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Bill requiring timely payment of claims to KanCare wins initial approval

Updated: 2014-02-27T13:07:15Z

By Dion Lefler

Eagle Topeka bureau

— Responding to complaints from hospitals and other health-care providers across Kansas, state representatives on Wednesday gave initial approval to a bill requiring timely payment of claims filed to the KanCare managed-care program for the destitute and the disabled.

House Bill 2552 would require the three managed-care companies participating in KanCare to either pay or deny all “clean” claims within 30 days and all other claims within 90 days.

Claims that aren’t paid on time would be subject to 12 percent annual interest, payable each month the claim is not addressed.

Clean claims are those that aren’t missing paperwork or delayed by other special circumstances, as defined in federal Medicare law, officials said.

“KanCare’s had a problem over the last year and two months of making timely payments,” said Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, who spoke in favor of the bill on the floor.

“The three MCO’s (managed care organizations) are struggling with setting up the system,” Ward said. “The big hospitals and providers have all been complaining about not getting timely payments.”

He called HB 2552 “a good first step in correcting the problem.”

KanCare is Gov. Sam Brownback’s program to privatize health and home- and community-based services provided to the state’s Medicaid-eligible clients. Recipients include persons with disabilities, senior citizens, very low-income families with children and pregnant women.

KanCare’s private managed-care companies took over the administration of most of those services on Jan. 1, 2013.

Home- and community-based services for the developmentally disabled were added earlier this year.

The three companies, Sunflower State Health Plan, United Health Care and Amerigroup, filed only written testimony on the bill. None of the companies opposed it, according to a supplemental note attached to the bill.

The bill passed on a voice vote without apparent opposition. The final recorded vote is expected to take place on Thursday. If it passes, the measure will go to the state Senate for consideration.

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