KanCare

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Budget problems are forcing Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to make cuts in the state Medicaid program that he once said he wouldn’t make.

In 2012, Brownback was pushing lawmakers to approve his plan to privatize Medicaid. In his State of the State speech that year he said creating KanCare would save money--and do it in a more responsible way than other states.

“Now many states are either kicking people off of Medicaid or paying doctors and other providers less," he said. "Neither of these choices providers better outcomes.”

Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

Finding a way to balance the state budget is job one for Kansas lawmakers in the final weeks of the legislative session. But dozens of other bills remain in play, including one aimed at lowering KanCare costs by limiting patient access to expensive drugs.

Jasleen Kaur / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas’ rejection of Medicaid expansion has now cost the state more than $1 billion in lost federal revenue.

The Kansas Hospital Association keeps a running total of how much federal money the state is losing because it hasn’t expanded KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

That total spun past $1 billion over the weekend.

Hospitals say they urgently need the additional federal dollars to offset reductions in other federal reimbursements.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service/File photo

Medicaid applications are piling up in Topeka because of problems with a new computer system, which are also causing some Kansans to lose their coverage.

A panel of legislators Friday reversed their recommendation of a lifetime ban on hepatitis C drugs for Medicaid patients who don’t comply with their treatment regimen.

Jim McLean

Officials from Lawrence Memorial Hospital returned Friday to the Statehouse armed with details about ongoing problems they’re having with the companies that manage KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

Mike Sherry / Heartland Health Monitor

Kansas is one of 20 states that have refused to expand Medicaid. At a forum in Overland Park Tuesday on KanCare, Kansas’ privatized version of Medicaid, a leader of Indiana’s push to expand the program explained how his very conservative state managed to do it.

A legislative oversight committee is recommending several changes in Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program to save money. One of the recommendations is sparking controversy because it would withhold potentially life-saving treatments from some patients.

Jasleen Kaur / flickr Creative Commons

A report released today by a group of health foundations backing Medicaid expansion says expansion would more than pay for itself.

The report by a national health consulting firm says that expanding Kansas’ Medicaid program--known as KanCare--would reduce what the state is now spending on the uninsured.

Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Wichita Chamber has added Medicaid expansion to its list of legislative priorities. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, there are conditions attached to that support.

The board of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce has voted to support expanding Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program--known as KanCare--so that it covers more poor adults.

But that support is conditioned on two things:

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