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KanCare Contractors Make Profits As Committee Hears Complaints About Services

Stephen Koranda
Mike Randol, with KDHE, during his presentation before the committee.

Two of the state’s three KanCare Medicaid contracts were making a profit by the end of last year, according to a report given to lawmakers Friday in Topeka.

Some previous records had shown losses at all three of the companies that manage the state’s privatized Medicaid program. By the end of 2015, the newest report shows UnitedHealthcare had made $44 million, Amerigroup had made $31 million and Sunflower Health Plan had lost $16 million.

The report came as part of a two-day hearing that included Medicaid health care providers and recipients sharing concerns about problems with the system.

Democratic state Rep. Jim Ward questioned if the profits have come at the cost of services and a Medicaid application waiting list.

“You’ve heard for two days the problems that are going on within the system, all dealing with not getting services, not becoming eligible, all of which affects the bottom line,” Ward said.

Mike Randol, with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said there’s no connection between growth in the Medicaid application waiting list and the company profits.

“They were making money prior to that,” Randol said. “There’s no sinister attempt by anyone at any agency that I’m aware of.”

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.