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Former Kansas Hospital Association President/CEO Joins Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce former Kansas Hospital Association (KHA) President/CEO Tom Bell has joined the firm’s Health Care Practice Group as an of counsel attorney in the Overland Park, Kansas, office.

Bell brings decades of experience as an executive with KHA to his return to private practice, providing hospitals, health care systems and other clients with unique insight into compliance, reimbursement, corporate governance, licensure, accreditation, and transactional legal matters. He recently retired from KHA after 35 years of service, starting in 1986 as vice president and legal counsel and taking over as president and CEO in 2005.

Prior to joining the KHA, Bell was a health care attorney in private practice at a law firm in Topeka, Kansas, and also clerked for Justice Harold Herd of the Kansas Supreme Court.

“We are privileged to have a health care professional and attorney of Tom’s caliber join our firm,” said Blane Markley, Health Care Practice Group Chair and Office Managing Partner in Overland Park. “We continually seek out opportunities to grow our bench in a manner that aligns with our clients’ needs and provides them with the unparalleled service that differentiates Spencer Fane from other firms. His experience and knowledge of pressing legal and strategic issues in the health care industry will only improve our collaborative culture and approach to handling complex compliance, regulatory and litigation matters.”

Under Bell’s leadership, KHA — a nonprofit organization existing to provide leadership and services to member hospitals in the state — increased focus on quality and patient safety in numerous areas, including the founding of the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative with the Kansas Medical Society and the development of one of the strongest hospital engagement networks in the country. He stressed the importance of advocacy on behalf of Kansas hospitals, especially in areas of maintaining the state’s strong tort laws, holding managed care companies accountable, reversing proposed Medicaid cuts, and most recently in moving Kansas closer to adopting Medicaid expansion. The association also increased collaborative efforts with stakeholders as the health care system changed to focus more on preventive and population health.

In his role as president and CEO of KHA, Bell served as president of the Kansas Health Service Corporation and APS; and chairman of the board of the Health Alliance of MidAmerica, a joint venture between KHA and the Missouri Hospital Association. He also served on the boards of the Kansas Health Education and Research Foundation, the Kansas Hospital Association Workers’ Compensation Fund, the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative, the Kansas Health Information Network, and the Regional Policy Board of the American Hospital Association.

Most recently, Bell served as a member of the Governor’s Council on Medicaid Expansion and received an appointment from Gov. Laura Kelly to the Executive Committee of the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce, which is responsible for oversight of the statewide distribution of CARES Act funding related to COVID relief. He is also a board member of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Humanities Kansas and Stormont Vail Health.

Bell graduated from Kansas State University and Washburn University School of Law.