Kansas nursing homes may refuse patients waiting on Medicaid

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

Health care officials say Kansas nursing homes are hesitant to take patients who need hospice care and are waiting on Medicaid coverage because they may not get paid for the care they provide.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a backlog of Medicaid applications has been affecting Kansas nursing homes in recent years. Beneficiaries of Kansas' privatized Medicaid program, KanCare, wait months to see their applications approved while nursing homes provide care for which they aren't paid.

Health care official Morgan Bell raised the issue last week to a KanCare oversight committee. She says Topeka-area nursing homes aren't ready to take patients waiting on KanCare and are likely to die soon.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services says continuing to reduce the backlog will help build trust between KanCare and nursing homes.

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