TOPEKA — The administration of Gov. Sam Brownback said Friday the state’s Medicaid director would step down and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment had delayed public release of plans for changing the managed care system serving 425,000 people.
Departure of Medicaid director Mike Randol removed the person frequently relied upon by the Kansas Legislature and advocacy groups to work through bureaucratic, financial and health care controversy arising from operation of the $3.2 billion system managed by three private insurance companies.
KDHE Secretary Susan Mosier, who has oversight of KanCare, said she appreciated Randol’s contribution to development and implementation of privatized Medicaid.
“We appreciate his service to the state of Kansas and wish him well,” Mosier said.
KanCare is the umbrella apparatus for delivery of Medicaid services to low-income elderly people, individuals with disabilities and children in poor families.
Spokeswoman Angela de Rocha said the Brownback administration wouldn’t release documents outlining details of the new version of KanCare until next week, but the plan to seek proposals from commercial bidders in November wouldn’t change. KDHE intends to negotiate new contracts with three or four managed-care organizations for implementation on Jan. 1, 2019, what has been called KanCare 2.0.
De Rocha said the exodus of Randol wasn’t linked to the agency’s postponement in disclosing modifications to KanCare.
“It has nothing to do with it,” de Rocha said. “The timing is pure coincidence.”
KDHE obtained approval last week from the Trump administration to continue the current KanCare model through Dec. 31, 2018. The Obama administration denied the state’s request for an extension, in part, because of concerns Kansas provided insufficient oversight of contractors.
Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said the one-year delay in deployment of KanCare 2.0 would be useful in formation of “an innovative and conservative approach to health care that controls costs and results in better health outcomes for Kansans.”