Hundreds Participate In Medicaid Reform Forum

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

There was no shortage of dialogue at the second of three meetings across Kansas to address Medicaid changes.

The main question was: How do we improve health care quality while significantly reducing costs?

"Tough question, don't know if there is an answer," said John Kraft, a participant from Wichita.

Challenging questions that 400 people discussed on Thursday. Some in the health care industry said reducing costs may not be the only answer.

"If you're not able to find efficiencies in the system to reduce costs, you're going to be cutting services. I think so many of these services are so critical to our population," said Kraft.

Some said more of the budget needs to go to Home and Community Based Services to help people with disabilities stop relying on government help.

"They can learn to become independent. When they do that, then they won't need Medicare anymore or Medicaid anymore," said Glenda Lickteig, a participant from Hutchinson.

The room full of participants took on the Governor's challenge, collaborating to think of ideas on how to remake the state's Medicaid program and improve health care.

"That's one of the big issues in order to make this stable in the long haul. We're spending $400 million more now then we were just two years ago. If we keep up with this growth rate, we won't have money for schools," said Jeff Colyer, Lt. Governor.

Many in the room felt that the process was a step forward in the right direction to reform Medicaid in the state.

"I think there were some good ideas today. It's very important to get other people's feedback and to explain what's going on. I think it was excellent," said Lickteig.

The third public forum will be held at 9 a.m. on Friday at the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City.


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