With the exception of Medicaid expansion, the legislature has completed most of the work directly impacting health care providers. Over the April break, the Governor signed House Bill 2026, establishing meaningful process reforms for the state's managed care Medicaid program, KanCare.
Under HB 2026, a standardized enrollment form and uniform process for credentialing and re-credentialing providers is required. There are a number of other administrative simplifications within the bill, as well as a mandatory annual audit to review claims adjudication and an external review process to commence in 2020. HB 2026 was advanced with the support of KMS, KHA and several other provider groups in an effort to address continuing problems with KanCare that undermine provider participation and patient outcomes. Though the legislation is not perfect, we believe HB 2026 is an important provider-friendly step that will promote administrative simplification and process standardization across the three Medicaid MCOs, which will improve KanCare and benefit patients as well as providers.
Before the legislature adjourns for the remainder of 2017, it is our hope and expectation that it will reverse the 4 percent Medicaid provider reimbursement cuts ordered by the Governor in the summer of 2016. House Bill 2180 and Senate Bill 94, twin bills that have passed their respective bodies, remain alive and contain language to restore provider payment rates to their pre-cut level. KMS is working hard in support of the legislation to reverse the fee cuts, and in spite of the current budget challenges, there appears to be quite a bit of legislative support for the concept.
Predicting when the legislature might conclude all of these tasks would be a fool's errand, because there is simply no way to know. But for as long as the legislature is meeting, KMS will be actively monitoring their work and ensuring that we work together to promote keeping the practice of medicine in physician's hands and encourage access to quality care for all Kansans.