Local and state health and disability groups are hosting a meeting in Wichita on Tuesday to provide a public space for families, providers and consumers to share concerns about the state’s Medicaid system, called KanCare. Medicaid is a health insurance program for some low-income and disabled people.
The meeting will take place at Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph, 3600 E. Harry, in the McNamara Conference Room from 1 to 3 p.m.
Three insurance companies provide plans under KanCare. New contracts for insurance companies that provide plans under KanCare will go into effect in 2018. The state is starting its contract application process.
The disability community has been outspoken about its frustrations with Kansas’ privatized Medicaid system. Some of the chief complaints include issues with provider reimbursement rates, accessibility to services and choice in services. The state is also grappling with ongoing issues with its application process that has backlogged applications for tens of thousands of people.
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Two advocacy groups – the KanCare Advocates Network and the Big Tent Coalition – are sponsoring Tuesday’s meeting to allow the public to air concerns about KanCare. The groups also say they decided to sponsor the meeting after the state canceled KanCare meeting earlier this summer.
Those meetings had been planned by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, the two agencies that oversee KanCare, and were scheduled for Overland Park, Topeka, Wichita, Pittsburg and Dodge City in August, but were canceled.
Angela de Rocha, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said the state’s meetings were intended to explain Gov. Sam Brownback’s 4 percent cuts to some Medicaid reimbursement rates, which took effect in July. She said that organizers of Tuesday’s meeting will not be able to answer providers’ questions about the cuts to reimbursement.
The meeting will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday at Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph, 3600 E. Harry, in the McNamara Conference Room.