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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:09 PM

Kansas: KanCare falling short, endangering citizens

(Note to mods: I would post this to the Kansas state page, but there does not seem to be a lot of DU activity there. And, as this from a FB page, I cannot simply link to his posting).

This was posted by a friend on Facebook today. He is falling through the cracks of KanCare.

Finn is a former Kansas City Star reporter and editor, who has had his predicament covered by local Kansas City media earlier this month (links at bottom).

If you live in Kansas, have relatives living in Kansas or are from Kansas, please consider reaching out to state officials. Finn is certainly not the only Kansas citizen suffering through KanCare.

"FIRST RESPONDERS REVIVE PRAIRIE VILLAGE MAN
Unresolved KanCare frustrations sparks emergency action

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- While state leaders work to knock out the kinks in the state's new managed-care system for some 380,000 Kansans, first responders in Johnson County Monday had to revive a Prairie Village man choking on his own phlegm and gasping to breathe.

At 10 a.m., Johnson County Med-Act responders arrived at the home of Finn Bullers, a former Kansas City Star reporter and consumer advocate for people with disabilities.

Within minutes, rescue workers performed deep suctioning to remove accumulated phlegm blocking his airway, a result of bureaucratic tangles with the state leaving Bullers without skilled-nursing services and ongoing wound-care treatment.

Had a lower-cost skilled nurse been suctioning Bullers twice daily as was the past practice, the pricey cost of an emergency response team would have been unnecessary, he said. "I hate to be a cost burden."

On Jan. 3, Bullers appeared on KMBC after his skilled and attendant care nursing was cut off, a partial result of reform to the state's $3.2 billion Medicaid program, in which three insurance companies will run the day-to-day management instead of the state.

Medicaid covered much of the everyday skilled nursing he needs to live, but Bullers said his coverage was dropped in the changeover, possibly the result of paperwork problems and confusion over who is supposed to be managing his case.

Bullers relies on a ventilator to breathe, has Type-1 diabetes and muscular dystrophy and requires 24-hour care. Bullers said his condition leaves no room for errors or delays. He said he simply fell through the state's healthcare cracks.

Gov. Sam Brownback has hailed KanCare, his new initiative, as an "historic" reorganization of state government, saying it will save taxpayers more than $1 billion over the next five years.

Critics like Bullers say that however well-intentioned, the new KanCare program, now nearly a month old, has failed to live up to its own press billing as a "continuum of care" with a "seamless" transition from past practices for those in critical need of care.

"A month after KanCare was enacted, my emergency suction this morning was a wake-up call to all state policy makers who think the Grand Kansas Experiment will be the national model for competitively bid, managed-care programs for all," Bullers said.

"It needs to be fixed so others like me don't continue to fall through the cracks," he said.

"Gov. Brownback does not deserve to pave a path to the presidency three years from now based on a flawed healthcare tax-saving plan borne on the backs of the elderly and people with disabilities."

In an email last Friday to Bullers, KanCare Ombudsman James Bart wrote:

"Please know that I am continuing my efforts to coordinate your care on a daily basis. I will not rest until we get to a resolution that is responsive to your needs," Bart said. "I believe we have made progress during this month."

And yet on Monday, Jan. 7 -- some 18 days ago, an email from the Department for Aging and Disability Services sent in response to a story appearing in the Prairie Village Post, said the snafu with the Bullers case was "solved ...the same day it was brought to our attention by the consumer. "

"KanCare consumer concerns are closely monitored and responded to quickly. We have a response plan in place and it worked the way it was designed to work in this case," wrote Angela de Roch, dIrector of communications for the
Kansas Department for Children and Families.

"We have built accountability into the system and, during this period of transition, speedy resolution of problems is our highest priority goal," she said.

Said Bullers in an email to his state Rep. Barbara Bollier: "That certainly came as a surprise to me," he said. "Without healthcare stability, my life feels like it is in a carnival Tilt-a-Whirl. And I can't get off the ride. "

KanCare has established daily "Rapid Response Calls" at 9 a.m. Monday to Friday, the DCF spokeswoman wrote. Anyone with a questions about KanCare, she said, can join the conference call.

A consumer assistance line is also available each business day, de Roch wrote. That number is: 1-866-305-5147."


Earlier stories:

From KMBC 1/3/13:
"Patient reports problems with KanCare switchover"
http://www.kmbc.com/news/health/Patient-reports-problems-with-KanCare-switchover/-/11664032/18005866/-/3dbdoh/-/index.html

From the Prairie Villiage Post 1/7/13:
"Prairie Village family falls through Medicaid gap during KanCare transition"
http://pvpost.com/2013/01/07/prairie-village-medicaid-gap-during-kancare-transition-14890

7 replies, 909 views

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Kansas: KanCare falling short, endangering citizens (Original post)
SomeGuyInEagan Jan 2013 OP
nobodyspecial Jan 2013 #1
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #4
MuseRider Jan 2013 #2
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #3
RKP5637 Jan 2013 #7
Downwinder Jan 2013 #5
RKP5637 Jan 2013 #6

Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:14 PM

1. "saying it will save taxpayers more than $1 billion over the next five years. "

Yeah, I guess denying people care and the resulting deaths will save money.

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Response to nobodyspecial (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:47 PM

4. + 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:24 PM

2. It is going to get worse

just wait, it is going to get much worse.

"Speedy resolution of problems" means that these people who are very very sick may in fact die as they resolve problems that were not there before in patient care. This is not money, or math or other government changes. These are often dependent and very ill people who cannot afford mistakes or problems. They will die.

Saw this coming, sad to say it is not going to change and it will get much worse.

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:47 PM

3. Sounds like Death Panels are alive and well in Kansas.

But I am pretty sure that the situation is exactly what the good people of Kansas wanted when they elected all those ultra-conservative teabaggers and such.

Who am I to argue with them?

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:08 AM

7. It is, it's apparently what Kansans want. They seem to love RW Teabaggers and seem to

want a theocratic dystopia. I chalk it up to the christian sinner complex ... everyones a sinner ... punishment and persecution are loved. And Kansas, the state that kept the law that makes LGBT a criminal offense, and also worked to sponsor a law making denial of medical care if one is suspected of being LGBT perfectly OK. It's all damn creepy in KS.


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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:20 PM

5. 1 billion before or after wrongful death suits?

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:00 AM

6. This is just the beginning, they have lots of fun planned for entrapped Kansans.

Kansas, a nice place to be from as in gone.

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