classroom and eventually competition.
Advocacy and community activities
- The MSSC Legislative Committee, with Dr. Kevin Hoppock as chairman, worked with KMS on these advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session:
- Reversal of the 4 percent payment cut to Medicaid providers that was imposed in 2016.
- Expanding Medicaid, which was approved by the House and Senate but vetoed by Gov. Sam Brownback.
- Passage of legislation, introduced at the request of KMS and other provider groups, designed to boost standardization, encourage uniform processes and improve the appeals process for claims within the KanCare program. KanCare had been plagued by issues involving billing, credentialing, prior authorization and overall accountability.
- Expansion of student loan and bridging programs, designed to encourage primary care in underserved areas, to psychiatry and its residency programs. The bill became law in April.
- In February, MSSC President Dr. Denis Knight attended the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. He was joined by MSSC and KMS members, including Drs. Jay Gilbaugh, Fadi Joudi, John Gallagher and now-KMS President Robert Gibbs. They shared their views on health care reform and other issues in meetings with Sen. Pat Roberts, U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall and other lawmakers. In June, Dr. Knight and Drs. Jed Delmore, Donna Sweet, Gilbaugh and Terry Poling attended the AMA annual meeting in Chicago and were joined by Executive Director Phillip Brownlee.
- For the fourth year MSSC distributed “Walking Rx” pads in September to every physician in Sedgwick County. The project is part of a community-wide effort promoting Walktober, which encourages residents to engage in the recommended 30 minutes of activity five or more days of the week.
- Wichita City Council candidates had the chance in July to share their views on the city’s role in public health, health equity, bicycle and pedestrian path funding, and other health care issues at a forum sponsored by the MSSC, Health ICT, Project Access and other organizations.
Kansas Medical Society
- Jon Rosell, MSSC executive director since 2007, was named the Kansas Medical Society’s executive director in late 2016 and officially assumed his new post in late January. Jerry Slaughter, who had led the KMS for 41 years, continued as senior director of strategic initiatives.
- The KMS annual meeting, Sept. 9 in Topeka, featured a members forum that let physicians bring topics of importance to the KMS board. The meeting featured a keynote speech by journalist and former CNN anchor Frank Sesno.
Leadership: Robert Gibbs (Parsons), became president, and Dr. LaDona Schmidt (Lawrence) is the new president-elect (2-year term). Dr. Steen Mortensen will chair the 2018 Members Meeting. Other area physicians serving on the 2017-18 Board of Trustees are:
- Central District Trustee: Dr. Jennifer Koontz
- Legislative Committee Chair: Dr. Kevin Hoppock
- Sedgwick County Trustee: Dr. Joe Davison
- AMA Delegate: Dr. Terry Poling
- AMA Alternate: Dr. Jay Gilbaugh
MSSC Member Initiative: Doctors’ Day in Schools
MSSC member physicians visited six high schools over four days in March to mark Doctors’ Day and tell students about the practice of medicine and why they became doctors. Students at Wichita West, East and North, Collegiate School, Independent School and Trinity Academy came loaded with questions, asking about biggest babies, diabetes, genetic testing, youngest and oldest mothers, salaries, med schools and a host of other topics. Participating were Drs. Patty Bledsoe, Anita Campbell, Valerie Creswell, Jed Delmore, John Gallagher, Linda Goodson, Ramaiah Indudhara, Michelle Klaumann, Denis Knight, Lan Ly, Emily Manlove, Justin Moore, Thomas Moore, Barry Murphy, Ragnar Peterson, D. Brendan Rice, Thomas Rosenberg, Patricia Wyatt-Harris and Estephan Zayat.
WHIE’s work taken up by KHIN
- The Kansas Health Information Network, which had worked in partnership with the MSSC-affiliated Wichita Health Information Exchange, exercised its legal option and began directly handling all new and existing participation and business agreements with physician practices and medical facilities. With the change, WHIE project manager Allen Laramore became a project manager for Topeka-based KaMMCO Health Solutions.
- The goal of TPOPP – Transportable Physician Orders for Patient Preferences – is to improve the quality of care people with chronic, advanced or terminal illnesses receive at the end of life by translating their treatment goals and preferences into their medical orders. MSSC has been working since 2013 to coordinate implementation of TPOPP in the Wichita-Sedgwick County area. The TPOPP Steering Committee and Physician Task Force meets to strategize approaches to educate the health care teams and community about TPOPP.
- Screenings of the PBS Frontline special “Being Mortal,” originally funded through the Hospice Foundation of America, continued into 2017, with a half-dozen showings at community locations and to medical students and residents. Physician champions Drs. Terry Merrifield and Barbara Coats and Carolyn Harrison, chair of the TPOPP Wichita steering committee, often participated in post-showing discussions, providing an opportunity to explain and highlight TPOPP use.
- The pink TPOPP form, created by Kansas City’s Center for Practical Bioethics, was revised in 2017, with the biggest change being that it authorized healthcare providers working within their scope of practice or under the direction of a physician to now sign the form. Other changes included how medical interventions are listed.
Medical Provider Resources
- Medical Provider Resources provides expertise in credentialing, privileging, accreditation and regulatory compliance for physicians, allied health professionals and other practitioners located throughout Kansas and the region. It is the nation’s only physician-owned credentialing verification company. Dr. Zachary Kuhlmann is president of the MPR Board of Directors. Vicki Bond is chief executive officer.
- As of Nov. 1, 2017, Medical Provider Resources reported growth in a number of areas:
- Total number of providers increased 14.5 percent.
- Completed 877 initial appointment applications.
- Completed 11 onboarding applications.
- Completed 76 expedited/rapid track files.
- Completed 337 tele-medicine files.
- Completed 2,296 reappointment applications.
- Completed 5,602 network credentialing initial appointment applications.
- Completed 1,532 network credentialing re-credentialing applications.
- Completed 4,513 provider enrollment activities.
- Maintained a turnaround time of 33 days for initial appointments.
- MPR launched a new custom credentialing database with a web crawler and client portals.
- MPR added six clients for Centralized Verification Services and three clients for Provider Enrollment Services.
- In 2017 MPR surpassed 100 clients.
- Vicki Bond and Nathan Huerter attended the National Association of Medical Staff Services Conference in Colorado Springs in October. Huerter and fellow staff members Katie Degenhardt and Sam Elliott attended the Kansas Association of Medical Staff Services Annual Conference in Wichita.
- MPR hosted two credentialing workshops for hospital clients.
- MPR hosted two education and communication forums for Wichita-area practices.
- MPR hired Shandi Brimmerman as MPR team assistant.
- Formed in 2015, Health ICT is a result of a $2.3 million grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment that focuses on the prevention of diabetes, obesity, heart attack and stroke. The MSSC serves as the fiduciary agent for the grant, which runs through Sept. 30, 2018. Michael Hunter serves as project manager, with Dr. Justin Moore serving as medical consultant and Juliane Walker and Matt Thibault as project coordinators.
- Becky Tuttle, previous project manager of Health ICT, in a community partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, the Knight Foundation, the Health & Wellness Coalition, and the Wichita Community Foundation, created Bike Share ICT, which officially began in May. The project has been hugely successful, with almost 4,000 members and over 7,000 rides.
- Health ICT collaborated with the Kansas Health Information Network to create an electronic “dashboard” feature that will allow clinics all over Kansas to access aggregate patient data across a wide range of variables, allowing for strategic team-based management of care for patients, especially those with chronic conditions or those who are at risk for chronic conditions.
- Health ICT hosted the first “We All Eat” event, which provided education, tips, tricks and opportunities to learn more about eating healthy and incorporating lasting changes into how attendees view food. The event, co-sponsored by the Health & Wellness Coalition, had over 500 attendees and 60 vendors. Surveys suggested a high level of satisfaction, with over 90 percent of attendees stating that they would attend next year.
- Health ICT, the Health & Wellness Coalition, and the Food Policy Committee all partnered with the Kansas Food Bank to help develop a Food Procurement Policy, in which the Kansas Food Bank commits to examining its current food purchasing practices and where a healthy, similarly priced alternative exists, it will purchase the healthier item. This decision will affect over 200,000 people across Kansas every year.
- GraceMed worked with Health ICT and the KU School of Medicine-Wichita to develop a protocol to identify pre-diabetic patients and help ensure that they get referred into the evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program. The protocol involved changes to the EHR software that allow for a notification to team members that a referral is needed to ensure that care gets follow-up attention. This protocol has been applied across GraceMed’s various locations.
- Over a year ago, Wichita Family Medicine Specialists worked with Health ICT and the KU School of Medicine-Wichita on a project to help patients use a phone app to lose weight, in combination with clinic care. This year, a follow-up chart review on patients using the app was conducted, which demonstrated a clinically significant difference in weight loss before and after using the app.
- Guadalupe Clinic worked with Health ICT and the KU School of Medicine-Wichita to examine the free student care provided at the JayDoc Clinic. This unique project, which involved students performing quality improvement on students providing care, yielded a new protocol that was recently presented to the clinic and will now be reviewed by Guadalupe for approval.
- Wichita and other KU School of Medicine campuses started using a new curriculum intended to give medical students more hands-on training and help them better retain the information while learning to work in teams. ACE (Active, Competency-Based and Excellence-Driven) is being rolled out over four years at the campuses. MSSC member Dr. Scott Moser, associate dean of curriculum, explained the change in a May QuickFire session.
Awards, honors and other news of note
- Stephanie Kuhlmann, associate professor of pediatrics at KU School of Medicine-Wichita, was chosen as a member of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Leadership Kansas class.
- Jerry Niernberger was named Family Physician of the Year by the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians.
- Thomas Scott and Fannette Thornhill-Scott received Inter-Faith Ministries’ Peace by Piece Award for their medical and community service here and around the globe.
- ProviDRs Care CEO Karen Cox earned one of the Wichita Business Journal’s Innovation and Enterprise Awards, being recognized as an “intrapreneur.”
- Thomas Estep was named to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts by Gov. Sam Brownback. His term runs through June 2021
2017 Health Care Heroes
During an Aug. 3 banquet, 11 MSSC members were honored as Health Care Heroes by the Wichita Business Journal.
- Ely Bartal – Lifetime Achievement
- Dennis Ross – Lifetime Achievement
- Jacques Blackman – Physician
- Michael Brown – Physician
- Gerard Brungardt – Health Care Educator
- Ron Hunninghake – Physician
- Gretchen Irwin– Health Care Educator
- Kim Molik – Physician
- Brian Pate – Health Care Innovations
- Anthony Pollock – Physician
- Pavan Reddy – Community Outreach
- JayDoc Clinic and KU Pharmacy were honored as health care educators, while the Children’s Mercy Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Clinic was named in the health care innovations category.
Dr. Joe Meek Physician Leadership
The goal of this physician award is to foster leadership among practicing physicians aged 40 years or younger and to develop future MSSC leaders. It honors former KUSM-W dean Dr. Joe Meek and his long career promoting organized medicine and medical education in Wichita and across the state.
- John Gallagher, Wichita/Sedgwick County EMS System medical director, served as the 2017 recipient, taking advantage of leadership opportunities and participating in advocacy efforts.
- November, Dr. Braden Foster, DO, of Wichita Family Medicine Specialists, was named the 2018 recipient of the award.
Maternal Infant Health Coalition
- The Maternal Infant Health Coalition includes professionals representing local organizations working to make Sedgwick County the best place for children to be born and grow. The activities of the MIHC are coordinated by the MSSC.
- Molly Brown, program director of the Baby Talk program, and BreAnn Collins, associate director of the field practicum at WSU’s School of Social Work, became co-facilitators of the MIHC in June. Jon Rosell and Christy Schunn, executive director of the KIDS Network, had been co-chairs since MIHC’s inception.
- Prematurity, safe sleep and disparities were included in Sedgwick County’s Community Health Improvement Plan in January.
- The Zero to One campaign hosted “Show Your Love,” a community discussion in January to bring partners to the table to raise awareness about disparities in infant mortality.
- Fern Hauck, a national safe sleep expert from the University of Virginia, presented at KU Grand Rounds on SIDS and safe sleep in March.
- At the Association of Maternal Child Health Program conference in Kansas City in March, MIHC members presented sessions: Molly Brown and Cari Schmidt on Baby Talk prenatal education, Nikki Keene Woods on breastfeeding research and Christy Schunn on statewide safe sleep infrastructure.
- MIHC leaders presented at the Health Alliance meeting in April about current activities to reduce infant mortality, the needs to achieve success and future efforts needed to make progress on the indicator that’s part of CHIP. Melody McCray Miller spoke on disparities and Zero to One, Cari Schmidt on prematurity and Baby Talk, Candace Johnson on Healthy Babies and Christy Schunn on strategic safe sleep infrastructure.
- The Safe Sleep Task Force wrote a letter to the editor at The Wichita Eagle regarding safety issues related to baby boxes.
- The Center for Research on Infant Birth and Survival was launched by KU Pediatrics in August. CRIBS is based at KU School of Medicine-Wichita. Goals of the center are to be an instigator and a conduit of research and best practices and to be a connector of researchers and others working in infant mortality and related fields, such as safe sleep. The center, with KU’s Cari Schmidt as director, has assembled a board, sought grants, named MSSC member Dr. Stephanie Kuhlmann its director of implementation, and is planning a symposium for the spring.
- In September, Café Con Leche held a health fair at North High School that included safe sleep training and information from the Healthy Babies and Baby Talk programs.
- The Safe Sleep Community Baby Shower in October was hosted by the KIDS Network and Wichita Black Nurses Association. It promoted safe sleep practices and was sponsored in part by MSSC member Dr. Barry Bloom and others. An October event, “Celebrate Day 366,” was designed to educate and empower the African-American community to create healthy environments for their infants. MSSC member Dr. Thomas Scott was a speaker.
- The FIMR Conference on Race and Infant Mortality took place in Topeka in October, with keynote speakers Drs. Arthur James, Rachel Moon and Renaisa Anthony, experts in factors of infant mortality such as safe sleep and health disparities.
Central Plains Health Care Partnership/Project Access
- Central Plains Health Care Partnership is the MSSC’s non-profit affiliate overseeing Project Access and other activities to assist uninsured residents of Sedgwick County. Dr. Thomas Bloxham serves as president of the Board of Directors.
- During 2017, Project Access and Coalition Test Project will have:
- Served about 950 uninsured patients.
- Leveraged $7 million in donated care.
- Bought $129,000 in medications and DME assistance.
- Leveraged another $205,000 in donated medications.
- Allocated 3,500 donated diagnostic tests for nearly 1,650 uninsured community clinic patients.
Central Plains has a new executive director, Shelley Duncan, who began in early August and previously headed Emberhope. Anne Nelson, who had served as executive director since Project Access began, retired early in 2017, and Director of Operations Tricia Petz served as interim director of CPHCP.
- To raise visibility, CPHCP continues to update its Facebook page (#ProjectAccessWichita), and new followers join the page every week. The organization is also publishing newsletters for supporters and donors.
- This year Project Access funding was cut, so its fundraising efforts are more important than ever. CPHCP continues to make progress on its development program, with the hope to raise $210,000 before the end of the year.
- The Wine with a Purpose fundraiser, held at MSSC’s December annual meeting, will help in meeting year-end financial needs.
- Project Access again joined the global #Giving Tuesday movement. Held on Nov. 29, it was a global day of giving that harnessed the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.
- The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved has provided CPHCP with a renewed grant to implement a Health Insurance Navigator program, expanding its reach to identify the uninsured who may qualify for subsidies in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace and assist them in purchasing new health insurance coverage. This year the open enrollment period is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, which is less than last year.
- Continuing the tradition of local support, the Wichita City Council unanimously approved $200,000 for CPHCP in its 2018 budget, while Sedgwick County approved $200,000 for the 2018 budget.
- In an effort to help increase the ability to provide donated dental care, Delta Dental has generously provided funding to CPHCP in an effort to recruit more dentists. Three events will be held by year’s end.
- In addition, Project Access received $6,000 from Delta Dental to provide two full denture replacement sets to patients.
- James Stepien, vice president of business development at Wesley Healthcare, joined the CPHCP board.
- CPHP now has three certified application counselors helping Project Access clients with affordable health insurance options.
- CPHCP is active with the Community Health Workers Coalition.
- ProviDRs Care Network became the PPO network for Medica, an insurance company offering individual health insurance on and off the Kansas Health Insurance Marketplace beginning Jan. 1, 2017.
- ProviDRs Care has expanded its geographic footprint through a reciprocity agreement with Preferred Health Professionals (PHP) in Kansas City. Groups now have the choice of adding the PHP network to their group plan, giving them access to another 11,500 physicians and 56 hospitals in Kansas City and northwest Missouri.
- ProviDRs Care Network now includes over 12,300 practitioners and 172 hospitals in Kansas and across the border into Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma and Colorado.
- The network is now accessed by 32 payers consisting of four insurance companies and 28 third-party administrators.
- ProviDRs Care now provides network access to over 165 employer groups with about 90 percent of them being self-funded 80 percent of total covered lives are self-funded.
- 33 Kansas hospitals have chosen ProviDRs Care and partner TPAs to provide health insurance for their own employee groups.
- ProviDRs Care maintains a total of 24 EDI connections with clearinghouses/gateways. More than 86 percent of ProviDRs Care claims are received electronically.
- ProviDRs Care has repriced more than 334,000 claims during the first nine months of 2017. This volume has more than tripled in the last five years.
- ProviDRs Care credentialed over 2,700 providers through Medical Provider Resources (MPR) during the first 10 months of 2017.
- In support of its managed care clients, ProviDRs Care is now compliant with NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) standards for the credentialing of its providers. ProviDRs Care will be bringing the credentialing process in-house by the close of the year.
- Justin Leitzen returned to ProviDRs Care as director of network innovations in May. Justin had previously served as director of contracting and network development but left in 2015 to pursue a position in Iowa.
- ProviDRs Care has begun the development of a value-based health care delivery model with an anticipated implementation date of mid-2018.
- ProviDRs Care supported the American Heart Association in the fight against heart disease by sponsoring a table at the 2017 American Heart Association Heart Ball in February and at the Go Red for Women’s Ladies Night Out in September.
- ProviDRs Care and staff serve in the following organizations: American Heart Association, Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care, Self Insurance Institute of America, Wichita Chamber, Center for Economic Development and Business Research’s Wichita Area Outlook Team, Wichita Association of Health Underwriters and the National Association of Health Underwriters.
ProviDRs Care is the only physician owned and managed Preferred Provider Organization network in Kansas. By leasing its provider network to insurance companies, third party administrators and self-funded plans, ProviDRs Care maintains choice and competition among health insurance plans in Kansas.
Medical Provider Resources is the only physician owned and managed provider credentialing verification service in Kansas. MPR delivers “best practice” support in response to the growing demands for credentialing information and other practice management requirements.