I am concerned that long-term care services have not yet been removed from the KanCare managed care proposal of Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration. I am a Kansas citizen, taxpayer, voter and supporter of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I expect these vital long-term care services to be removed from KanCare. It is unacceptable to conduct such a massive experiment on our state’s most vulnerable citizens.
Legislators propose to delay Medicaid reform
By Tim Carpenter
A majority of the Senate and one-third of the House signed a resolution by Wednesday seeking a six-month delay in implementation of the governor's managed care reform of health care for children, seniors and the disabled on Medicaid.
The administration of Gov. Sam Brownback dismissed the misgivings of legislators and declared there was no justification to postpone the start past Jan. 1.
However, the bipartisan coalition wants state officials to delay until July 1, 2013, hand-over of the state-run program to private insurance companies. At least 22 senators and about 45 representatives seek to slow the pace of the remodeling process to allow lawmakers, health professionals and clients to engage in a definitive study of how medical care and long-term services would be handled.
"Legislators have heard from dozens of recipients, families and disability advocates who would be affected by a statewide transition to privately operated managed care," said Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard. "The general consensus is that we're moving too fast."
Rep. Jerry Henry, D-Cummings, said efforts to privatize Medicaid in other states had resulted in late payments for claims and conflicts over what services were covered. http://cjonline.com/news/state/2012-03-07/legislators-propose-delay-medicaid-reform
Wichita Eagle article - Having to wait for state disability services is more than an inconvenience and could be a matter of life and death.
As Pamela Bromme watches “American Idol” on TV in her south Wichita apartment, next to her chair is her arsenal for fighting the disease that has disabled her – 15 kinds of pills and a cane.
Bromme, who suffers from hepatitis C and rheumatoid arthritis, said that for her, having to wait for state disability services is more than an inconvenience and could be a matter of life and death.
She said her doctor wants her to go back onto debilitating chemotherapy-type drugs that offer the best chance of reducing – and possibly eradicating – the virus that has devastated her body. But without someone to come to her home and assist her with daily living tasks, she fears she will be unable to meet the challenge of caring for herself and the three grandchildren who live with her.
Bromme has been on the waiting list for home- and community-based services since May 2009. She’s still about 200 places from the head of the line.
“I could use some services,” she said. “And I’m sure somebody could use a job.” http://www.kansas.com/2012/03/07/2246037/thousands-of-disabled-kansas-waiting.html
The Brownback administration has not adequately explained why long-term services for the physically and developmentally disabled — things like housing, caretaker support and vocational opportunities — should be placed under the jurisdiction of private insurance companies set up to facilitate medical care.
Brownback, Colyer are ignoring good advice from professionals
Families of developmentally disabled Kansans packed a meeting last week with concerns about Gov. Sam Brownback's Medicaid changes.
A sizable and bipartisan group of Kansas lawmakers on Wednesday called on Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer to slow down their plans to hand the care of the state’s Medicaid patients over to private insurance companies.
Hospital administrators, doctors, nursing home operators and worried families have been making the same plea for months. They justifiably fear that a rushed move to KanCare, as the new managed care system is called, will disrupt medical services for poor, disabled and elderly clients.
Within hours, the legislators had their response in the form of a terse news release from Colyer.
A delay, he said, would be “a costly mistake.”
“The status quo is not serving us well, and delay will not improve the health of anyone,” Colyer said.
In its entirety, the lieutenant governor’s statement smacks of hubris. Colyer is not listening to professionals in the field, who foresee chaos if thousands of patients are moved from a state-run program to a new managed care network on Jan. 1 of next year.
There are compelling reasons to delay the move for at least six months, as the House and Senate lawmakers requested:
Tuesday March 6th advocates from around the state of Kansas joined in a conference call to discuss the current issues facing people with disabilities in Kansas.
Shannon Jones, Executive Director for the State wide Independent Living Council of Kansas (SILCK) began the discussion with the House Social Services Budget committee report. A PDF file of the report is available on request. Shannon expressed the need to thank Rep Barbara Ballard, Rep Jerry Henry and Rep Bill Feuerborn for their outstanding efforts to speak out about the value of Centers for Independent Living and the desperate need to fund the HCBS/PD waiting lists.
The Senate subcommittee will begin review of Aging and SRS budgets Thursday March 7 and continue on Friday and into the following week. Advocates need to focus phone calls and emails to members of the Senate Ways & Means committee urging them to reconsider the FMS rate and remind them of the over 3,500 people still waiting for services, most of whom have been waiting for over 3 years.
Discussion included the great work going on in the field. Many Legislators are hearing from advocactes and most are listening. Advocates have had great media coverage calling attention to the ever growing waiting list and some excellent letters to the editor.