Advocates Call for Federal Action on Kansas Medicaid Backlog

Advocates for people with disabilities are pressing the federal government to force Kansas to move quickly to clear its backlog of unprocessed Medicaid applications as they seek records from the state agency in charge. In a letter, the Disability Rights Center urges the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to require Kansas to document that it is notifying applicants of their right to a hearing if their application is not processed within 45 days. The group also asks the federal government to require the state to demonstrate it has a realistic plan based on accurate data to eliminate the backlog. Medicaid recipients and their advocates were left disappointed and frustrated last month when the Kansas Department for Health and Environment disclosed the backlog had been undercounted by thousands of applications. The number of unprocessed applications stood at about 3,500 people until the state acknowledged the actual figure was more than 15,000. The agency has been battling a backlog for months that developed after it switched to a new electronic eligibility system.

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