KanCare

Health
9:28 am
Mon July 21, 2014

White House Study: Kansas Losing Money, Jobs Without Medicaid Expansion

This map from the White House Council of Economic Advisors shows which states have expanded Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act.
Credit Council of Economic Advisors / Executive Office of the President of the United States

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.

Read more
Health
3:20 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Kansas Official: No Backlog In Processing Of Medicaid Applications

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).

Read more
Health
8:57 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Surprise Halt To Kansas Health Homes Program Dismays Medicaid Providers

Kansas Medicaid providers with expansion plans ready to go after spending months and thousands of dollars preparing for the state’s new health homes initiative said they were “shocked” and “disappointed” that state officials abruptly chose to indefinitely delay much of the program’s implementation while giving the providers less than 24 hours' notice of the state’s decision to hit the pause button.

Read more
Health
11:44 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Where KanCare Meets Obamacare

Shelley Schultz, left, a residential client of Cottonwood, Inc. in Lawrence, talks with registered nurse Pat Turmes, who works at Cottonwood's clinic. Cottonwood's nurses sit down with clients on a regular basis for wellness checks.
Credit Mike Shields / KHI News Service

Gov. Sam Brownback once called Obamacare “an abomination,” and with the federal health reform law now four years on the books bad-mouthing it has become a conservative Republican ritual.

But this week, after more than a year of planning and preparation by Kansas and federal officials, the Affordable Care Act and Brownback’s own KanCare initiative begin coming together in ways that will make the two programs indistinguishable to as many as 72,000 Kansas Medicaid beneficiaries.

Read more
Health
8:17 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Kansas Sees Significant Increase In Medicaid/CHIP Enrollment

Unlike its neighboring states of Missouri and Nebraska, where significant decreases have been reported, Kansas has seen a significant jump in the number of people enrolled in its Medicaid/CHIP programs, even without loosening its relatively tight eligibility standards.

According to a new report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, enrollment in the programs — together branded as KanCare — rose in April to a historic high of 426,642 people, or roughly one in seven Kansans. That’s up from 396,374 in April 2013.

Read more
Health
4:16 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

KanCare Contractors Lost Money In First Year

The three private companies contracted to manage Medicaid services through KanCare lost money in the program's first year, according to a report released this week.

The total losses between the companies come to more than $100 million.

Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, is concerned that could lead to service reductions or the companies pulling out of the program altogether.

Read more
Government
7:38 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Reports: FBI Investigation Involves Kansas Governor’s Office

The FBI is investigating possible influence peddling by former aides of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, according to a story Sunday in The Topeka Capital-Journal.

The FBI is also looking into whether the governor’s office pressured the for-profit companies that run the state Medicaid system to use lobbyists from Parallel Strategies, a firm founded by the former aides, including the governor’s former chief of staff, David Kensinger, the newspaper reported.

Read more
Health
6:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

KC Checkup: Five Questions For Sandy Praeger

Sandy Praeger, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, in her office in Topeka, Kan.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

The Affordable Care Act has put Sandy Praeger at odds with most of her fellow Republicans in Topeka, Kan.

The Kansas Commissioner of Insurance shared the frustration many had over the health exchange website problems, and she’s voiced concern over how shifting rules and delays impact the insurance industry.

But Praeger has remained a supporter of federal health reform, a proponent of Medicaid expansion, and a critic of Gov. Sam Brownback’s approach to health policy.

She answered five questions as part of our monthly series, KC Checkup:

Read more
Health
7:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Bill Before Kansas Senate Aims To Eliminate KanCare Payment Delays

Payment delays to health providers have been one of the most contentious parts of KanCare. But a bill before the Kansas Senate this week aims to eliminate the problem.         

The bill requires the three for-profit companies that run Kansas’s Medicaid program to pay on time. Official state numbers show payments have been timely, at least in the past several months, but many doctors and hospitals have reported some significant problems.

Read more
Health
8:06 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Green Light Expected Soon On Second Phase Of KanCare

People with developmental disabilities gather along with advocates and caretakers at a pre-implementation meeting in Wichita in June 2012.
Credit Bryan Thompson / Kansas Public Radio

A federal Medicaid official says Kansas is making "substantial progress" toward a major expansion of the Medicaid privatization program known as KanCare.

During a statewide teleconference Wednesday, Kansas officials said the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is on the verge of approving the state’s plan to move residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities to the program. It would put residential, employment, and independent living services under the control of the private insurance companies that run KanCare.

Read more
Health
12:49 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Last Part Of KanCare Overhaul Delayed, Again

Kansas will not be allowed to move forward with the plan to move long-term services for the state's intellectually and developmentally disabled to the KanCare program.

Read more
Health
8:54 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Disabled Communities Prepare For KanCare Inclusion

Shelly and Nicholas Little at home in Olathe, Kan..
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Editor's note: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did not approve the inclusion of long-term services for the intellectually and developmentally disabled into KanCare, according to a report published this morning by the Kansas Health Institute. We will update this post as more information becomes available.

The original story, reported prior to the report, starts here:

Read more
Health
9:54 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Doctors, Hospitals Report Delays From KanCare Companies

Kansas Department of Health and Environment director Kari Bruffet, Division of Healh Finance, addressed the KanCare legislative oversight committee at the state capitol on Monday.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

On Monday morning, Kansas Department of Health and Environment director of Health Care Finance, Kari Bruffett, addressed a packed legislative oversight meeting about issues with Kansas' new privatized Medicaid program, KanCare. Her department oversees the work of the three managed care companies that started administering the program that was rolled out this year.

She said that most of the glitches that came at the start of KanCare have been fixed, and the new system is now working nearly as well as the old Medicaid system.

Read more
Tell KCUR
11:03 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Tell KCUR: What's The Longest You've Been Without Health Insurance?

Credit CC

As part of KCUR’s ongoing reporting on health care in the Kansas City area, we wanted to know more about your experiences with gaps in health insurance.

We reached out on social media and on the air, asking Kansas Citians about their longest breaks from insurance. On Twitter, we asked people to tell us through the #TellKCUR hashtag.

Read more
KC Currents
9:53 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Is KanCare Working?

Credit Christos Doulkeridis / Flickr--Creative Commons

At the beginning of the year, Kansas launched KanCare, the first fully privatized managed care system for delivering Medicaid coverage. It was introduced as a way to cut costs, but some people are finding the cost-cutting is coming at expense of services.

On KCUR's news program KC Currents we discussed how well KanCare is meeting its goals and what plans there are to address concerns. 

Guests:

Read more
Health
10:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

KanCare Means Big Medicaid Cuts For Prairie Village Man

Finn Bullers at home with family.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

It's early evening at the Bullers' house in Prairie Village, and the family gathers around the table. The Bullers kids, Alora and Christian, talk school while their mother, Anne, serves dinner.

Read more
Health
9:57 am
Fri July 12, 2013

State To Take Public Comment On KanCare Changes

The Brownback Administration wants federal permission to make changes to the new, privatized Medicaid system known as KanCare.  You'll have a chance to comment on the plans next Monday and Tuesday, in Wichita and Topeka.

Read more
Government
9:27 am
Mon June 24, 2013

KanCare Quarterly Report Submitted

The state of Kansas has submitted its first quarterly update on KanCare to the federal government. 

The federal waiver that gives Kansas the authority to experiment with its Medicaid program by privatizing the entire system requires a progress report four times a year. 

The first report covers the period from January first through March 31st.  It shows that a total of more than 344,000 Kansans enrolled in KanCare during the first three months.  At the end of March, however, there were fewer than 324,000 still enrolled—a drop of more than 20,000 people. 

Read more
Health
3:27 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Kan. Lawmakers Approve Disabilities Plan, Despite Pushback

While the legislative session in Kansas has ended, many advocates for Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities are now worried about how the approved budget will affect services for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Advocates like Tom Laing, with the service organization InterHab, fought against a proposed plan that would move non medical services, like adult day care, into a new Medicaid managed care program called KanCare.

In the final moments of the legislative session, lawmakers moved forward with that plan.

Read more
Health
10:03 am
Mon April 1, 2013

KanCare Selection Period Ends Thursday

The clock is ticking for the 380,000 Kansans whose health insurance comes through the Medicaid program now known as KanCare. 

The KanCare program assigned each member to one of three private companies administering the benefits as of the first of the year.  Members who prefer to switch to a different company have to do so no later than this Thursday. 

At a recent educational meeting in Hays, KDHE policy and program analyst Effie Swanson said one reason to switch might be if your doctor is not signed up with your health plan’s network.

Read more
Health
9:25 am
Thu March 7, 2013

KanCare Tour Rescheduled After Weather Cancellations

A series of informational meetings about KanCare has been rescheduled, after being cancelled due to snow storms last month. 

Meetings for providers will take place March 18th, in Hays; March 19th, in Dodge City, and March 20th, in Wichita.  Each of those sessions will run from one to three in the afternoon.

Meetings for consumers will be held in Hays March 18th, and in Wichita March 20th.  Those events will take place from six to eight in the evening. 

Health
9:10 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Lower Cost & Better Care: Can KanCare Deliver?

Lidor Flickr

Medicaid is the second-largest program that Kansas operates, next only to education. And costs of the health program for the poor and disabled have been growing at a faster pace than most other programs. A desire to control those costs and improve care is why officials in Governor Sam Brownback’s administration have embarked on a massive plan to overhaul the system.

Read more
Health
4:12 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Kansas Medicaid Overhaul Begins Next Month

bigstock.com

KanCare is arguably the biggest change in the history of Medicaid in Kansas. The proposal would privatize the entire program.

Read more
Health
3:29 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Feds Approve Kansas Medicaid Overhaul

Lidor Flickr

Governor Sam Brownback's administration has been working on a plan to make sweeping changes to Medicaid in Kansas.

Read more
Kansas Health
1:24 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

KanCare: Ready Or Not?

bigstock.com

Less than five months from now, the Kansas Medicaid program is scheduled to convert to a privatized system.

Read more
Health
1:15 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Kansas Medicaid Sessions Wrap Up In Overland Park Today

bigstock.com

Kansas health officials have been touring the state this week, holding public education sessions on a plan to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program.

Read more
Health
3:47 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Brownback's Administration Awards Medicaid Contracts

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
kansas.gov

Governor Sam Brownback's administration today awarded contracts to three companies that will manage parts of the state's new Medicaid program, called KanCare.

Read more
Health
9:25 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Kansas Medicaid Hearing Draws Extensive Criticism

About 200 people turned out to an additional public hearing in Wichita on the administration's plan to overhaul the Medicaid system in Kansas.
Bryan Thompson KPR

A crowd of more than 200 people packed a hearing room in Wichita Monday to sound-off about Governor Sam Brownback's plan to privatize the state's Medicaid system.

Read more
Headlines
9:06 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Top Of The Morning News: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The set for the Shakespeare Festival's "Antony & Cleopatra."
Steve Walker

The Kansas school finance trial enters its third week. A plan to replace Medicaid in Kansas drew criticism at its first public hearing.  It’s a double dose of Shakespeare in Kansas City.  That & more news from KCUR.

Read more
Headlines
8:31 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Top Of The Morning News: Monday, June 18, 2012

Kansans can speak out on proposed changes to the Medicaid program.  The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services tries to identify elder abuse cases.  It’s a daily roundup of headlines from KCUR.

Read more

Pages