Senate committee discusses future of Medicaid expansion

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Senate Select Committee on Healthcare Access met Tuesday to create a possible plan for Medicaid expansion in Kansas.

The committee looked at two different applications for extending Medicaid, section 1115 and section 1332.

“In having this program for those that are uninsured…it’s just tasking us with trying to find the best avenue at the best cost to enhance healthcare for Kansans,” said committee Chair and Sen. Gene Suellentrop (R-Wichita).

Section 1115 implements a range of changes to eligibility, benefits, and delivery systems, according to the Medicaid and Chip Payment and Access Commission.

Instead, section 1332 allows states to make changes to health insurance exchanges, qualified health plans, premium tax credits, cost-sharing subsidies and individual and employer mandates.

The committee also heard from officials from multiple healthcare organizations, including the University of Kansas Health System, the Kansas Hospital Association, and the Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center.

These organizations discussed the impact of Medicaid on rural hospitals, which could bring in more money from services.

“It can have a positive impact on rural hospitals,” Suellentrop said. “They will get a higher reimbursement rate, a 90-10 reimbursement rate. So it should be more beneficial to them.”

However, these hospitals do not have a high volume of care for individuals on Medicaid, so they may not see a large amount of revenue, according to Suellentrop.

The committee will meet again Wednesday to continue working to determine which application is best for Kansans before their recommendations go to the legislature next year.

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