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State seeks Kansans with physical disabilities dropped from wait list

State officials are asking Kansans with physical disabilities to contact them if they believe they were improperly dropped from a waiting list for support services through Medicaid. Brandt Haehn, the state’s commissioner for home and community-based services within the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said the state is prepared to make service offers to those who step forward.  “If you think you are on the waiting list and have not received an offer, we want to hear from you,” Haehn said. The state reported in August that the waiting list for physical disability support services provided under Medicaid had been eliminated.

But that announcement came after controversy over how the state culled the list since taking it over from Centers for Independent Living that serve Kansans with disabilities throughout the state. Megan Buck, an official with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, sent the state a letter last month saying the CMS regional office has received reports of Kansans with disabilities who were dropped from the list improperly — something the Centers for Independent Living had warned of for years. Amy Hyten, an attorney and assistant director of the Topeka Independent Living Resource Center, said that after the state announced the elimination of the waiting list, she went back and located archived names of clients her organization added to the waiting list in 2011 and 2012. “We circled back around and tried to make as much contact as possible with as many of them as possible,” Hyten said. There were about 70 clients from those old lists, and attempts to contact most of them failed. But Hyten’s staff did track down seven of them. “Almost every single one of them had not been offered services,” Hyten said. “When we brought that to the attention of KDADS, eventually they were given a rescreening and an offer of services.” - See more at: