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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Legislator backs off bill aimed at keeping health departments from seeking accreditation

February 18, 2013

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— Health department officials from across Kansas packed a hearing Monday to oppose a bill introduced by a freshman senator that would have put the brakes on public health accreditation efforts.

After less than 30 minutes of testimony, including opposition from Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration, Sen. Michael O’Donnell, R-Wichita, said his concerns had been addressed and he didn’t want his bill to advance.

“I would be good with not working this bill,” O’Donnell said.

Dan Partridge, director of the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, was among the officials who spoke against Senate Bill 160.

After the hearing, Partridge said he appreciated the opportunity to speak about the value of public health, but added, “I would say I don’t see a lot of winners because all of this took time and money that could have been spent in better ways.”

O’Donnell defended his efforts.

“I just asked for a hearing,” he said. “It’s part of the legislative process. I feel comfortable with allowing accreditation to move forward.”

The bill would have prohibited state and local health departments from seeking national public health accreditation. In addition, under the bill, standards, duties and responsibilities of health departments would have been determined by the Legislature or a combination of the Legislature and local health governing boards.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau spoke in favor of the bill, saying he feared the federal government was trying to take over local health departments.

The Kansas Policy Institute testified that the prohibition on accreditation was needed to prevent the federal government from establishing mandates and requirements through grants gained by accreditation.

But several local health departments, including the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, are in various stages of seeking public health accreditation through a board that is made up of the Centers for Disease Control and various national public health organizations.

Representatives of those health departments and Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Robert Moser said the accreditation process helps improve health care and assess local health concerns.

Comments

question4u 1 year, 6 months ago

Wow! Just when you think you've heard the most outlandish piece of buffoonery that could possibly issue from the tiny brains of Kansas legislators, someone like O'Donnell pops up to prove you wrong. If legislators find out that the federal government has standards for drinking water, we can no doubt expect a bill aimed at promoting non-potable water in public drinking fountains.

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Joe Hyde 1 year, 6 months ago

Not Kansas legislators but conservative Republican Kansas legislators. There's a distinct difference.

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rgh 1 year, 6 months ago

Although ridiculous, not as bad as the senator in Missouri introducing a bill that would require a minimum 4 year prison term for any state legislator introducing any bill to regulate gun control.

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LJD230 1 year, 6 months ago

I can't think of a better home for the facility on Plum Island than Kansas. Lets see how well the local health departments will be able to handle catastrophes arising from the relocation of these research labs.

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dabbindan 1 year, 6 months ago

well, as long as you have a nice new steamroller, you might as well just go out and see how many things you can flatten.

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riverdrifter 1 year, 6 months ago

Hayseed and empty minded legislation from the loony bin Kansas state house. Embarassing.

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JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 6 months ago

I think that when elected officials try to stir up doubts about our own government, we have real problems in this country.

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lawslady 1 year, 6 months ago

Go to www.kslegislature.org and read all the bills introduced this season. Many are self-serving or worse. Make a list of those you find the most useless or offensive. Multiply that # by approximately $5000 a bill in staff time, printing, hearings, mailing costs. Now note the lawmakers sponsoring each. Finally, contact them to demand they pay that back to taxpayers or admit they are hypocrites when they claim they want to cut government or waste!

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John Kyle 1 year, 6 months ago

How much money did we and the people who showed up for the meeting waste. What an idiot. He didn't have any idea what he was doing so he calls a meeting to explain it? Make a frickin' phone call dude!

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DScully 1 year, 6 months ago

Keep 'em sick, poor, and stupid, that's the Koch Klown Klan motto.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't see many Republican types in these blogs. Maybe it is because they generally tend to have jobs... just a guess.

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somebodynew 1 year, 6 months ago

So, you are the exception ???

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voevoda 1 year, 6 months ago

Of course, employed people often get breaks from work, or they work for themselves, or they get to set their own work hours, all of which allow them to post on these forums. Or the posters could be retired. But it's very telling, Cant, that you choose to assume that people who back Democratic positions are able-bodied unemployed, rather than any of the more likely alternatives. Imagine if someone applied your reasoning to you: Based on how frequently you post, you must be unemployed and have been for, well, years. Of course, there could be another explanation: trolling on websites to post radical right-wing propaganda is your paid job.

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MJRPain 1 year, 6 months ago

Axially CHBW, they (neo-republicans) probably don’t read the papers, it’s beneath them you know. They let someone do it for them and let them know if there is anything to worry about, and since they think the rest of us are too stupid or ill equipped to put 2+2 together, they don’t think much about what we might have to say. Furthermore the rest of the Republicans are probably embarrassed at the actions of the party that they are “loyal” to so they say nothing. Get a clue, life isn’t broken up into Republican and everyone else. But it is broken down to right and wrong. And these days, the “right” is very and quite shamefully wrong!

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Dan Eyler 1 year, 6 months ago

Accreditation is the buzz word in health care. Hospitals and clinics across the state and nation are spending millions to gain accreditation for everything conceivable and the cost is open ended. Reaccreditation costs healthcare millions more annually. only rarely are these dollars producing a better system and continue to funnel dollars away from caring for patients. public react much like most of these posts sums up the problem. If its accredited it must be good and to argue against it you must be bad. In many cases only the fees extorted by the accrediting body keeps them afloat. Examples would be medical imaging. There is MRI, CT, Ultrasound, mammography, nuclear medicine, echo, and each one of these areas have sub accreditations two to four deep. This ongoing accreditation is costing hospitals such as LMH, and others around the state thousands of dollars just so they can say they are accredited with only tangible benefit to the patient.

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