Archive for Saturday, February 24, 2018

Seniors struggling to apply for Medicaid in Kansas

February 24, 2018

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Topeka — Advocates for seniors in Kansas say that several changes made to streamline the Medicaid application and renewal process have actually made it difficult for the state’s elderly population.

Kansas moved to a new computer system in 2015 for applying for Kansas Medicaid, otherwise known as KanCare. The state then funneled applications and annual reviews previously handled in regional offices into a single “KanCare Clearinghouse” in Topeka, the Kansas City Star reported.

Since then, the number of seniors covered by KanCare for in-home nursing help has decreased, as well as the number being covered for nursing home beds.

“Some seniors are really having a tough time getting onto Medicaid,” said Dan Goodman, director of the Johnson County Area Agency on Aging. “They get frustrated, are in poor or declining health, become defeated by the process and give up.”

State spokeswoman Angela de Rocha said there are other factors behind the decrease in seniors on Medicaid, including an increase in those being served by another government program that gives alternatives to nursing homes.

But de Rocha said the state agreed that “the shortcomings of the Clearinghouse account for a significant portion” of the decrease.

“These populations have a more difficult time navigating the eligibility process,” she said.

Nursing home administrators have repeatedly complained that the computer system roll-out is hurting them financially and that delays have caused some homes to limit the number of people with pending Medicaid applications they’ll take.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment have said it’s working to fix the problem. This year, the department is assigning a specific case worker to each nursing facility to allow nursing home billing departments to have a single point of contact who knows their cases. De Rocha said the agency is considering moving to that system for individual Kansas seniors as well.

Comments

Sharilyn Wells 1 month, 3 weeks ago

why change something that did not need changing

Michael Kort 1 month, 3 weeks ago

It was changed to make it more difficult for the elderly needing Medicaid just as the SOSs computer system was used to not get Birth information where it needed to go to register voters..

Sharilyn Wells 1 month, 3 weeks ago

“These populations have a more difficult time navigating the eligibility process,” she said. This is not a population these are elderly Kansans citizens. Then why change the system? why not make a system that is more user friendly a big change with not good outcomes. Creating big bureaucratic systems with no accountability.

Pete Rowland 1 month, 3 weeks ago

KanCare is an abject, total failure, but that was the idea. Mission accomplished, Sam.

Phillip Chappuie 1 month, 3 weeks ago

This is not just the elderly. It is everybody with or qualified for medicaid. The private clearinghouse company is completely incompetent. MAXIMUS. Kansas has fired them in the past of poor performance. It is very hard for providers to act in good faith, following their contracts and then the person falls out of the system and the provider can't get paid. Not for profits find that very difficult to swallow. Back in the old day prior to this private nonsense if a person's renewal got screwed up all it took was a call to the local SRS office by the case manager and it got fixed right away. If the state was looking for a way to cut medicaid cost, not paying the providers and cheating people out of services is not really the best method.

Tony Peterson 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Privatizing Medicaid was a bad idea from the very beginning because of the conflict of interest. It was a given that private insurance companies were going to cut needed services and deny payment whenever possible because the companies had to make a profit for the stockholders.

Bob Hiller 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Once upon a time there was the Kansas Health Policy Authority which handled the Kansas Medicaid program in a professional manner. Right after he took office in 2011, Governor Sam Brownback abolished KHPA effective June 30, 2011. The Kansas Medicaid program has been in a downward spiral ever since then. How bad can it get, people ??

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