Medicaid

Heartland Health Monitor
4:14 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Kansas House Leaders Reluctantly Agree To Medicaid Expansion Hearing

The odds that the Kansas Legislature will pass a Medicaid expansion bill this session remain long.

But they improved Thursday, however slightly, when conservative Republican leaders agreed to allow a hearing on expansion to avoid an immediate vote on the House floor.

Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, was attempting to amend his Medicaid expansion proposal into an unrelated bill. Uncertain how a vote might turn out, House leaders dropped their opposition to a hearing in exchange for Ward withdrawing his amendment.

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Heartland Health Monitor
10:00 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Gallup Survey Shows Kansas As Lone State With Rising Uninsured Rate

Gallup is out with a new poll showing falling uninsured rates in every state but one: Kansas.

Although not statistically significant, the Sunflower State’s 1.9 point increase makes it the only state in the country to witness an uptick.

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Heartland Health Monitor
6:23 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Hopes Dimming For Medicaid Expansion In Kansas

Rep. Dan Hawkins, chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, says he has no plans to schedule hearings on three Medicaid expansion bills.
Credit Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

The chairman of a Kansas House committee holding three Medicaid expansion bills says he has no current plans to have hearings on any of the proposals.

“At this time I haven’t scheduled anything,” said Rep. Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican and chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee. “Will I schedule something? I can’t say right now. But right now there is nothing scheduled.”

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:10 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Third Kansas Medicaid Expansion Bill Introduced

Now there are three.

Medicaid expansion bills, that is.

After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations with legislators and members of Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration, the Kansas Hospital Association has introduced its expansion bill.

Rep. Don Hill, a Republican from Emporia, requested its introduction in the House Appropriations Committee.

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Heartland Health Monitor
12:46 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

HHS Secretary Burwell: 'We're Open To Working With States' On Medicaid Expansion

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says she's open to conversations about Medicaid expansion in states like Kansas.
Credit HHS.gov

Sylvia Matthews Burwell succeeded former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in June 2014. Before that she was Director of the Office of Management and Budget. She has also served as president of the Walmart Foundation and of the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Heartland Health Monitor
12:19 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Safety Net Clinics At Forefront Of Debates On Controversial Issues

Denise Cyzman is the new executive director of the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, which represents safety net clinics that provide care to low-income Kansans.
Credit Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

Kansas hospitals are leading the push for Medicaid expansion.

But they’re not the only providers for which expansion is a critical financial issue. It’s also a priority for the safety net clinics that exist to provide free and reduced-cost care to low-income Kansans.

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Heartland Health Monitor
6:00 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Facing Layoffs And Closures, Rural Hospitals Push For Medicaid Expansion

Some of Sac-Osage Hospital's last remaining employees, Carolyn Bruce, CEO Chris Smiley and Connie Chapman (left to right), are winding up the hospital's affairs.
Credit Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

If you’re in the market for fluorescent light bulbs, you might talk to Chris Smiley. In the past few weeks, she’s been trying to sell off what’s left of Sac-Osage Hospital.

“Casework, lighting, plumping, sinks, toilets. Anything you want,” Smiley says.

That’s not in her job description. She’s actually the CEO of Sac-Osage, a hospital in Osceola, Mo., that closed in September.

“I have become an auctioneer,” Smiley says. “And I’ve learned more about asbestos and construction demolition than I ever wanted to know.”

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Heartland Health Monitor
12:16 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Alternative Plan For Kansas Medicaid Expansion Introduced

An alternative plan to expand Medicaid loaded with clauses meant to woo Republicans has been introduced in Kansas. But it could face the same difficult political climate that killed similar bills in other states last week.

Rep. Tom Sloan said Monday that the proposal introduced by the Vision 2020 Committee he chairs represents a Kansas solution that can appeal even to those who campaigned on unwavering opposition to the federal health care reforms spearheaded by President Obama.

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Heartland Health Monitor
2:51 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Budget Crisis Makes Kansas Medicaid Expansion Even Tougher Sell

Kansas’ worsening budget problems are making it harder to generate a legislative discussion about expanding Medicaid.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:24 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Kansas Hospitals Say Feds Willing To Negotiate On Medicaid Expansion

Jeff Korsmo, chief executive of Wichita-based Via Christi Health, spoke about Medicaid expansion this week before a Kansas legislative committee.
Credit Jim McLean / KHI News Service

A group of Kansas hospital leaders is doing what Gov. Sam Brownback has so far declined to do: negotiate with federal officials on Medicaid expansion.

A delegation of hospital executives recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and outline an expansion proposal they are developing for Brownback and Kansas lawmakers to consider this session. 

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:14 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Missouri Medicaid Expansion For Veterans Gets Mixed Reviews

Republican Missouri State Sen. Ryan Silvey of Kansas City announced Tuesday a plan that would expand Medicaid for veterans and their families.

At a press event at the Capitol, Silvey introduced the Veteran’s Family Healthcare Act, which would provide Medicaid coverage for veterans, their spouses and dependent children with incomes between 19 percent and 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

“If we can’t solve the whole problem, let’s solve a piece of it,” Silvey said.

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Heartland Health Monitor
8:54 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Judge Blocks Minimum Wage, Overtime Rule For Medicaid In-Home Caregivers

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked implementation of a U.S. Department of Labor regulation that would have required state Medicaid programs to pay in-home care workers minimum wage and overtime.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:21 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Rural Kansas Hospitals Say They Face Uncertain Future Without Medicaid Expansion

Experts on rural Kansas hospitals made dire predictions about their fiscal futures in a legislative hearing Wednesday that laid the groundwork for a discussion of Medicaid expansion.

Rep. Tom Sloan, chairman of the Vision 2020 Committee, said that he’s trying to start a discussion about crafting an expansion plan that addresses the needs of stakeholders and the concerns of those wary of its connections to the Affordable Care Act.

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Heartland Health Monitor
5:02 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Report: Medicaid Expansion In Missouri Would Yield Up to $100M In Annual Savings

A new study finds that Missouri would save money by expanding Medicaid.
Credit Bigstock

Even as prospects appear bleak for Medicaid expansion in Missouri, a new report says the state would save $81 million right off the bat and $100 million annually later on if it expands the program.

The report by the Missouri Budget Project, a nonpartisan think tank in St. Louis, says the savings would come from money the state currently spends on Medicaid services provided to pregnant women, mental health patients and prisoners in need of medical care.

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Heartland Health Monitor
5:02 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Kansas Hospitals Advance Economic Argument For Medicaid Expansion

Several red-state governors have dropped their opposition to Medicaid expansion in recent months and are pursuing ways to use federal dollars to fund their own more conservative plans.

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Heartland Health Monitor
5:14 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Primary Care Docs In Kansas And Missouri Face Medicaid Cuts

Starting this month primary care physicians in much of the country, including Kansas and Missouri, will be paid less for seeing Medicaid patients.

The expiration of a federal incentive program in the Affordable Care Act is responsible for the reduction.

Nationally, the average fee reduction is expected to be nearly 43 percent, according to a recent report from the Health Policy Center of the Urban Institute.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:53 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Newly Re-elected Kansas House Speaker Vows To Cut Spending

The newly re-elected speaker of the Kansas House reiterated on Monday that he would rather deal with the state’s budget problems by cutting spending than by revisiting the tax cuts that are shrinking state revenues.

Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, was overwhelmingly elected to a second term as speaker, defeating Rep. Virgil Peck of Tyro, 80-16.

Republicans now hold a 97- to 28-seat majority in the House.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:51 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

KCK Home Health Provider Convicted Of Medicaid Fraud

A Kansas City, Kan., home health attendant has been convicted in a federal case based on fraudulent Medicaid billing practices.

Doris Betts, 55, pleaded guilty to health care fraud in federal court. Her conviction was announced Tuesday by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, whose office is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to investigate home health care fraud in Kansas.

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Heartland Health Monitor
11:44 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Why Kansas Democrats Shied Away From Medicaid Expansion Issue

Post-election soul-searching by Kansas Democrats includes disagreement over whether Medicaid expansion should have been a larger part of the party’s strategy.

The Democrats lost all statewide races for the second straight time and lost another five House seats to drop their number in that chamber to 27. The defeats were part of a national wave of Republican election wins, but they have nonetheless led to talk within the Kansas Democratic Party about what could have been done differently.

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:03 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Kansas Hospitals Continue Push For Medicaid Expansion

The Kansas Hospital Association on Thursday continued its campaign for Medicaid expansion by reminding policymakers how much the state is losing by not claiming federal dollars to cover more low-income adults.

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Heartland Health Monitor
2:33 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Still On Table In Kansas, Missouri Following Elections

While the election returned Gov. Sam Brownback to office and solidified conservatives' control of the Legislature, Kansas hospitals are moving ahead with plans to put a Medicaid expansion plan before lawmakers.
Credit Andy Marso / KHI News Service

 

Kansas hospitals are moving ahead with plans to put a Medicaid expansion plan before lawmakers despite election results that returned Gov. Sam Brownback to office and solidified conservatives’ control of the Legislature.

Democrat Paul Davis favored expansion but came up short in his bid to upset Brownback, a Republican who thus far has opposed expansion. Also, several Democratic House members who likely would have favored expansion lost narrowly to GOP challengers.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:58 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Missouri Lawmaker Hopeful About Medicaid Expansion

Missouri Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican, believes he has the votes to expand Medicaid in the upcoming legislative session.
Credit Missouri News Horizon / Flickr--CC

Medicaid expansion may yet happen in Missouri, according to state Sen. Ryan Silvey.

The Kansas City Republican said on Friday that he believes he has the support he needs to pass a Medicaid expansion bill that addresses the concerns of his more conservative colleagues.

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:53 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Kansas Lawmaker Who May Lead Health Committee Open To Medicaid Expansion

Reps. Susan Concannon, R-Beloit, and David Crum, R-Augusta, serve on the House Health and Human Services Committee.
Credit KHI News Service file photo

Medicaid expansion is more likely to be considered in the upcoming session of the Kansas Legislature if Rep. Susan Concannon is appointed to chair the House Health and Human Services Committee.

The panel is now chaired by Rep. David Crum, an Augusta Republican who has declined to hold hearings on the expansion issue for the past two sessions. But Crum is not running for a fifth term.

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:14 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Ruling On In-Home Medicaid Services Raises Concerns

Jason Gallagher and his assistant, Tiffany Lentz, go through their morning routine at Gallagher's home in Overland Park. Lentz is one of five full- and part-time workers who provide in-home services for Gallagher.
Credit Bridgit Bowden / KCPT

 

Karen Barezinsky is looking for an answer to what she says is a simple question: Are the people who run Kansas’ Medicaid program planning to cut the supports she and her husband use to keep her son, Ray Santin, who’s paralyzed from his neck down, out of a nursing home?

“I can’t find out anything,” says Karen, 62, who lives in Scranton, Kan., with her husband and son. “I leave messages with Ray’s case manager, but nobody calls me back.”

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Heartland Health Monitor
1:48 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Medical PACs Mull Stance On Medicaid Expansion

Fifteen medical-related political action committees registered with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission had a total of almost $600,000 cash on hand at the July 24 reporting deadline, and officials from the top PACs said they're still forming the legislative agendas that may inform how they spend that money.

RELATED: Kansas Medical PACs Concentrate Spending On Incumbents

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Heartland Health Monitor
10:34 am
Wed August 13, 2014

New Federal Rules Will Disrupt Care For Disabled Kansans, State Officials Say

A state official charged with overseeing Medicaid-funded services that help people with disabilities live in community-based settings rather than in nursing homes said Tuesday that coming changes in federal wage and hour rules are likely to increase costs, reduce access to care and give beneficiaries less say in deciding who will provide their care.

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:26 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Survey Showing Spike In Kansas’ Uninsured Rate Questioned

Remember that headline-grabbing report last week that said Kansas was the only state in the nation to see a significant increase in its uninsured rate?

Well, it’s looking more and more suspect.

Some officials were immediately skeptical when the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey results were released, showing that the adult uninsured rate in Kansas had increased by 5.1 percentage points, jumping from 12.5 percent in 2013 to 17.6 percent by mid-year 2014.

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Heartland Health Monitor
2:45 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Report: Kansas Improperly Claimed $11 Million In Medicaid Reimbursements

A report by the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that Kansas improperly received Medicaid reimbursement for school-based health services.
Credit Wladyslaw / Wikimedia-CC

Kansas improperly billed Medicaid for nearly $11 million in school-based health services, a government watchdog has found.

In a report released Monday, the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services determined that Kansas received $10.75 million in unallowable reimbursements for services provided during the one-year period from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010.

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:53 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Study: Rejection Of Medicaid Expansion Costing Kansas, Missouri Hospitals Billions

                                          

A new study by the Urban Institute says that not expanding Medicaid will cost hospitals in Kansas and Missouri more than $9 billion over a 10-year period.

The analysis from the nonpartisan research organization pegs the loss to Kansas hospitals at $2.6 billion between 2013 and 2022. Missouri hospitals would forfeit $6.8 billion over the same period.

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Heartland Health Monitor
11:05 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Kansas Medicaid Fraud Unit Recovers Nearly $29 Million

Kansas recovered nearly $29 million in taxpayer funds in fiscal 2014 through its Medicaid fraud enforcement unit, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Friday.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division of the Kansas attorney general's office recovered more than $28.7 million. The recoveries were reported in the division’s annual report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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