As part of the KanCare Waiver Integration Project, KDHE will be providing a one-hour training about Medicaid waivers. This training is a result of recommendations from the Waiver Integration Stakeholder Engagement (WISE) workgroup. The training is designed to help anyone who works in Medicaid-funded programs or receives Medicaid-funded services to understand:

What “waiver” means in the Medicaid world How two different types of waivers (1115 demonstrations and home and community based services – HCBS – waivers) are the same in some ways and different in others What protections are, and can be, included in each kind of waiver

There will be in-person training sessions, in Topeka, and conference calls January 6-February 4, 2016. One of the in-person sessions will be video-taped and placed online for those who cannot attend in person or participate in a conference call. More sessions may be provided in other locations at a later time.

Everyone must register for this training, using the form linked below. If you have questions about this training, please contact Carol Arace at carace@kdheks.gov or 785-296-4753.

Waiver Medicaid Training Form

Home and Community Based Services
KS Dept for Aging and Disability Services
503 S. Kansas Ave
Topeka, Kansas 66603

Ph: 785-296-4986
Fax: 785-296-0256
Email: hcbs-ks@kdads.ks.gov

 

TOPEKA — Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Dr. Susan Mosier and Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Kari Bruffett announced today a series of public forums to discuss integration of the state’s home- and community-based Medicaid waiver programs.

The forums are scheduled to be conducted in Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City, Coffeyville and Garden City. The agencies also plan to conduct one or more teleconference calls to discuss waiver integration, which will be announced at a later date.

“Our goal is to speak to Kansans receiving HCBS services to understand and address their frustrations with the current waiver system,” Dr. Mosier said. “These forums will provide Kansans who are on HCBS waivers and their families the opportunity to give input about how the waivers work for them.”

KDADS administers seven individual home- and community-based services Medicaid waivers for individuals with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury and autism, those with a need for technology assistance, youth with a serious emotional disturbance and the frail elderly. There are a specific list of services provide under each individual waiver.

“A new 1115 waiver would allow us to establish an integrated set of services that would be available to all waiver recipients regardless of the waiver in which they are enrolled,” Secretary Bruffett said. “We want to move toward a system that no longer defines individuals by a specific disability, but rather by their needs and capabilities. CMS approval of a new Kansas 1115 Medicaid waiver would give us the ability to provide the right services to individuals regardless of their disability definition.”

Participants may RSVP for these public meetings at the following link:

http://www.kdads.ks.gov/commissions/csp/home-community-based-services-(hcbs)/hcbs-current-news

Details of the forums are as follows:

Tuesday, August 25 Topeka Capital Plaza Hotel, 1717 SW Topeka Blvd 10:30-12:00  

2:00-3:30

5:30-7:00

Wednesday, August 26 Kansas City Hilton Gardon Inn, 520 Minnesota Ave. 10:00-11:30

2:00-3:30

5:30-7:00

  Wichita Wichita Marriott 9100 Corporate Hills Drive 10:00-11:30

2:00-3:30

5:30-7:00

Thursday, August 27 Coffeyville Sleep Inn & Suites 202 W 11th St. 10:00-11:30

2:00-3:30

  Garden City Clarion Inn 1911 E Kansas Ave 10:00-11:30

2:00-3:30

 

 

Yesterday Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer unveiled sweeping changes to the Kansas Medicaid program. These changes were a part of the Governor’s “Roadmap” and took on one of the three big areas he wanted to tackle along with KPERS and Education.

Beginning in January of 2013 all Medicaid recipients will be under Managed Care plans. The administration foresees “at least 3” Managed Care organizations running the state plan they have named, KanCare.

The goals for the new program are to reduce cost, by as much as $853 million (all funds) over the next five years, and to improve care quality and outcomes for beneficiaries. KanCare places a great emphasis on treating a person as a whole by using care coordination and person centered planning by the managed care organization.

What does this mean for Kansans with disabilities? It means that for-profit corporations will now be managing your care. States have been moving more and more towards a managed care model for Medicaid and managed care has been shown to reduce costs.

The way that managed care programs accomplish this is by cutting down on very expensive services such as hospital admissions by utilizing preventative care and wellness programs or limiting what services are covered or considered “necessary”.

Kansas’ foray into Medicaid managed care will start with 3 year contracts with the managed care organizations which could be a cause for concern. There is no “trial” run it will either work, or it won’t. Of course, because the corporations running the program are accountable to their shareholders to make a profit, the money spent on Medicaid in Kansas will have to include a profit margin for the managed care organizations.

I am including links to the KanCare FAQ, the KanCare Executive Statement, and the Medicaid Reform Plan Press Release.

KanCare Executive Summary

Medicaid Reform Plan Press Release

The RFPs were issued yesterday to companies interested in managing Kansas Medicaid and are due back to SRS in January 2012.

Along with Medicaid Reform is some pretty major agency shuffling. Kansas Dept. of Aging will become Kansas Department for Aging and Human Services and fold in services for the mentally ill, all 5 state hospitals for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled as well as the Home and Community Based Services waivers for Kansans with disabilities. The Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment (KDHE) will oversee the Medicaid contracts and finances.

SRS will be renamed Department for Children and Family Services and focus solely on programs for children and families. They will keep Adult Protective Services and will fold in Family Preservation programs that are currently with KDHE and some prevention programs from the Juvenile Justice Authority.

As my previous blog post stated, changes are coming to the disability community in Kansas and it is up to us to make certain that we are not just passively accepting what is handed to us. We need to make our voices and our needs heard. We must demand that any changes made preserve our independence, our ability to choose, and include our input.

The Resource Center for Independent Living will continue to update you as we can about the upcoming Medicaid reform and the soon-to-begin Legislative Session.