Archive for Friday, June 30, 2006

Sebelius expresses frustration over Medicaid funds

June 30, 2006


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today expressed frustration with the federal government over $32.6 million the state will pay back over disputed Medicaid expenditures.

"The rules continue to change and that really is the growing frustration," Sebelius said.

"We have plans that are approved only to be told down the way that that really isn't the way they are going to audit anymore, it's really not the way they are going to count anymore," she said.

Kansas has agreed to repay another $18.5 million to the U.S. government after auditors found the state misspent money from the federal Medicaid program.

That makes $32.6 million the state has agreed to pay back this year. And the refund tally could grow, given that $135 million in federal aid has been under review.

Kansas earlier agreed to refund $14.1 million to compensate for incorrect billings detected by a series of audits by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

The latest round of agreed paybacks was made public today in a report released by the inspector general's office.

"It's a new figure independent from findings of previous reports," Laura Bradbard, a spokeswoman for the office, said Thursday.

Bradbard and auditors in the office declined further comment, saying it was too early to talk about the report. The state will have 30 days to file a formal reply.

Judy Holtz, another federal spokeswoman, said the audits of Medicaid spending in Kansas were similar to others taking place across the nation.

"There's a bunch of these in a variety of states, " she said.

Sebelius said many states have tried to come to some kind of agreement with the federal government.

"It's a topic that all governors have high on our agenda every time we meet with the secretary and the White House," she said. "I think this dispute involves some claims made in 2001 and 2002. We'd kind of like to resolve this and have a global settlement, if you will, and move forward."

Federal auditors uncovered a bevy of problems with the way Kansas was distributing Medicaid money to public schools for health services.

An audit report released in February examined how Kansas billed Medicaid to pay for services for children with special needs. Investigators said a sample of 300 Medicaid claims from three school districts - Wichita, Kansas City and the Central Kansas Cooperative - in 2002 turned up 217 claims that shouldn't have been paid:

¢ Seventy-six claims lacked a required doctor's order for occupation and speech-language therapy services.

¢ One hundred thirty-nine claims lacked evidence that services had ever been rendered.

¢ Two claims lacked a required doctor's order for physical therapy.

Another audit showed the state was using Medicaid dollars to fund 12 months of services per year instead of the allowed nine months.

"We didn't pay for services that weren't provided. These were services that were received for 12 months," said Gavin Young, a spokesman at the state Division of Health Policy and Finance. "But the regulations say we can only pay for nine months' worth."

How that payback or the shift to a correct nine-month billing schedule will affect children receiving services - physical, occupational and speech therapies, mostly - remains to be seen.

Most of the audits examined payments made in fiscal years 1998 through 2003.

According to the audit report to be released today, "Kansas did not have adequate internal controls to ensure that it correctly developed the payment rate" for services.


Godot 10 years ago

Sorry Kathy, this is what happens when you try to use accounting tricks to meet your budget; other entities' accounting tricks will trip you up every time.

dirkleisure 10 years ago

Sorry, Godoty, these instances occurred in 2001 and 2002.

I probably need to spell that out for you - "Kathy" wasn't sworn into office until 2003.

This is what happens when you try to use your brain, unfortunately for others who happen to read your comments.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 10 years ago

This is what happens when W and our current federal administration makes promises that the states end up having to pay for and, on top of that, puts the country in debt over a war. When they finally realize that the numbers don't work, they change the rules and make the states pick up the slack.


pundit 10 years ago

Godot is wrong.....these are examples of the feds changing the rules in the middle of the stream.....

ASBESTOS 10 years ago


"Sorry Kathy, this is what happens when you try to use accounting tricks to meet your budget; other entities' accounting tricks will trip you up every time."


"This is what happens when W and our current federal administration makes promises that the states end up having to pay for and, on top of that, puts the country in debt over a war."

As Dirkleisure stated 2001 and 2002 were the audits years. I am pretty sure there was not much movement from the "W" crowd except for the "Medicaid plan D" reshuffle and the Dept. Of Ed "No Child Left behind", and the WoT. He wasn't really looking at this one. THe audits were started and in the CLinto Admin to end fraud and rightfully so. THis isn't Kathy's problem either as she was not sworn in until 2003.

SO the IDIOTS on both side as usual start by blaming "the other guy" or party. Not a very intellectual argument, nor is it correct.

This problem is the States Agencies gaming the system and getting their fingers burned. The Agency is slow on the uptake and we should have a department liazon to deal with the changes in DC instead of being caught flat footed.

However, IF one Kansas agency came into being efficient and actually delivered services competently, the rest would have to follow suit.

NO the blame is NOT Clinton, NOT "W", NOT "Hillary", and NOT Kathy wither.

The problem is a slow to change agency and the yahoos that work there. It a corporation had that level of problems in auditing, they would at least be FIRED, and at most INJAIL for absconding funds.

THis is not some innocent little problem, but reflective of the State of our Kansas Agencies.

OK Kathy, go clean them up and you promised, that is why I voted for you. Start with KDHE so I can re-start my career.

ASBESTOS 10 years ago

Does anyone remember Gov. Sebelius's election hook or motto. It had something to do with cleaning up agencies and making them more responsive to the people of the state of Kansas.

I voted for her for that reason. As a rRepublican it made more sense to vote for her than Timmy.

Godot 10 years ago

Whatever happened to that gold star commission that was going to reivew all the departments; why didn't they uncover this?

Like I say, government depending on a handout from government to meet its obligations just isn't going to work.

Godot 10 years ago

"I probably need to spell that out for you - "Kathy" wasn't sworn into office until 2003."

You are right. I seems like it has been years and years.

ASBESTOS 10 years ago


You are clearly not a "Bell Curve Casuality".

You clearly explained that much better than anyone else.

Thank you for the "not very creative" and "not very imaginative" response. The solid unvarnished truth is so much easier to take.

ASBESTOS 10 years ago

"which will mean most of the state agency "leadership" "teams" need to be canned."


ASBESTOS 10 years ago

We could start big time at the Kansas Dept. of Labor and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment!

Then Kansas Parks and Recreation!

Let's make Kansas safe, healthy, and FUN again!!!!

ASBESTOS 10 years ago

If I am elected Governor I will provide all Kansans with an ice cream cone which they can press against their foreheads in times such as these!

classclown 10 years ago

Wasn't she the Insurance Commisioner or something like that before she became governor?

hottruckinmama 10 years ago

Posted by conservativeman (anonymous) on June 30, 2006 at 4:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Kathleen, Quit spending!

George, Quit spending

gosh conservativeman. you must be in a good mood because its fri. your post makes sense. and its true. they all need to quit it.

Godot 10 years ago

Good catch, Classclown; as insurance commissioner, Her Kathiness was quite "initimate" with the Medicaid program. Could the miscalculations (AKA false filings) have been done as a result of her management decisions? If not, what in the H was she doing?

Godot 10 years ago

Quoting myself: "If not, what in the H was she doing?"

NOTHING. That is her specialty.

ASBESTOS 10 years ago

I forgot about that Godot. That would be the time frame.

Maybe we should look at this with an investigation of some sort.

There appears a need for some sort of third party issues here that aren't being stated on the level.

IF she were to be involved with this at that time AND now as Governor using the "bully pulpit" to give cover to these programatic errors under her tenure.

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