May 21, 2012 Legislative Update

May 21, 2012

Your Monday Morning Update:

My palms are sweaty, head is throbbing and eyeballs hurt from rolling back in my head.  No, I’m not afflicted with Swine Flu or West Nile Virus; I’ve just been watching the legislature do their work of negotiating a budget (among other things.) What a truly agonizing experience.
Sunday afternoon however, things came to a screeching halt when both chambers grudgingly agreed and passed an Omnibus bill.

Included in this bill:

  • The proviso for delaying the DD waiver and targeted case management from KanCare stands at a year following the implementation of KanCare.  That is basically one year after the “go live” date.

  • Unfortunately, Assessment and Intermediate Care Facilities were not added to the delay.

  • $1.8 million was appropriated for the waiting list (down from $2.5 million.)  These are state general funds, so with the federal match are looking at $4.5 million all funds.  This will remove possibly 110 individuals from the 5,000 person waiting list.
Things of interest:

  1. The State submitted the 1115 waiver to the Feds and is in the process of taking public feedback.  You can go to the link above and “vote” for comments already submitted or write your own.  This will be an important tool when the Feds evaluate whether KanCare will be an appropriate demonstration project. Please take time to review the link.  There are as many “pro” comments as there are “con” comments.  Make sure you get your say.
  2. If the State is not granted the 1115 waiver, KanCare cannot be implemented as written and will go back to the drawing board.
  3. The legislative session is funded for 90 days and during that time, expected to get their work done.
  4. This session went 99 days and paid out an overtime cost of $35,000 per day.
  5. It costs approximately $40,000 a year to serve someone off the waiting list.  With the money spent on legislative overtime, EIGHT individuals could have been removed from the waiting list and funded for one year.
  6. The waiting list grows by more than 350 individuals per year.
I’ll send you a Legislative and KanCare overview soon, and share the challenges ahead of us. Just know that you are INCREDIBLE! It was because of YOUR ADVOCACY that we got as far as we did in this somewhat cranky session. I shudder to think of what could have been.  Thank you so much!

Now, off I go to take an aspirin.

Warm regards,

Lurena Mead
JCDS Community Relations Manager
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