FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KDHE Office of Communications
TOPEKA, Kan. —The State of Kansas and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have agreed to continue working toward the integration of home- and community-based services (HCBS) for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) into KanCare.
In order to complete work on the details of the agreement, the planned January 1, 2014, implementation will be postponed temporarily. The state and CMS will work toward an agreement by February 1, 2014. The full implementation timeline will be determined in that process.
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 temporary 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 temporary 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.
About KanCare: KanCare is the new Medicaid program in Kansas that began on Jan. 1, 2013, with integrated medical services for all Medicaid consumers. The KanCare model uses managed care to support intensive care coordination and to deliver the highest quality of services under pay-for-performance contracts that hold the health plans accountable for improved health outcomes for KanCare members. The first phase of Kansas' Medicaid reforms launched after two years of statewide discussions, including many stakeholder forums and public hearings across Kansas. Visit KanCare.ks.gov.