Governor’s latest Medicaid cuts to take thousands of dollars out of Hutchinson

Gov. Sam Brownback’s latest tactic to balance the state’s budget on the backs of Medicaid providers will mean thousands of dollars lost in Hutchinson.

Last week, Brownback announced that Kansas will forgo more than $120 million in state and federal dollars to balance the state budget.

In doing this, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, which administers Medicaid, will see a combined reduction of $57.4 million – mostly from Medicaid.

Health care providers who serve Medicaid patients, as a result, will see reimbursement rates reduced by 4 percent in July. Those providers, however, led by the Kansas Hospital Association, have pledged to fight the cuts, appealing to the federal government and, if necessary, in court.

“The rate of reimbursement for Medicaid doesn’t pay for the service anyway,” said Mike Garrett, CEO of Horizons Mental Health Center in Hutchinson.

This reduction will make it even more challenging for Medicaid patients to find services, he added.

“The current state of the Medicaid reimbursement system limits access to care, and there’s no incentive for physicians to want to take more Medicaid patients,” said Ken Johnson, president and CEO of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System. “Now, it’s going to be even tougher.”


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