- Associated Press - Friday, December 2, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas officials plan to reduce funding to providers of residential psychiatric care for children in a move expected to save about $350,000 from the state general fund.

The cut announced by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services is in addition to a 4 percent reduction in Medicaid reimbursement rates announced by Gov. Sam Brownback in May to help balance the budget, the Topeka Capital-Journal (https://bit.ly/2gvO0WL ) reported.

Residential psychiatric facilities receive payments each day a child is in their care. They’re also paid on days the child is out of the facility and instead in a hospital or at home, but a bed must still be reserved. Plans call for reducing payment on reserve days by 40 percent.

Providers and advocates have voiced concern that the reduction could force some providers out of business, resulting in fewer children receiving care.

“The real tragedy in all of this is that it’s putting in financial incentives to keep kids from going home and working on reintegration,” Children’s Alliance of Kansas director Christie Appelhanz said.

Florence Crittenton CEO Dana Schoffelman said realistically the cut would not cost the providers less, saying that providers could barely manage the previous 4 percent cut. Schoffelman said combined with the Medicaid rate cut, Florence Crittenton has seen a 10 percent revenue reduction within a year.

The change is scheduled to start in March. According to KDADS, the state currently has 11 providers.

Lawmakers and Brownback are discussing the possibility of reversing the Medicaid rate cut. The governor proposed in August a tax increase on hospitals to help out with the provider reimbursement rate.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com


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