Legislative Update February 27, 2012

February 27, 2012

Your Monday Morning Update:
Last week I had an email from a gentleman who challenged my view that a for-profit company could not possibly do as well as a state bureaucrat when it comes to running our local intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD) system. He also said I needed to provide more documentation to support my stance; otherwise, it is just my unfounded opinion (similar to a campaign promise.)
Needless to say, that email gave me pause and I thank him for it.
As a result, I thought I’d share what I’ve heard from the Administration.  These are not my views, opinions or pseudo campaign promises.

  • Individuals will not lose their case managers.  In fact, they will receive an additional case manager (called a care coordinator) to help synchronize their medical and mental health needs.

  • The current community I/DD structure will remain as is. CDDO’s currently contract with the State.  They will now contract with the State and three Managed Care Organizations (MCO’s.)  Each contract will be different.

  • A document released by the Administration entitled “KanCare Consumer Frequently Asked Questions” states that “Insurance companies are profit driven. This will ensure the only way a KanCare vendor can make a profit is by coordinating and integrating care better than the current Medicaid system.”

  • The Administration said that they don’t have any documentation to show that there will be savings by including the I/DD waiver into KanCare.  The quote was “we think there will be savings.”

  • Part of the responsibilities and outcomes of the MCO’s will be to increase community employment for folks with I/DD.  When asked whether insurance companies are knowledgeable about employment programs, it was stated that one potential MCO said they’d hold a job fair.

  • Some small providers rely on payment every two weeks to keep their business afloat.  The Request for Proposal says that claims must be paid within 30 days.

  • Administration said they don’t expect any cost savings by including I/DD long-term care into KanCare.  Rather, they expect to “contain costs.”

  • Administration said they will address the waiting list with the money they save.

  • Administration has stated that Medicaid costs are “out of control and must be contained.”  Kansas Legislative Research did a query and discovered that from 2008 – 2011 Medicaid pharmaceutical spending for persons with I/DD has declined from $21.3 million to $18.5 million per year; Medicaid hospital spending decreased from $9.3 million to $7.2 million and Medicaid physician and clinic expenditures have declined from $3.9 million to $3.0 million.
These statements document my stance and justify my opinions.  I’m pleased to announce that I’m “paused” no more!
Last week the State released the names of the applicants who want to be considered as contractors for KanCare.  I’ve attached a link if you’d like to read up on them.

  • WellCare of Kansas – Tampa, Fla.
  • Sunflower State Health Plan – Topeka.
  • United Health Care – Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Coventry Health Care of Kansas – Wichita.
  • Amerigroup – Virginia Beach, Va.
The State will start considering which three companies will be awarded the bids. We should find out the “winners” in the next couple of months. We are still crossing our fingers that before the big three are selected; we are out of the mix!
One final note, the Governor held a press conference last Friday.  He discussed important things like his tax plan and school finance.  He also acknowledged that the disability community isn’t happy with his Medicaid plan.

Your TO DO List:
Please join us Wednesday, February 29th at 5:30 for another town hall meeting.  This will be held at the Overland Park Marriott Hotel at 10800 Metcalf.  We hope it will be standing room only, so wear comfortable shoes! I don’t know about you, but I see a peaceful ruckus in our future!
Warm regards,
Lurena Mead
JCDS Community Relations Manager
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