Big Lakes director wants exemption from governor’s proposed health care plan

By The Mercury

Lori Feldkamp wants long-term care “carved out” of KanCare, Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed reform of Medicaid.

Feldkamp, director of Big Lakes Developmental Center, asked Pottawatomie County Commissioners Monday to adopt a resolution supporting that exemption.

“We are opposed to having our services under the control of big insurance companies,” Feldkamp told commissioners. “They know nothing about longterm care support services for people with developmental disabilities.”

Feldkamp said Big Lakes — based at Manhattan and serving Pottawatomie, Riley, Geary and Clay counties— wants to send a message to the Brownback Administration that “communities are against this.”

According to proponents, KanCare is an integrated care system intended to control costs of the Medicaid program; create longlasting reforms to improve the quality of care; and to improve the care and outcomes for those receiving Medicaid services.

“Medicaid costs have risen substantially and now constitute a major portion of the budget in Kansas,” said State Rep. Richard Carlson, a Republican from St. Marys. “While the current system does provide quality care for many, there are problematic issues which have resulted in long waiting lists, misdirection of care, fraud and abuse.”

KanCare is the result of more than a year’s worth of detailed study and planning, and the approach is far different than those taken by other states dealing with similar budget constraints, Carlson said.

Commissioners asked the county counselor and county administrator to review Feldkamp’s resolution and make a recommendation for next week’s meeting.

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