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Kansas State Officials “Sending Mixed Messages” on Disability-Related Medicaid Waiver Integration

April 29, 2016

As reported in the Salina Post (04/05/16), Kansas state officials are giving conflicting timelines for when a massive change (i.e., waiver integration) in the way Kansans with disabilities receive Medicaid-funded services will occur. The planned waiver integration would merge waivers that are currently split across seven groups based on disability type (i.e., developmental, physical, frail elderly, autism, traumatic brain injury, technology assisted and serious emotional disturbance) into two: one for children and one for adults. A legislative subcommittee recommended postponing the change for one year until January of 2018. However, at a KanCare advisory council meeting, officials from the entities implementing the change said it would still happen in 2017. KanCare is the program through which the State of Kansas administers Medicaid.

Any delay may impact the benefits that Kansans with disabilities receive, including employment services. In particular, the waiver integration impacts those who receive services tailored to their specific needs, such as supported employment services for adults. Some stakeholders have concerns that state legislators have not clarified how they intend to structure and deliver services following the waiver integration. Other stakeholders expressed concerns that the delay itself, rather than the planned integration, will slow service delivery. Tim Keck, Interim Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said that services for different waivers have different waiting lists and that some may have to wait longer for services if there is a delay. 

For more information on the developments in Kansas, read the Salina Post article