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Archive for Monday, June 2, 2014

KanCare inspector’s background scrutinized

June 2, 2014

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— A former lawmaker appointed to identify fraud in Kansas' privatized Medicaid system has a background that includes a business bankruptcy and a DUI conviction.

Phil Hermanson, a Republican who resigned from the House in 2013 after 2 1/2 terms, started the $77,000-a-year position as inspector general for the $3 billion-a year KanCare health care network in late April. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which named Hermanson to the job, did not announce his appointment, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Hermanson, 49, also doesn't have a college degree or career experience in insurance, accounting or health care fields applicable to examining the conduct of clients and service providers interacting with three insurance companies awarded Medicaid contracts by Gov. Sam Brownback's administration.

Hermanson said his preparation for the inspector general's job came from time in the U.S. Navy and private business, as well as five years in the House, including service on the chamber's health committee.

He and his wife declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1998 amid closure of their print company, Aeroscreen.

"Like many other small businesses, it didn't work in the end. It was a challenge I have learned a lot from," he said.

He won election to the House in 2008. In November 2009, Hermanson rear-ended a car at a red light in Wichita, injuring two women in the other vehicle. He reportedly blamed his faulty driving on prescription medicine taken for an injury. His attorney said in court that the medication was for high blood pressure.

Hermanson pleaded no contest in 2010 to a charge of driving under the influence of prescription drugs and was sentenced to probation.

"Everyone makes mistakes, and I have certainly learned from my mistakes. I continue to move forward," Hermanson said.

The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission also fined Hermanson's campaign treasurer $500 in 2012 for a case involving $3,700 in questionable transactions during his 2010 re-election campaign.

"As I stated at the time," he said, "I regret the mistake and have learned from it. I promptly paid all fines levied against me in that ruling."

Rep. David Crum, an Augusta Republican who chairs the joint House-Senate oversight committee on KanCare, endorsed Hermanson as inspector general, but said it would be be "important to follow Phil's performance closely."

"He's had some issues in his past," Crum said. "I think he's truly trying to put those behind him. I think Phil will do a good job. He's very excited about the opportunity. He's been doing a lot of homework."

Comments

Amy Varoli Elliott 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't have a problem with the bankruptcy, DUI or fines, however, I find this extremely alarming "doesn't have a college degree or career experience in insurance, accounting or health care fields applicable to examining the conduct of clients and service providers"

Phil Minkin 6 months, 2 weeks ago

He's a part of Brownback's "good ol' boy" network that Sam puts in charge reqardless of their lack of qualifications.

Julius Nolan 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Its totally because they aren't qualified that brownie picks them. No qualified person will work in his administration. He has to scrape the bottom of barrel to get anybody or anything.

Richard Heckler 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Hermanson is a fraud……Kobach here is fraud under your nose.

Hermanson cannot live on his own so he gets a well paying job through the fraudulent Brownback administration. Tax dollar bum.

Bob Forer 6 months, 2 weeks ago

KEVIN GROENHAGEN, WHERE ARE YOU????

Remember him. He's the right wing blogger who made a big stink about the fact that the gal hired as the Douglas County ACA navigator had an outstanding arrest warrant for failing to appear at a debtor's exam over some unpaid medical bills. There was nothing crimninal about her behavior; it was purely a civil matter and the warrant was for failing to appear to answer questions about her assets. Here's a link to the LJW article: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2013/oct...

Brownback crony Phil Hermanson, however, is another story. In addition to similar financial problems, he has a criminal conviction for misuse of a prescription drug which caused injury to innocent people. Moreover, he has nary an ounce of experience or education regarding his well-paid political appointee job.

Funny how the right wing sat on theirs hands regarding this one. Their duplicity is truly amazing.

Julius Nolan 6 months, 2 weeks ago

But Phil is a good little incompetent Republican, just what brownie wants and needs to pacify his nutcase base.

Don Frey 6 months, 2 weeks ago

If he is an opponent of Charles Darwin........welcome, ok with Sam.

6 months, 2 weeks ago

No carrier experience applicable. He is gonna get used and used bad. With his rap sheet... when he gets unwittingly nailed (no experience) ...whose gonna believe him? Perfect puppet/scapegoat...

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 2 weeks ago

This is just awful. I can't believe this guy would have even gotten an interview. There are competent people out there who need a job, but he hires someone who is a failure at life, pretty much all around. Failed to get an education, failed in business, failed in marriage, failed in following the laws of driving and campaign finance. Not sure what his record in the military was like. Why didn't he just make it a career? I mean, don't get me wrong, I feel for the guy, but he really needs to start again at the bottom and work his way back, not with a good paying job that has this much responsibility.

And the hypocrisy of it all is disgusting. The Republicans are going to require that a person who helps others sign up for health insurance have a background check. They don't make $77,000 like Hermanson, and, sorry to say this, they don't need as much skill as this KanCare job requires. Why isn't the background of the person doing this job even more important than the ACA helpers? Are our disabled people going to be ripped off?

James Howlette 6 months, 2 weeks ago

His focus will be on finding individual "welfare queens" but ignoring large-scale graft from Brownback campaign donors. That's how the system works.

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