Andy Marso

Reporter, Kansas News Service

Andy Marso is a reporter for KCUR 89.3 and the Kansas News Service based in Topeka.

Andy previously covered state government for the Topeka Capital-Journal where he shared the Burton W. Marvin Kansas News Enterprise Award and received the Great Plains Journalism Award for investigative/project reporting.

He has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas. He previously wrote for The Olathe News, the St. Cloud Times and the Washington Post. His memoir, “Worth the Pain: How Meningitis Nearly Killed Me – Then Changed My Life for the Better,” was named a 2014 Kansas Notable Book.

Ways to Connect

Kevin Brown

 

Wichita physician Josh Umbehr has never understood the traditional model of health care reimbursement — the one in which doctors and hospitals fill out pages of forms to bill a patient's insurance company for everything from a $3 test to a $30,000 surgery.

“You don’t have car insurance for gasoline," Umbehr said in a recent phone interview. "Why would you have health insurance for family practice?”

With that philosophy in mind, Umbehr has operated on a kind of service plan for the human body since he opened his practice in 2010.

The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved will get a $468,000 federal grant to lead the state's efforts again to get residents signed up for health insurance on the online insurance exchanges.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday announced $60 million in "navigator" grants to 90 organizations nationwide, including KAMU.

Federal officials are sending notices to more than 300,000 people — including about 1,800 Kansans — warning them that the health insurance plans they bought on the federal online marketplace will be revoked unless they provide documents that resolve "data inconsistencies" with their citizenship or immigration status.

commons.wikipedia.org

 

An official with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said it will be difficult for the state to have a plan in place by the proposed deadline to meet President Obama's order to curb emissions linked to climate change.

Tom Gross, chief of the bureau's air monitoring and planning division, said the rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency could leave the state with only one year between the time it becomes final in June 2015 and the time the state has to implement a plan in June 2016.

Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, said Tuesday that if elected he would order a "top-to-bottom" review of KanCare.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback spearheaded KanCare, which places the state's 400,000 Medicaid recipients under the administration of three private insurance companies, also known as managed care organizations (MCOs).

The governor has said the program is on track to meet its goal of saving the state $1 billion over five years through care coordination without cutting services, eligibility or provider payments.

The state’s privatization of Medicaid is complicating efforts to detect fraud and abuse, according to a recently released report from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office.

The 2014 annual report from the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division says the three private companies managing the state’s $3 billion Medicaid program — called KanCare — are not providing all the information needed for the state to conduct investigations.

Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

Kari Bruffett, who was confirmed Thursday as secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said one of her first goals will be to continue the transition away from institutional care for people with disabilities in favor of home- and community-based services.

The Legislature's Confirmation Oversight Committee approved Bruffett unanimously after she told committee members that her agency's mission fits neatly with a personal mission statement she formulated while working as a government affairs liaison at the University of Kansas Hospital.

Andy Marso / KHI News Service

The rural hospital that Dr. Roger Warren leads in Hanover, Kan., is owed about $140,000 by the three insurance companies the state contracted with to administer Medicaid. And as he walks the halls, Warren is able to point out exactly what that money means to his full-service medical clinic.

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