The three private companies contracted to manage Medicaid services through KanCare lost money in the program's first year. That's according to a report released this week.
The total losses between the companies come to more than $100 million. Representative Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, is concerned that could lead to cost increases, service reductions or the companies eventually pulling out of the program altogether.
"Will they leave?" Ward asks. "And if they do leave, what impact will that have on the people who depend on Medicaid for services?"
Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Robert Moser, says the contracts between the state and the three companies will last at least three years. He says higher costs were expected in the first year.
"If you have the opportunity to speak with those companies, I think they would tell you that...they knew that it was probably going to be more costly than, hopefully, what will be the second, third years," Moser says.
The comments came during a meeting of a legislative committee created to oversee the KanCare program.