The integration of home and community based services for Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities into KanCare is being delayed.
The state and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reached an agreement to put off the implementation that had been set to take effect Jan. 1. Work on the integration will continue with an implementation timeline and other details now scheduled to be worked out by Feb. 1, 2014.
The extra time will allow for full consideration of public comments that were submitted to the CMS website that was set up to take community comments on this change in the way I/DD waiver services are provided, including any updates to the KanCare Section 1115 demonstration Special Terms and Conditions to which the parties agree. The federal website was down for a period of time in early December, so the comment period was extended through December 24, 2013. CMS and the state need more time to evaluate the comments.
The state has faced strong opposition to including the disabled in the privatized KanCare system, primarily because of claim denials and delays in payments to providers under the system which started for Medicaid recipients in January of 2013.
Eliminating the wait list
The postponement will also allow for refinement of the State's effort to eliminate the I/DD waiver's "underserved" wait list that has existed for more than a decade.
"The shared commitment by the state and CMS to comprehensive, integrated care for Kansans in Medicaid remains strong," said Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D.
The "underserved" list comprises Kansans with developmental disabilities who are already receiving some Medicaid services.
"Going forward, this administration aims to keep Kansans off the underserved list and reduce the PD/DD waiting lists, and KanCare's integrated care coordination is key to solving that longstanding issue," Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Shawn Sullivan said.
Letters have been mailed to consumers and providers to notify them of this postponement of I/DD HCBS in KanCare. KanCare officials will continue to communicate program updates to those providers who were preparing to deliver additional HCBS and supports under the previously planned waiting list reduction.
"It's important to continue communicating openly with current recipients of home- and community-based services so these KanCare members understand that their I/DD waiver services will not be under KanCare starting Jan. 1, 2014. Their medical services will remain in KanCare while their I/DD waiver services will be in their KanCare health plan once the agreement with CMS is finalized," Secretary Sullivan said.