February 9, 2012
Kansas officials should listen to those voicing concerns about Medicaid changes and take the time to make the necessary revisions to their plan
Gov. Sam Brownback and his administration have come up with a plan they say will improve care and reduce costs for Medicaid recipients in the state. That’s a good goal, but questions being raised about the plan indicate that the state needs to iron out more of the details before rushing ahead with a plan that will affect about 380,000 vulnerable Kansans.
The governor’s office says there’s no need to delay the scheduled Jan. 1, 2013, implementation date for the new plan because the administration already has been working on the plan for more than a year. State officials also say they have been talking to people across the state about the plan, but it’s not clear to whom they were talking. Since the plan was released to the public about two months ago, various stakeholders have raised many questions and concerns, but state officials have shown no willingness to revise or slow their plan based on what they are hearing.
A major area of concern in the Medicaid plan is how it will affect Kansans with developmental disabilities. Although advocates say managed care may be a valid way to handle the health care needs of this population, they don’t see how it will work for the other services, such as in-home support, that help preserve clients’ independence.
Despite the concerns voiced by agencies and legislators on both sides of the aisle, the Medicaid effort led by Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is moving full speed ahead. Colyer said Tuesday that...