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Aug. 6, 2012
TOPEKA Kansas officials today said they resubmitted to federal authorities their request for a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver.
The waiver is needed to implement Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to remake the state Medicaid program as KanCare.
The application was first submitted in April but then withdrawn to allow for additional input from Native American tribal governments.
Officials said they met with representatives of the tribes and the federal Indian Health Service in June and July.
“Through further talks with tribal leaders, our updated application now includes presumptive enrollment (in KanCare) and an opt-out feature for American Indians and Alaska Natives,” Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said in a prepared statement.
Colyer has been the administration's point man on the Medicaid reform plan, which would move virtually all of the state's 383,000 Medicaid enrollees into fixed-cost, managed care plans run by three for-profit insurance companies.
Brownback officials estimate KanCare will reduce the growth in state and federal Medicaid spending by $1 billion over the next five years.
Officials said their goals for the program are better coordination of care leading to reduced costs and better outcomes for patients without reducing the rates paid to doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and other Medicaid providers.
The state's public comment period on the 1115 application ended July 15. Posted comments can be reviewed at the KanCare webpage.
Colyer said state officials would continue to seek input on KanCare through "stakeholder workgroups" and an advisory council.
Officials with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Department for Aging and Disability Services met last week with Medicaid providers and consumers in eight cities to answer questions about the proposed program. Additional meetings are being scheduled, officials said.
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