As I write this blog, I just got off a telephone conference regarding the proposed changes to our Kansas Medicaid rules. What struck me was when the speaker referred to our area as the rural and frontier area. I guess they think that we are still using the horse and buggy.
Medicaid has long had Home and Community Based Services, which is a program that provides services in the home, versus requiring a person to go to a nursing home. According to the speaker, Kansas has the sixth highest percentage of seniors in nursing homes. Part of that is due to the lack of Home and Community Based Services in the “rural and frontier” areas.
It sounds as if one of the Medicaid changes in Kansas may be to increase the availability of Home and Community Based Services. If this is truly the intent of the changes to Medicaid, such changes will be welcome by me and others trying to help seniors and those with chronic illnesses. In fact, the speaker went on to say that 18.6% of people in long term care in Kansas could actually be in a HCBS setting, rather than in a nursing home.
There is a tremendous amount of structural changes to the way Medicaid is going to be handled in Kansas. I am always concerned when bureaucrats claim that they are going to “eliminate” so much bureaucracy. It just seems like the bureaucracy gets shifted, and suddenly no one knows how to get anything done.
But again, if the net result of all of this is to expand HCBS services, this will be a great change and will in fact, save us all money.