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Public Forums focused on Medicaid Reform

More than 400 people were in attendance. I think that demonstrates the importance...

Resource Central discussion with Shannon Jones, Executive Director of SILCK. The discussion highlights the forums that are taking place across the state.

Kansas Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. announced June 13, 2011 three public forums focused on Medicaid reform will be held in Topeka, Wichita and Dodge City. 

“It is essential to Governor Brownback and me that we receive guidance from Kansans while we work to reform our state’s Medicaid system,” Lt. Governor Colyer said. “These forums will provide Kansans from across the state the opportunity to give their input about healthcare in their communities.  We look forward to working collaboratively with our fellow Kansans to find Kansas solutions for Kansas healthcare needs.”

As of June 23 Shannon reported, "More than 400 people were in attendance. I think that demonstrates the importance of folks attending the remaining forums."

Details of the remaining forums are as follows:

  • Wichita: Thursday, July 7th; 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Location TBD
  •  Dodge City: Friday, July 8th, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  United Wireless Arena, Magouirk Conference Center

 Executive Director Jones explained that it is critical to continue to offer cost effective services for people with disabilities. "People who rely on Medicaid for their healthcare benefits need certainly need to have their voices heard.

It is believed that the Lieutenant Governor and his team are trying to develop a managed health care program. Shannon shared that the message that people who are part of the Independent Living world need to share is that the home and community based programs are already a managed care system.

There are Independent Living Counselors, Case Managers, and using this type of care has demonstrated a cost savings of on the average 50% of other long term care methods. Even with this cost savings being identified repeatedly instructional care is an entitlement while home and community based care is an optional program.

Shannon explained that people attending the meeting need to express the need to expand the cost savings programs of home and community based services. "Kansas could contain Medicaid spending by huge somes of money by reducing our over reliance on institutional care and expanding home and community based services." Shannon explained.

Several levels are available at the Federal level that would benefit Kansas and provide avenues for cost reduction. These at the same time provide quality services that people need.

Additional energy has been applied towards employment for people with disabilities. Several studies and surveys have shown that when a person is employed continuously over a period of two years , their medical cost are reduced by over half.

Tune into the podcast for more information. SILCK can be contacted at www.silck.org

http://www.skilonline.com/images/stories/audio/2011-07-01.mp3