KanCare

Kansas News Service/File photo

The federal agency that oversees Medicaid has agreed to a one-year extension of Kansas’ $3.2 billion KanCare program, which provides managed care services to the state’s Medicaid population.

Pixabay / Creative Commons

Kansas officials say there is little chance that more than 400,000 Kansans who depend on the state’s Medicaid program will see their services interrupted.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Among Republicans vying to be Kansas’s next governor, Mark Hutton is on the conservative side. But he says he’s open to expanding KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Given all the controversy about KanCare – Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program – it would be reasonable to expect big crowds at public hearings about renewing the program.

But that wasn’t the case Wednesday when relative handfuls of health care providers and consumers turned out in Topeka for the first in a series of forums scheduled across the state.

The sparse turnout disappointed state officials and legislators who attended.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Federal officials this week approved a corrective plan for Kansas’ privately managed Medicaid program, easing pressure on the state before a year-end deadline.

As part of the plan, state officials agreed to keep track of the number of grievances and appeals they receive from Kansans in Medicaid who say they were denied appropriate services. That and other elements of the plan were outlined in a letter the state received Monday from James Scott, associate regional administrator for Medicaid and children’s health operations at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Kansas News Service

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill aimed at addressing complaints from health care providers about KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

Red tape, denied claims and late payments are among the major gripes.

The new law aims to fix those problems by requiring the private companies that manage KanCare to standardize some of their business practices, as well as establishing an external appeals process to resolve disputes.

Republican Sen. Barbara Bollier helped write the legislation.

File Photo/Kansas News Service

A third of the way to an end-of-year deadline, Kansas officials still do not have federal approval to extend KanCare.

In January, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied the state’s request for a one-year extension of the waiver that allowed it to privatize its Medicaid program. The denial letter said neither the Kansas Department of Health and Environment nor the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services was doing enough to hold the three private companies that run the program responsible for providing services accountable to Medicaid rules.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Several hundred people turned out Monday night to protest the possible closure of St. Francis Health in Topeka.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 4 p.m. April 3.

A motion to override Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of a bill to expand Medicaid eligibility failed Monday in the Kansas House. The 81-44 vote was three short of the override total needed to send the bill to the Senate.

Kansas Office of the Governor

Supporters of expanding Medicaid eligibility in Kansas are preparing to mount an intense lobbying campaign over the weekend to get the votes they need to override Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of an expansion bill.

Pages