Severe delays in processing long-term care Medicaid applications in Kansas are having a substantial impact on both long-term care providers and Kansas residents. In 2012, Kansas privatized its Medicaid program, after which time the State saw a decline in the timely processing of Medicaid applications. Since 2015, KanCare has regularly failed to process Medicaid applications within the time period mandated by federal law, due in part to a new statewide computer system and in part to a major change in the way the Medicaid program is administered. Although some remedial measures were put into place by the Kansas government in 2016, progress on addressing the backlog appears to have come to a halt.
Due to the processing delays, many long-term care facilities are struggling to pay their staff’s and to pay for the services of necessary providers, including food vendors. This is inducing panic to the point where long-term care facilities are thinking twice before admitting residents with serious medical conditions who need Medicaid benefits to cover a portion of the cost of their care. For many Kansas residents, this means an inability to receive the 24-hour skilled nursing care they may desperately need at the end stages of their lives. For the nursing homes that take a gamble on the Medicaid system, it may mean that they provide care for months without receiving payment, which jeopardizes their financial stability. It remains to be seen what steps the Kansas government will take to address this issue. If you need assistance securing Medicaid benefits for a long-term care resident, please contact us today.