The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

April 17, 2013

Your View: Not the right model

COLUMBUS, Kan. — Maintaining quality services for Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities is important to me. I am concerned that the state will include long-term care services for people with developmental disabilities in its managed care plan for Kansas beginning Jan. 1, 2014.  

Managed care models were designed to help contain costs associated with acute medical needs. Long-term care for people with significant intellectual or developmental disabilities is neither acute nor medical. It is a spectrum of lifelong, person-focused supports that enable a person to live as independently as possible in the community of their choosing.  

The fact that they are a bad fit for managed care can be seen in the vast majority of states that have chosen to specifically exclude, or “carve out,” these services for this population from their managed care plans. Only four states in the union have even attempted applying managed care to long-term care services for the intellectually and developmentally disabled. None of those four states chose a model even remotely like KanCare for managing those services.

I strongly urge you to permanently exclude long-term care services for the intellectually and developmentally disabled from KanCare.

Cliff Sperry

Columbus, Kan.

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