US Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and US Customs and Border Protection sign alliance agreement
Partnership supports executive order on increasing federal hiring of individuals with disabilities
WASHINGTON — Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathleen Martinez and U.S. Customs and Border Protection acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar today signed an alliance agreement to advance President Obama's executive order to increase the hiring of people with disabilities by federal agencies.
"Today's alliance is an opportunity for ODEP and CBP to demonstrate disability employment practices that will not only result in increased hires at CBP but easily can be replicated by other federal agencies seeking to fulfill the requirements of their executive order plans," said Martinez.
Kan Care Electronic Visit information
By now you are probably aware that the state is replacing the current paper timesheet with an Electronic Visit Verification(EVV) system known as KS AuthentiCare.
KS AuthentiCare is a requirement for all Home and Community Based Service (HCBS) consumers and their Direct Support Workers (DSWs). The system requires the DSW to use the consumer’s home phone to call KS AuthentiCare’s toll free number at the beginning and end of each visit to record the check-in and check-out times. Toll Free number is (800-903-4676)
All identification numbers are now being printed on each individual payroll check. Direct Support workers can find this "Employee number" printed on their regular payroll check.
Change in start date for the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) system.
- All night support starts 1-16-12
- DD self direct services start 1-16-12
- FE self direct starts 1-16-12
- HI waiver will start in 2-1-12 (unless notified otherwise)
- PD waiver will start 2-1-12 (unless notified otherwise)
New focus will be on Medicaid managed care performance
By Dave Ranney
KHI News Service
Jan. 3, 2012 http://www.khi.org/news/2012/jan/03/legislators-call-oversight-coming-managed-care-con/
TOPEKA — Key state legislators from both parties say they want to revamp the Joint Health Policy Oversight Committee so that is has a new focus on monitoring the performance of the state’s Medicaid managed care companies.
Gov. Sam Brownback announced his plan to expand managed care throughout the state’s $2.6 billion Medicaid program in November, and since then lawmakers have had few opportunities to weigh in on it.
Brownback officials have said they intend to keep the Legislature informed about their Medicaid makeover but don’t anticipate needing special legislation to implement it.
Companies interested in providing managed care services have until Jan. 31 to submit their proposals.
After the bids are turned in, state officials will begin closed-door negotiations with the bidders. The administration plan, called KanCare, is expected to be operational statewide by Jan. 1, 2013.
'A huge contract'
“As legislators we have a responsibility to provide oversight, to provide a check-and-balance, to hold state agencies accountable,” said Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat. “This is going to be a huge contract. The only thing we spend more money on is education.”
Administration officials said they plan to award contracts to three companies as they expand managed care to include the Medicaid services provided to the state’s elderly, disabled and mentally ill.
Currently, the state’s biggest managed care contracts are with the two companies that provide HealthWave services for low-income children and pregnant women who qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Kelly said in the coming legislative session, which begins next week, she would propose giving the Joint Committee on Health Policy Oversight the role of monitoring the performance of the state’s Medicaid managed care companies and how well the administration meets its stated goals of improving Medicaid patient outcomes while reducing the program’s costs.
Brownback officials have estimated the move to more managed care will save state and federal taxpayers about $850 million over five years.
Kelly said the current 12-member committee should be restructured so that it includes more legislators from the House and Senate budget committees.
“We need to move from being a health policy oversight committee to being a health finance oversight committee,” Kelly said.
Currently, only four members of the joint committee also serve on Senate or House budget committees. They include Kelly and Sens. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka, and Ruth Teichman, R-Stafford, from the Senate Ways and Means Committee and Rep. Peggy Mast, an Emporia Republican, also on the House Appropriations Committee.
The joint committee was created in 2005 when the Legislature approved creation of the Kansas Health Policy Authority.
Initial purpose changed
The committee’s initial purpose was to monitor the new agency and its policy proposals.
But in July 2011, Brownback eliminated the health policy authority’s independent board of directors and merged what was the state’s lead Medicaid agency with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. It’s now called the KDHE Division of Health Care Finance.
It’s expected that many of the decisions once made by state Medicaid officials at the health policy authority and now at KDHE eventually will be made by officials with the managed care companies.
“We have got to do something to rein in Medicaid costs, so I want this to work,” Kelly said of the administration’s planned Medicaid makeover. “I want it to be structured properly and fairly, and I want there to be positive outcomes. And for that to happen there’s going to have to be an oversight committee.”
Kelly’s idea has backing from Senate Vice President John Vratil and Rep. Brenda Landwehr, who is chair of the joint committee.
Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood “Now that the health policy authority has been dissolved, it would make sense,” said Landwehr, a conservative Wichita Republican who also chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee.
Vratil, a moderate Republican from Leawood, also said he would endorse reforming the committee.
He said there’s little legislators can do to shape the way Brownback officials execute the Medicaid managed care contracts.
“Our system of government is dependent on there being an appropriate balance between the three branches of government,” Vratil said, noting that governors historically have proposed policy initiatives and legislators have kept them in check by deciding whether to fund them.
But current law allows a governor ample power to commit the state to contracts, and Vratil said Brownback has demonstrated he is willing to counteract the Legislature’s wishes in order to advance his goals.
As an example, he cited the governor’s decision last year to dismantle the Kansas Arts Commission after the Legislature voted to restore most of the organization’s funding.
“I just don’t recall that ever being done before by a governor,” he said.
Vratil said he also was troubled when officials at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services decided to use $600,000 that the Legislature earmarked for Early Head Start funding to underwrite programs to promote fatherhood instead of decrease the Early Head Start waiting list.
Vratil, an attorney, said he planned to propose language that could be added to legislation in the coming session that would cause appropriations to lapse if they weren’t spent on the purpose intended by the Legislature.
“There are other people on Ways and Means who are interested in doing the same thing,” he said.
Vratil is on the Ways and Means Committee and chairs the Senate Education Committee.
Engaged in the process
Kari Bruffett, assistant secretary for policy and external affairs at KDHE, said Brownback officials had “kept key legislators and committees informed throughout the extensive Medicaid reform effort this year and were pleased so many were engaged in the public process.”
Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita said she and other officials look forward to “working with the Legislature on key elements of the reforms, including work initiatives.”
Landwehr said she understood the frustration some fellow legislators might feel about being left in the dark on the details of the Medicaid managed care contract negotiations. But that’s the way the system works.
“I know that as a legislator, it’s always frustrating to have RFPs (requests for proposal) out there and not being able to know what’s going on. But it’s always been that way,” she said. “I don’t know how you’d get around it. This isn’t anything the Brownback administration has done. You can’t make it so RFPs fit the Legislature’s schedule, and I really don’t think we want to get legislators involved in contract negotiations.”
SKIL Resource Center provides a wide array of services to people with disabilities who live in Kansas. Many of the services provided are free of charge to the consumer. However SKIL also provides payroll services for people using home and community based services as well as other Medicaid programs.
SKIL works with the State of Kansas to provide cost effective and needed services that allow people to remain in their home and community rather than move into an institutional setting. SKIL has worked with the State of Kansas as a center for independent living since June of 1992.
Shari Coatney CEO/President of SKIL Resource Center stated, “Our job is to protect the integrity of the programs and people we serve.”
The Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division was established within the Kansas Attorney General’s Office by statute in 1995.
The mission statement of the division is to identify, investigate and prosecute conduct involving provider fraud committed against the Kansas Medicaid program, as well as patient abuse and exploitation.
What is Fraud? According to the Attorney General, “Fraud is committed when the provider intentionally submits false information to the Medicaid program about services rendered or goods supplied to Medicaid recipients.”
Medicaid fraud increases the costs of administering the Medicaid program, which will either cost taxpayers more or result in the denial of necessary services.
Report Medicaid Provider Fraud or Abuse Call (866) 551-6328 or (785) 368-6220 or visit www.ksag.org.
To report Medicaid Eligibility Fraud, contact the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services at (800) 432-3913