Health
6:42 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Conference Call Today May Be Last Chance To Comment Before Disability Services Rolled Into KanCare

What: Conference call for public comment/questions regarding disability services being rolled into KanCare, state's privately managed Medicaid program.

When: Today (Jan. 22) 8:30AM - 10:30AM

Conference Call Number: 1-800-811-9422.

Federal approval for full implementation of KanCare could come as early as Feb. 1, according to Kansas officials.

If so, independent living services like job training and personal care attendants would be managed by three private insurance contractors. This change, though, requires the approval of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.

Tom Laing heads Interhab, a statewide association of developmental disability service providers. He’s not so sure CMS is on board yet.

“I think CMS asked them to do this—to get one more round of public comment, because CMS will be on the call, listening," Laing said. "And I think they wanted to hear, one more time before they went any further, which to me indicates they’ve still got questions.”

Laing says the pilot program applying KanCare to a few hundred Kansans with developmental disabilities hasn’t worked. He says there’s been little evidence of care coordinators interacting with people with developmental disabilities. He also says communication has been spotty, and claims payment remains a problem. Laing says putting 8,000 vulnerable Kansans into a system that’s not ready for them will be counterproductive.

Before these changes take place, the state is holding a conference call this morning (Wednesday, Jan. 22) at 8:30 AM for Kansans to ask questions and share concerns or comments. Anyone can participate by calling (800) 811-9422.

The two-hour conference call will be divided into two sections. The first hour, from 8:30-9:30 a.m., will be devoted to consumer and family issues, starting with a discussion of how targeted case managers will interact with managed care organization (MCO) care coordinators in the KanCare model.

The second hour, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., will be for providers and other stakeholders and will begin with a discussion of billing and administrative protections in place for the transition. Time will be available in each portion of the call for other comments and discussion.