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Kansas long-term care providers struggle financially

January 19, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Owners and advocates of long-term care providers in Kansas say they’re being squeezed financially on several fronts.

Advocates told the House Health and Human Services Committee Thursday that Kansas providers face grave financial hardships due to low reimbursement rates, backlogs in processing Medicaid applications and a recent spike in civil penalties for health and safety violations, the Lawrence Journal-World reported .

Such facilities in the Midwest reported operating at a net loss of about 0.5 percent in 2016, according to a recent survey by Minnesota-based consulting firm CliftonLarsonAllen.

“That is absolutely something we are seeing here in Kansas,” said Rachel Monger, who represents Leading Age Kansas, a group of faith-based and nonprofit senior service providers. “I don’t know what kind of organization, whether it’s for-profit or not-for-profit, that can sustain itself with negative operating margins.”

Monger said the total volume of fines levied against long-term care facilities in Kansas rose from less than $2,300 in 2012 to nearly $4.7 million in 2016.

The financial problems that long-term care facilities face also threaten state and local economies, said Cindy Luxem of the Kansas Health Care Association, which represents more than 250 long-term care providers.

“We have $1.7 billion in this state that we add on a daily and yearly basis to the economy of Kansas, so it’s important that we get paid, and it’s important that our folks are taking care of seniors,” she said.

Republican Rep. Dan Hawkins, who chairs the committee, said he’ll invite the secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, Tim Heck, to respond to the concerns.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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