Kansas Senate Taking Steps To Reverse Some Medicaid Cuts


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Last summer Gov. Sam Brownback ordered more than $56 million in cuts to KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program. Including the amount of federal matching funds lost, the cuts amounted to about $128 million. Kansas lawmakers are taking steps to reverse them.

On Thursday last week, the Senate took a first step by passing a bill which would raise fees insurance companies classified as HMO’s pay to do business in the state. That includes the three managed care organizations that administer KanCare.

The bill would not restore all the cuts. Instead, it would reverse a $47 million reduction in reimbursements paid to hospitals, safety net clinics, nursing homes and community mental health centers for providing care to the approximately 425,000 low-income, disabled and elderly Kansans enrolled in KanCare.

As originally written, the bill would have imposed the HMO fee increase retroactive to Jan. 1. But the Senate changed the implementation date to July 1. That means the state will not have the money to reverse the cuts until Jan. 1, 2018, according to the Kansas Hospital Association.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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