KanCare system criticized in Topeka hearing
TOPEKA (AP) — Health-care executives and advocates told members of a legislative oversight committee Monday the state's managed care plan for Medicaid is riddled with problems, but state officials said KanCare appears to be going well.
The Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services and KanCare Oversight met Monday to gather updates on how the program is working and guide legislative fixes, The Wichita Eagle reported. A second meeting also is planned.
KanCare, which took over Medicaid administration in the state earlier this year, is Gov. Sam Brownback's program of privatizing services for poor families, the elderly and the disabled.
Under KanCare, the state contracts with three managed-care insurance companies to administer the health services and pays a flat rate per client to contain state costs. The program will be complete on Jan. 1, 2014, when KanCare takes over home- and community-based services for people with developmental disabilities.
KanCare was criticized Monday for delays in reimbursing providers, mistaken billing and denials of legitimate claims.
Finn Bullers, of Prairie Village is almost completely paralyzed by muscular dystrophy, and said he's had full-time home care, allowing him to live at home with his wife and two children rather than going to a nursing home. But he said under KanCare he's facing a planned reduction from 168 service hours a week to 40.
Shawn Sullivan, director of the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, said KanCare is cutting hours for some home-care clients to avoid having a paid aide to a disabled person performing housekeeping tasks that should be done by able-bodied family members.
Executives from all three managed-care companies - Amerigroup, United Healthcare and Sunflower State Health Plan - defended their performance but also said they've taken steps to try to get things running more smoothly.