Archive for Friday, December 4, 2009

State health officials make budget cuts, announce layoffs, payment delays

December 4, 2009

Advertisement

— State health officials Friday approved budget cuts that they said will result in layoffs, delays in receiving Medicaid coverage and jeopardize tens of millions of dollars in federal funds.

“They all strike me as painful,” Kansas Health Policy Authority Chairman Joe Tilghman said as he reviewed proposed ways to meet Gov. Mark Parkinson’s budget cuts.

In an effort to balance the state budget, Parkinson last month approved nearly $260 million in cuts and transfers.

Parkinson’s plan called for a 10 percent rate cut to doctors and other providers of Medicaid services. Approximately 315,000 Kansans receive medical care, mental health care and long-term care under Medicaid.

KHPA also had to cut its administrative costs.

On Friday, the KHPA board approved that package of cuts worth about $1.1 million in state funds.

In addition to the 10 percent rate cut, KHPA officials voted to eliminate all customer service for Medicaid providers and reduce customer service for Medicaid beneficiaries.

“The resources we are losing handle about 1,500 calls a day with detailed questions about eligibility, insurance benefits, pending medical claims, and Medicaid’s myriad rules,” said Andrew Allison, executive director of KHPA.

Allison said he hoped the 25,000 Medicaid providers in the state will stay on board and not give up.

The cuts also affect the clearinghouse dedicated to reducing a backlog of approximately 15,000 Medicaid applications.

KHPA officials said the backlog of Medicaid applications could increase to 20,000 to 30,000 people. If the state is not timely processing Medicaid applications, it could lose some federal funding, KHPA officials said. And reductions in staff will result in more mistakes being made in determining who is eligible to Medicaid, they said.

KHPA said its administrative reductions will force its private contractors to lay off employees.

Comments

George_Braziller 5 years, 4 months ago

This is really, really bad. There is already a shortage of doctors who will accept Medicaid. They are now going to flee in droves.

Medicaid "Customer Service" didn't ever really ever exist. Now it has become reality.

gccs14r 5 years, 4 months ago

"If the state is not timely processing Medicaid applications, it could lose some federal funding,..."

Brilliant. All because the Legislature doesn't want to pass a tax increase.

When you're in a hole, one of the things you don't want to do is jeopardize your sources of income. Figure out something else to cut, like a farm subsidy or a highway or something. Maybe even claw back some tax abatements. Risking millions in federal funds to save a million in Medicaid processing expenses is S T U P I D.

thelonious 5 years, 4 months ago

lawrenceguy40 says -

"Thanks barry o!"

This isn't Barack Obamas's fault - quite the contrary. It's the fault of Kansas' conservative Republican legislators who gave away $1 billion in tax breaks over the past ten years, gutting the state's sources of revenue and literally starving the state government of funds. Then, trying to blame the problems this tax giveaway created on government itself.

It's the equivalent of withholding food from a child and giving it to adults, then blaming the child itself for starving to death.

The conservative Republicans in Kansas, many of whom claim to be "Christian", ought to be ashamed of themselves. Starving Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor, of funds. Someone said "for whatever you do to the least of you, you do to me" - who might that have been?

I also beleive that Dante envisioned a "special place" for the legislators who have done this.

Shame, shame, shame for this.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Not to worry.

The wealthiest Kansans have been spared the burden of paying their fair share, so they are going to show their appreciation by creating jobs, jobs and more jobs. The resulting flood of increased income to lower and middle class workers and the higher taxes they will pay is going to overflow the state's coffers.

Or so the piss... er... trickle-down theory goes.

verity 5 years, 4 months ago

This is a joke, right?

Nobody can really be this stupid.

notajayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

"The wealthiest Kansans have been spared the burden of paying their fair share, so they are going to show their appreciation by creating jobs, jobs and more jobs."

Ah, yes, the definition of "fair" according to Herr Klowne: Take everything away from those who are already contributing a thousand times more than his sorry butt ever will and give it all to those who aren't contributing anything.

Seriously, boohoozo, even you can't see the irony of saying those who already pay the share of 30 or more people aren't paying their 'fair' share to give something free to others?


On a lighter note, this is certainly a wonderful argument to turn healthcare over to the government.

repaste 5 years, 4 months ago

A year ago we were talking about the complete financial collapse of our country , 2 years of losing 200,000 jobs a month. Short memories.

windex 5 years, 4 months ago

I wish people would stop letting themselves get disabled. It's really expensive for all of us and I don't want to give them my money I worked so hard for. I want to spend my money on stuff for me!

gccs14r 5 years, 4 months ago

The wealthy didn't get there by themselves. They exploited millions of people along the way.

yankeevet 5 years, 4 months ago

think i will cash in my kpers and just leave this broke state..........no future; no money here in kansas

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"Ah, yes, the definition of “fair” according to Herr Klowne: "

OK, knothead, you don't agree with my definition of "poor." But surely you must agree with the rest of my post-- All of that tax relief to the rich must surely mean that jobs, jobs and more jobs are just around the corner, right?

Stephen Roberts 5 years, 4 months ago

Bozo, Bozo- How much more in taxes do the "rich" need to pay??? Please let me know- better yet- if you really believe your statement- send a letter to the legislature, the governor, and the LJworld stating your opinion.

I know I am a part of this reduction in taxes problem because my sales taxes in Lawrence went up - so my family is buying less. Since my family is buying less, the taxes are less.

Here are some other ways to help:

  1. Change the state tax law that will start taxes KU Edowmwnt and KU Athletics type entities.

  2. Raise income taxes on all people. Don't let one group get hit the pain.

Stephen Roberts 5 years, 4 months ago

Bozo- I forgot- please feel free to send the state some more money. I don't thinh they will mind.

Sigmund 5 years, 4 months ago

Well that is one way to reduce health care costs, eliminate health care. I do find it odd that when the "Evil Insurance Company" is the State of Kansas how Bozo blames consumers (taxpayers) for not paying enough in premiums (taxes).

George_Braziller 5 years, 4 months ago

Moocher what planet are you from? I work two mornings a week for a woman who has a degree in German and an MBA. She didn't make "bad decisions" she had a stroke. Mentally she is fine she just needs some assistance.

I guess by your definition she "chose" to be poor because by she is "lazy."

"Most people are poor because they make bad decisions or are just plain lazy. Yes, there are some who are not born with the mental ability to compete in the marketplace and I have zero problem helping them. The rest of you get off your mooching butts and do something to make yourself better. "

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

If all those tax cuts had produced all those jobs, jobs, jobs, we wouldn't be having this discussion, would we?

Sigmund 5 years, 4 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… "If all those tax cuts had produced all those jobs, jobs, jobs, we wouldn't be having this discussion, would we?"

Which tax cuts are you moaning about exactly? Some anonymous "tax cuts for the wealthy" that is now screwing doctors out of 10% of their pay? You must be twisted all around on this one as typically doctors are considered part of "the wealthy."

Maybe it was the budget busting increases in funding for schools that finally broke the camels back? Anyway every single dollar the State, Feds, and City take in taxes is one less dollar spent in the private sector and less private sector jobs needed. Take it all and their will be no private sector jobs and your goal of a government run workers paradise will be realized!

If this was a private insurance company that cut coverage and service you would be demanding the directors be thrown in jail and complaining about premiums being too expensive, but when the State of Kansas does it it is the taxpayers/consumers fault for wanting to keep a fraction more of what they make so they can afford to buy private insurance.

camper 5 years, 4 months ago

Health_Care Moocher, and Sigmund. Don't know which side of the political spectrum you are on. But as a "liberal" who is also business oriented, I understand. The problem is that good intentions (I believe conservatives share as well) like healtcare environment etc. there is not much profit incentive. Unfortunately, what begins as good intended regulation and reform so often leads to layers of beurocracy that become so costly and stray from original intent. If it were not for the later, I think things would be much better for business and those who are in need. Right now it seems both have legitimate complaints.

George_Braziller 5 years, 4 months ago

Please explain how you have had the "snarf" taxed out of you for "liberal" policies. I pay 1/3 of my property taxes to the school district even though I have no children and none have lived here for at least 30 years. Maybe I should just say "I'm tired of it" and refuse to pay.

"I just see the world from the perspective of someone that has the snarf taxed out of them for liberal polices. Frankly, I am pretty tired of it."

notajayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

notajayhawk says “Ah, yes, the definition of “fair” according to Herr Klowne: ”

then

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) replies…

"OK, knothead, you don't agree with my definition of “poor.”"

Well, um, no, buttzo - it was "fair" I mentioned. The word "poor" didn't appear in my post. Or, for that matter, in yours. Nice reading comprehension there.

"BTW, I much prefer “Herr Doktor Klaun.”"

I'm sure you do, but I wasn't aware any educational institution recognized doctorates in stupidity and whining, boohoozo.

Incidentally, boohoozo, the rich are paying their share still. Not too many of them are on Medicaid. The economy tanked because people that couldn't afford to buy houses were given mortgages anyway, not because the rich weren't paying their bills.


gccs14r (Anonymous) says…

"The wealthy didn't get there by themselves. They exploited millions of people along the way."

Ah, good, another class-jealous disciple of boohoozo who believes it's impossible to get to the top without your jack-booted heel being on the throat of the proletariat.

By the way, does your assessment apply to Soros? Buffet? How about the guys who founded Google - who did they exploit (all those employees who also made millions)? What about Ben and Jerry?

Sigmund 5 years, 4 months ago

You know what everyone's real fear is? That the health care system we have now, even with all of its flaws, is far better and fairer than the one politicians, lawyers and bureaucrats, who have never practiced medicine and or even run a business that provided health care, can design.

gccs14r 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm not afraid of a government-funded healthcare system. I'm afraid to get sick, even with health insurance and a decent job, because our for-profit healthcare system is designed to keep everyone's money and provide as little healthcare as possible.

Sigmund 5 years, 4 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says… "I'm not afraid of a government-funded health care system. I'm afraid to get sick, even with health insurance and a decent job, because our for-profit health care system is designed to keep everyone's money and provide as little health care as possible."

Our system is designed to make a profit, but so is every other system. People won't work for free or without making a profit, unless they are forced into slavery. Under your analysis apparently the State of Kansas is also "keeping all of our money" and expecting doctors, the heart of the Medicaid health care providers, to take a 10% hair cut, and is also eliminating customer service. If my private insurer did that I can stop paying them premiums and then switch to another private insurer. What recourse do the those on Medicaid have but to continue to pay taxes to support a broken Medicaid system and then purchase private insurance.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says…"This matter of the State of Kansas being broke on its arse will also herald a Tax Revolt."


Marion always sees voter revolt, revolution, pestilence and Islamophiles around every corner. (It's a coming....It's a coming....)

The only difference between him and some of the old farts for fools I knew growing up is he has a keyboard and internet connection.

gccs14r 5 years, 4 months ago

There's a difference between a direct provider of service making a living and some faceless bureaucracy stealing your future. The recent actions by the (Republican) Kansas Legislature to force service cuts by not maintaining a revenue stream to pay for services are yet another argument for Federalizing the system. The Republicans will say, "See! See! This is what happens when the government is involved in healthcare", but what should be said is, "See! See! This is what happens when there are Republicans in government."

Sigmund 5 years, 4 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says… "The Republicans will say, “See! See! This is what happens when the government is involved in healthcare”, but what should be said is, “See! See! This is what happens when there are Republicans in government.”

The Realist will say, “See! See! This is what happens when there are politicians in government.” It is not like the State doesn't have the money, they just chose not to spend it on doctors for health care or customer service for Medicaid clients, they just spent it elsewhere.

gccs14r 5 years, 4 months ago

And the reason for that is because a majority of them are uneducated hicks from the sticks.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.