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As KanCare Launch Nears, Lawmakers Want Oversight

KanCare-Logo-520KanCare Launch Date Nears but State Lacks Federal Approval

A major overhaul of the Kansas Medicaid program is scheduled to take place in a little more than seven weeks, but the state's plans still haven't received a green light from the federal government. Many of the changes that would be enacted require approval from federal officials. Kari ("carrie") Bruffett is with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. She told a legislative committee that KDHE is confident the new KanCare program will be able to take effect on January 1, though the launch date is contingent on getting an OK from federal regulators.

“Everything is productive and we’re making fast progress, and they definitely understand our timeframe. We’re really working in partnership with them, but I can’t tell you until the ink is dry that it’s done.”

The goal of the Medicaid overhaul is to save the state money without affecting patient care. Kansans who will be affected by the proposed changes will soon receive information by mail. In December, enrollees in the new KanCare programs will have an opportunity to choose one of three managed care providers.


 KanCare Launch Date Nears, Lawmakers Consider Oversight

A legislative committee is recommending that lawmakers have greater oversight of a plan to overhaul Medicaid. KanCare, as the new program will be called, would put most Medicaid recipients into managed care programs run by private companies. KPR's Stephen Koranda has more on the change, slated to take effect January 1st.



The Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services heard from advocates saying lawmakers should keep a close eye on KanCare. The goal of the overhaul is to help control costs in Medicaid without hurting patient care. Advocates say legislators should watch to see that money is being spent properly and recipients are still getting the care they need.  Nick Wood is with the Disability Rights Center of Kansas.

“Other states that have done managed care expansions anywhere similar to what Kansas is proposing to do – they’ve only been successful when the legislature pays close attention.”

The committee recommends the Legislature create a permanent KanCare oversight committee. During the last session, lawmakers tried to create an oversight committee, but they didn’t finish work on the issue.

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