For Immediate Release
June 5, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Kansas to Submit Formal Section 1115 Waiver Application in July, Extend KanCare Public Comment Period

Additional comment period not expected to delay January 2013 implementation of KanCare

TOPEKA- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment today submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting that CMS allow the State to submit its Section 1115 waiver application after further consultation with representatives of tribal governments and IHS (Indian Health Service), tribal and urban Indian health (I/T/U) providers, in accordance with the State's tribal consultation policy. The State has asked CMS to not consider the April 26 submission a formal application, which will allow for submission of the Section 1115 waiver application in July after continued tribal consultation.

Submitting a new formal proposal at this time falls under the recently enacted federal regulations, which will require two new public meetings on the subject of the application. Public comments on the Section 1115 waiver were solicited with the April 26 application as well as the Jan. 26 concept paper.

The State of Kansas learned that two clinics within the Indian Health Service (IHS) did not receive formal notice of the plan for KanCare during the time the State’s Medicaid officials were initially consulting with tribal governments in Kansas earlier this year. The two IHS centers are the White Cloud Health Station in White Cloud, Kan., and Haskell Health Center in Lawrence, Kan.

“Since the very start of the Medicaid reform process in January 2011, the Administration has had an open door, including constant solicitation for input and feedback on ways we might improve health care for our State’s most vulnerable citizens. The hundreds of comments and ideas from Kansans are the basis for our plan for KanCare,” said Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. “It was at those statewide meetings we were able to hear and see for ourselves what was not working in our Medicaid program, and we’ve been able to work with the consumers and providers directly to map out the solutions.

“This continued consultation regarding our application doesn’t impede the timeline for implementing KanCare in January 2013. This extra step is another opportunity to receive input on a program vital to the health and well being of more than 350,000 Kansans.”

The State of Kansas will continue to receive public comments on KanCare at KanCare@kdheks.gov. Additional information about KanCare, including the application now posted for comment, can be found on KDHE's website, www.kancare.ks.gov.

A formal notice will be posted in next week's Kansas Register announcing the dates of the new public meetings. Enclosed is a copy of the letter that was mailed to CMS.