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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sister Simone Campbell, an outspoken proponent for Medicaid expansion who has appeared on several prominent TV talk shows, will address a public forum on social justice issues in Kansas City, Mo., next week.
Campbell, who led the national “Nuns on the Bus” campaigns in 2012 and 2013, is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Community Christian Church, 4601 Main St.
Five candidates are seeking the Republican nomination for Kansas insurance commissioner, an office that regulates insurance companies, examines them for financial solvency, ensures compliance with insurance regulations, licenses insurance agents, and educates and assists consumers. The primary winner on Aug. 5 will face off in the fall against the lone Democrat in the race, Dennis Anderson. The winner in November will succeed Sandy Praeger, who was elected in 2003 and is stepping down.
A study released earlier this month by the White House Council of Economic Advisers says the decision not to expand Medicaid is costing Kansas millions of dollars and thousands of jobs.
According to the study, Kansas is passing up $820 million over the next three years by choosing not to expand Medicaid eligibility. The federal government would pay for nearly all of the cost of the expansion, which would add as many as 100,000 Kansans to the state’s Medicaid rolls.
A Kansas state official insists there’s no backlog of Medicaid applications in the state, saying federal concerns have more to do with state and government computer systems not sharing information with each other.
Sara Belfry, a spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said all of the state’s Medicaid applications are being processed within the 45-day period that’s allowed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Roughly $18 million that would restore basic dental benefits for hundreds of thousands of low-income Missouri adults is in limbo because of a sweeping budget action by Gov. Jay Nixon.
Acting under what he termed his constitutional duty to balance the state budget, Nixon late last month restricted or vetoed approximately $1.1 billion in spending for the fiscal year that began July 1.
Tired of waiting for states to reduce their backlogs of Medicaid applications, the Obama administration has given Kansas and five other states until Monday to submit plans to resolve issues that have prevented more than 1 million low-income or disabled people from getting health coverage.
Besides Kansas, the targeted states are Alaska, California, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee.
It’s make-or-break time for advocates of Medicaid expansion in Kansas.
Fearing that political events may be conspiring to foreclose the opportunity to use mostly federal dollars to extend coverage to thousands of uninsured poor adults, the Kansas Hospital Association is preparing to shift its lobbying campaign into high gear.
The first step, says Tom Bell, the association’s chief executive, will be to craft an expansion proposal for lawmakers to consider in the 2015 session.