Kansas Senate Taking Steps To Reverse Some Medicaid Cuts

Last summer Gov. Sam Brownback ordered more than $56 million in cuts to KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program. Including the amount of federal matching funds lost, the cuts amounted to about $128 million. Kansas lawmakers are taking steps to reverse them.

On Thursday last week, the Senate took a first step by passing a bill which would raise fees insurance companies classified as HMO’s pay to do business in the state. That includes the three managed care organizations that administer KanCare.

The bill would not restore all the cuts. Instead, it would reverse a $47 million reduction in reimbursements paid to hospitals, safety net clinics, nursing homes and community mental health centers for providing care to the approximately 425,000 low-income, disabled and elderly Kansans enrolled in KanCare.

As originally written, the bill would have imposed the HMO fee increase retroactive to Jan. 1. But the Senate changed the implementation date to July 1. That means the state will not have the money to reverse the cuts until Jan. 1, 2018, according to the Kansas Hospital Association.

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