Kansas fixes Medicaid billing that cut pediatricians’ pay

photo by: Journal-World File Photo

In this Journal-World file photo from Nov. 28, 2017, then-Kansas interim Medicaid Director Jon Hamdorf answers questions from a legislative oversight committee about plans to launch "KanCare 2.0."

Story updated at 3:53 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17:

Wichita — Kansas’ Medicaid director is reversing a billing change that resulted in pay cuts to pediatricians.

KanCare Director Jon Hamdorf announced Monday that Kansas is fixing the billing change that went into effect Nov. 1, which split a bundle of services for child checkups into 12 separate codes, the Wichita Eagle reported. Hamdorf said he realized pediatricians weren’t getting paid the same amount for each visit after reviewing data submitted by doctors last week.

“We did identify a place where it would have been a reduction in reimbursed services,” Hamdorf said. “We’re fixing it today and our staff is going to make it retroactive to November.”

Pediatricians had reported that checkup rates for children of certain ages had dropped dramatically, including from $70 to $26 for 1-month-olds. Some doctors said they’d have to cut back on serving KanCare patients.

Hamdorf said $70 will be the lowest rate for future visits, with additional fees for each of the formerly bundled services. But the $70 rate is still low compared to surrounding states, he said.

Hamdorf will consider recommending that the new administration of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, who takes office next month, raise rates to about $110 for visits.

“The last thing we want to do is underpay our pediatricians,” Hamdorf said.

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