Capitol Comments Articles
Bethell Committee Met on Monday and Tuesday

KanCare (Sept. 30, 2022) – The Robert G. (Bob) Bethell Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services and KanCare Oversight met on Sept. 26-27. The committee heard from private citizens and advocacy organizations about user experiences and issues needing attention.

KanCare Ombudsman Kerrie Bacon testified about response times for the office and cases. The committee inquired about home health employees specifically in relation to a lack of Medicaid expansion and impacts on that sector.

Office of Medicaid Inspector General Steven Anderson reported they received more than 1,400 complaints this calendar year. He recommended the legislature consider addressing the state's capacity for Medicaid eligibility fraud investigations by amending the OMIG statute to expand its director and provide additional resources to combat eligibility fraud in other agencies.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment staff, including Secretary Janet Stanek, Medicaid Director Sarah Fertig, and Medicaid Director of Operations Chris Swartz reported on new staff and new definitions of service including home health services, supportive care services and attendant care services. The Health Care Access Improvement Program also updated the committee on the postpartum extension, and adult dental coverage. The agency reported the public health emergency is unwinding. The KDHE clearinghouse is operating at 88 percent capacity, and the current 1115 waiver set to expire in 2023. The agency recommends moving to a new waiver type.

The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services updated the committee on nursing facilities, as well as home and community-based services. The agency reported on waivers, wait lists and priority issues, including the implementation of the bill passed during the 2022 session that allows certified nurses aides to train in hospitals, hospices and PACE program sites. The agency also gave an update on the 24/7 facility pay plan for state hospitals and reported Osawatomie has added 14 patient rooms.

Managed Care Organizations provided updates on new benefits for beneficiaries. MCO representatives included:

  • Michael Stephens, Sunflower Health Plan
  • Jane Brown, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kansas
  • Kevin Sparks, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan

On the second day, committee members received updates on items outstanding before the committee. This is the list of outstanding items.