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Dec. 28, 2012
TOPEKA State officials said today that they had received final written approval from the federal government to proceed with implementation of their KanCare Medicaid overhaul.
Kari Bruffett, director of the Division of Health Care Finance for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, announced receipt of the approval letter from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services during a conference call Friday with providers and consumer advocates. The letter formalizes the provisional approval the state received from CMS earlier this month.
“Good news as we continue to move forward,” Bruffett said.
Representatives of the three managed care companies that will take operational control of the Medicaid program on Jan. 1 said the number of calls they are receiving from consumers is increasing as the launch date nears. They also said efforts to build out their provider networks would continue past the start date.
The three companies are Amerigroup, UnitedHealthcare and Sunflower State Health Plan, a subsidiary of Centene.
Earlier in the week, Bruffett said the state had assigned each of the companies a roughly equal number Medicaid enrollees making the transition to managed care. About 380,000 low-income, disabled and elderly Kansans are covered by Medicaid. Most of them are among those being assigned to the companies. Developmentally disabled Kansans covered by Medicaid won’t make the switch until 2014.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has said hiring private companies to manage the care of Medicaid recipients will slow the projected increase in the cost of the almost $3 billion program and improve the care provided.
Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, the administration’s KanCare point person, alluded to those goals in a prepared statement issued Friday.
“KanCare will improve coordination of care and services to achieve better outcomes and long-term savings with reducing benefits or eligibility, while safeguarding reimbursement for providers,” Colyer said.
→ House GOP leaders pen letter backing DD supports in KanCare (5/17/13)
→ More than 1,000 rally at Statehouse for DD carve-out (5/8/13)
→ Nothing to be done about coverage gap in states not expanding Medicaid, feds say (4/29/13)
→ As KanCare continuity of care period ends, problems persist; legislators starting to hear about it (4/8/13)
→ Advocates raise concerns over possible reductions in KanCare services (3/28/13)
→ Conferees agree on KanCare oversight committee (3/28/13)
→ DD advocates push to extend KanCare "carve-out" (3/20/13)
→ Safety-net clinics struggling with KanCare (3/4/13)
→ Major medical provider groups ask for longer KanCare transition (2/13/13)
→ Lawmakers and providers assess KanCare transition (1/28/13)
→ Five-part series: "Lower cost and better care: Can KanCare deliver?" (1/14/13)
→ Independence of KanCare ombudsman questioned (1/7/13)
→ KanCare special terms and conditions spelled out by CMS in a document (12/28/12)
→ KanCare workforce shift hampering local agencies (12/10/12)
→ Governor announces KanCare approval by feds (12/7/12)
→ More KanCare implementation details outlined (12/3/12)
→ Federal officials say they hope to act soon on KanCare waiver request (11/28/12)
→ New KanCare info included on state website (11/20/12)
→ Groups call for KanCare delay (11/8/12)
→ Go/no-go date looms this week for KanCare (10/15/12)
→ KanCare benefit packages outlined (9/26/12)
→ Provider groups nervous about lack of KanCare details (9/13/12)
→ KanCare Confidential (9/10/12)
→ KanCare contracts awarded (6/27/12)
→ KanCare plan panned again at public hearing (6/20/12)
→ Wichita KanCare forum draws more than 200 (6/19/12)
→ Medicaid makeover: Can Kansas learn from Kentucky? (6/11/12)
→ Hundreds protest inclusion of disability services in KanCare (4/25/12)
→ Counties weighing in on KanCare (4/9/12)
→ Hospital administrator to chair KanCare Advisory Council (3/29/12)
→ Brownback Medicaid makeover an “ambitious” plan (3/28/12)
→ KanCare bidders heavily courting Medicaid providers (3/19/12)
→ Legislators push to delay KanCare start (3/7/12)
→ Brownback announces managed care for all in Medicaid (11/8/11)
→ Kansas Medicaid makeover in the works (3/7/11)
→ Full Medicaid and KanCare coverage
The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute and is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy making environment. Find more about the News Service at khi.org/newsservice or contact us at (785) 783-2529.