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Study Says KanCare Hitting Cost-Cutting Marks By Missing Health Improvement Goals

Jim McLean
Robin Arnold-Williams is a principal who specializes in Medicaid for Leavitt Partners.

A comprehensive study of KanCare, Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program, says while it has come close to meeting cost-cutting goals, it has burdened providers and failed to significantly improve the care for the more than 400,000 low-income and disabled Kansans it covers.

The study was done for several Kansas provider organization by a consulting firm run by former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.

Lead analyst Robin Arnold-Williams says turning Medicaid over to three managed care organizations reduced costs in part by shifting them to hospitals, doctors and other providers.

“We heard very strongly from providers that the need to do things three different ways has greatly increased their costs," Arnold-Williams says. "They’re not reimbursed for those costs.”

Those administrative burdens and a recent cut in reimbursement rates ordered by Gov. Sam Brownback are increasing concerns that more providers will start refusing to see KanCare patients.