Federal officials accept plan to fix Kansas Medicaid program

By Bryan Lowry, May 23, 2017

Head shot of Governor Brownback smiling

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback File photo by John Sleezer

Federal officials have accepted a corrective action plan for Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program, an important hurdle in ensuring the program can continue to operate next year.

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had rejected the state’s request to extend its KanCare program through 2018 in January after finding that the program was “substantively out of compliance” with federal regulations.

CMS sent state health officials a letter Monday saying it had accepted the state’s corrective action plan.

Angela de Rocha, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said CMS still needs to approve the state’s extension, but the agency’s acceptance of the corrective action plan is a positive sign.

Kansas privatized its Medicaid program in 2013 at Gov. Sam Brownback’s urging. The program, which relies on a combination of state and federal funding, provides health coverage for disabled Kansans and low-income families.

CMS investigators had faulted the state in January for a lack of oversight of the private insurance companies administrating the program and for a failure to communicate clear information to the program’s beneficiaries.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer called the decision to deny the extension an “ugly parting shot” from the outgoing Obama administration at the time and said he expected the issue to be resolved after President Donald Trump took office.

Bryan Lowry: 816-234-4077@BryanLowry3

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article152253757.html

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