Topeka — Last week, Gov. Sam Brownback agreed to delay putting long-term care services for those with developmental disabilities into his Medicaid privatization plan.
But the way Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee want to implement that delay has raised concerns from Democrats.
The committee approved a budget proviso brought by state Rep. Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, that excludes until Jan. 1, 2014, the long-term services from Brownback’s overall plan, known as KanCare, which will turn over Medicaid to managed care companies.
But Denning’s proviso also would allow service providers, called community developmental disability organizations, or CDDOs, the option of entering pilot or demonstration programs under KanCare.
That raised alarms among several legislators who have heard from CDDOs and families of those with developmental disabilities since Brownback first proposed KanCare that they want to be “carved out” of the plan.
“If developmental disability wants to be carved out, why do we have this provision?” asked Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence.
Denning said: “We have had a few CDDOs say are interested in being in managed care.” He said some “want to test drive the KanCare model and see if it has value to their system.”
But when pressed by committee members which CDDOs had said they wanted to do this, Denning said he didn’t know. Appropriations Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, refused to name which ones.
“They asked to be kept private,” he said.
Rep. Jerry Henry, D-Cummings, said he didn’t think Denning’s amendment had been “vetted enough.”
But Republicans on the committee pushed the proviso through, adding it to the committee’s budget plan. Denning said he was comfortable with the measure, saying it gave the CDDOs flexibility.