Kansas Hospital Association: Medicaid Expansion could keep hospitals open

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — The Special Committee on Medicaid Expansion is continuing its research into the possibility of implementing expansion in Kansas.

Up to 150,000 Kansans could be eligible for Medicaid if the expansion was to move forward. This would also include about 70,000 people that currently make too much money to qualify for KanCare but not enough to qualify for financial assistance to purchase private assistance.

Some medical professionals in Kansas are concerned that not implementing Medicaid Expansion could result in hospitals, especially rural hospitals, shutting down due to lack of sustainable funding.

This also created concern with the workforce in Kansas healthcare.

According to the Kansas Hospital Association, Kansas is already struggling to recruit and keep staff in the state. As other bordering states begin to move toward expansion, maintaining the staff will become even more difficult.

“Colorado has moved forward with expansion, so as we’ve talked with some of our rural hospitals on the western side of the state, they have said that’s a factor in terms of their recruiting ability to be able to bring folks to their local community,” says Chad Austin of the Kansas Hospital Association.

Currently, 36 states and Washington D.C. have implemented or are moving toward Medicaid Expansion.

Austin says the KHA is hopeful that Medicaid Expansion will be available for Kansans by January 1, 2021.

The Special Committee will be meeting for a second day on Wednesday. The agenda says the meeting will conclude with recommendations for the legislature.

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