KanCare continuity of care period ends

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who spearheaded KanCare — the overhaul of the state's Medicaid program by the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who spearheaded KanCare — the overhaul of the state's Medicaid program by the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback. by Phil Cauthon

The first 90 days of KanCare have passed, which means the transition period during which the state's 380,000 Medicaid beneficiaries could switch managed-care health plans this year is over.

That is important — for among other reasons — because many KanCare enrollees may find themselves in situations where the medical providers they are accustomed to using are not in the network of the KanCare plan to which they were assigned or chose themselves before the changeover period ended April 4.

And as the 90th day was marked last week, many Medicaid providers continued to report persistent problems with the program that was rolled out Jan. 1 by the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback.

'Number of issues'

"We still have a number of issues that pharmacists have to deal with," said Michael Larkin, executive secretary of the Kansas Pharmacists Association. "In the big picture, our number one concern is assuring that the managed care organizations adhere to the contracts signed (with the state) back in June."

Larkin said the contracts called for the KanCare companies to use a "transparent" process for determining the reimbursement rates for pharmacy services. In the association's view, he said, those contract provisions have been ignored by the KanCare companies "across the board."

"And also the managed care organizations when they do change their pricing are supposed to notify us, let it be known to everyone that the pricing has changed. I don't know that they're doing that either," Larkin said.

He said a meeting was held last month with KanCare company representatives to try to resolve the concerns but that the problems continue apparently because "the wrong people were in the room to discuss that."

Larkin said he was trying to set up another meeting that also would include state officials.

Association members also are reporting reduced or delayed payments from the KanCare companies for durable medical equipment.

"They're having trouble getting proper reimbursement and knowing, if in fact, they will be reimbursed before the equipment goes out the door," Larkin said.

'Workmanlike'

Administration officials acknowledged some ongoing problems but said on whole they are pleased with the program's progress.

"It's been very workmanlike," Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said of the transition.

He also repeated what administration officials have said since the first month of KanCare: "There haven't been as many bumps in the road as we expected. Everybody's been very committed to working with people who are having issues."

Larkin said from the pharmacists' perspective the problems have been "something in between a bump in the road and grave concern."

"We're hopeful things will turn out for us. So far, it hasn't happened," Larkin said.

Continue reading on khi.org.

Tagged: medicaid, Plan, 90, Health, brownback, Sunflower, continuity, days, kancare, Healthcare, Amerigroup, care, of, kansas, United

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 6 months ago

I have been on the Sunflower portion of KanCare and never had a bit of trouble with it. All of my doctors are on there and my new card is accepted without question. As a senor I have a lot of prescriptions to fill and on a lot of them my co-pay is zero. Could not ask for more than that. I also got my Visa debit card which I can use on health related needs and money is put on every time I do something health related that is verified by the doctor. I have twenty on there at the moment. Thus far, I am very pleased with my heath care.

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Jean Robart 1 year, 6 months ago

Kancare should never have happened. I moved out of Kansas in February after having problem s with the Sunflower providers paying on time. Their customer service was pretty good, but it was annoying to have to call them .

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