By Pam Shepard
Special to The Globe
COLUMBUS, Kan. —
Maintaining quality services for Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities is very important to me. I am very concerned that the state of Kansas will include long-term care services for persons 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 persons 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 his or her choosing.
The fact that I/DD long-term care services 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 I/DD long-term care services. None of those four states chose a model even remotely like KanCare for the management of I/DD long-term care services. I strongly urge you to permanently exclude I/DD long-term care services from KanCare.