KanCare Launch Date Nears, Lawmakers Consider Oversight

Nov 9, 2012

A legislative committee is recommending that lawmakers have greater oversight of a plan to overhaul Medicaid.

KanCare, as the new program will be called, would put most Medicaid recipients into managed care programs run by private companies. The change is slated to take effect January 1.

The Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services heard from advocates saying lawmakers should keep a close eye on KanCare. The goal of the overhaul is to help control costs in Medicaid without hurting patient care.

Advocates say legislators should watch to see that money is being spent properly and recipients are still getting the care they need.

Nick Wood is with the Disability Rights Center of Kansas.

"Other states that have done managed care expansions anywhere similar to what Kansas is proposing to do – they've only been successful when the legislature pays close attention," he says.

The committee recommends the Legislature create a permanent KanCare oversight committee. During the last session, lawmakers tried to create an oversight committee, but they didn't finish work on the issue.