Angela_de_Rocha (Angela de Rocha)

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Former Arkansas official describes state's success with health care law

Philipp, apparently you are unaware of my situation. Or, if not, that was gratuitously unkind.

October 24, 2014 at 3:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Former Arkansas official describes state's success with health care law

Oh please. The Arkansas Medicaid private option is already over budget by 15 percent. Costs exceed federal caps and Arkansas taxpayers will be charged tens of millions more dollars for the cost overruns. Arkansas is seek ing a federal bailout. They have had to to move 20,000 people from the Medicaid private option into regular old Medicaid, which they haven't reformed, because their care has grown too costly for the private option companies to absorb. I agree the ironies are inescapable.

October 24, 2014 at 6:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: A moral issue

The cuts in mental health funding to which Mr. Sturm refers occurred in 2008 and 2009. The Legislature has increased mental health funding in Kansas each year beginning in 2011. Last May the Governor provided an additional $10 million for new mental health initiatives, in addition to the amount appropriated by the Legislature. Several of those new initiatives address the problem of the jailing and incarceration of the mentally ill. These include the creation of Rainbow Inc. in the KC metro area to provide intermediate MH services and funding for crisis intervention training for Kansas law enforcement, jail and prison personnel. Wichita and Topeka have revamped and improved the way the mentally ill are treated when confined to their county jail facilities. It was very disappointing that the Journal World did not report on our law enforcement initiatives. Another challenge the administration is addressing is prevalence of co-occurring illness, that is, individuals suffering from mental illness who also have substance abuse problems. Individuals with co-occurring illness account for more than half of those in our state mental hospitals. In FY2015 we provided an additional half-million dollars to open additional substance use treatment beds across the state. This year the state has budgeted $365 million for mental health services, and that does not include all of the mental health treatment provided through KanCare, nor does it include funding for mental health services provided in the state prison system. In 2009 that amount was $360 million, including Medicaid. Angela de Rocha, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

October 7, 2014 at 9:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas Democrats to fight back on Obamacare

Some more inconvenient facts:
"None of the three contractors managed to meet benchmarks for timely claims processing." Denial rates and claims processing are better under KanCare than they were under old Medicaid.
"KanCare could have benefited from the ACA "Obamacare" but Brownback left that money on the table...." The federal government is broke and broken. You really believe Congress will live up to its funding promises when reduction of the federal portion of Medicaid funding was already on the table during last budget go-round? You want to take some bets on how much higher state tax rates would have to be after we bought into the pig in a poke?
"Waiver programs ..." Change is difficult and those invested in status quo resist. You denigrate the work of a number of non-political program staff for the hard work they have put in to reducing the waiting lists -- efforts that were never undertaken under previous administrations. Some facts about how it all turned out:
• More people on the HCBS waivers experienced increases in services under their plans of care than experienced decreases under KanCare
• Under KanCare the claim denial rate for DD waiver services is less than 2 percent; claim payment turnaround time is six days
• More people on the HCBS waivers experienced increases in services under their plans of care than experienced decreases
• Primary care physician utilization increased by more than one-third from 2012 under old Medicaid to 2013 under KanCare.
• Hospital emergency room utilization for KanCare consumers went down 4 percent in 2013 compared to 2012 under old Medicaid; for HCBS program participants it has been reduced by 27 percent
• Inpatient hospital days have decreased 29 percent compared to old Medicaid
• Under KanCare we have seen a 25 percent increase from 2012 under old Medicaid to 2013 under Kancare in the utilization of transportation services.

August 27, 2014 at 7:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas Democrats to fight back on Obamacare

Some inconvenient facts: When KanCare was created, Kansas Medicaid was already 80 percent privatized, that is, already was a managed care program and had been since 1988. Medicaid is expanding in Kansas; KanCare has added 80,000 Kansans to its rolls since last fall. Only able-bodied adults with no dependents are excluded from Medicaid/KanCare. No one can state with any certainty that the number of uninsured in Kansas is going up. That information will not be available from the Census Bureau until fall, 2015. Anything else is just conjecture. The growth in Medicaid/Kancare indicates that Medicaid access issues are not driving any alleged increase in the number of uninsured in our state. If, indeed, the availability of private insurance coverage in Kansas is taking a hit, that would be caused by increased costs that are a result of Obamacare mandates and requirements. Trying to change the subject does not change the fact that a majority of Americans continue to disapprove of Obamacare, as reported by Gallup. The implementation of KanCare has saved the state Medicaid program more than $100 million so far, and slowed the skyrocketing growth in costs the Brownback administration faced upon taking office. A significant amount of those savings has been used to reduce the waiting lists for the state's disability waiver programs -- programs that had fallen by the wayside under the previous two administrations. Finally, this statement leaves me puzzled: " ... maybe even the same three (KanCare) companies that have not been able to file a claim on time in any month during the year 2013." What claims do they file, and with whom do they file them? This statement represents a profound misunderstand about the way Medicaid and KanCare operate and are structured. Angela de Rocha, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

August 25, 2014 at 11:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: KanCare bumps

The percentage of denied claims under old Medicaid was 10 percent. These numbers indicate correctly paid claims.

August 15, 2014 at 12:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: KanCare bumps

What was included in the testimony Tuesday but mysteriously omitted from the news story is the fact that the "timely processing of claims" under KanCare is very much the same as it was under the old Medicaid, pay-for-service system.

August 15, 2014 at 11:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback campaign to residents of Lawrence: 'It's nothing personal'

Not seeing any news here ... nope, no news at all, but a lot of agenda and preconceived-notion affirmation.

August 13, 2014 at 8:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

U.S. settles with state over securities pension fraud

The Legislature appropriated it.

August 12, 2014 at 4:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

U.S. settles with state over securities pension fraud

The primary reason Kansas was not penalized is that the Brownback administration has addressed the long-neglected and misrepresented underfunding problem Working with the Legislature, the Brownback administration made public the $10 billion underfunded position and worked hard to correct it -- funding KPERS at twice the rate the previous administration did, and established a cash-balance plan for new hires that will begin January 1, 2015. The average annual state contribution to KPERS during Sebelius administration was $173 Million. The average annual state contribution to KPERs during Brownback administration: $327 million, AN 89 PERCENT INCREASE IN KPERS FUNDING UNDER GOVERNOR BROWNBACK.

August 12, 2014 at 3:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )