Sharon Watson
Director of Public Affairs and Communications
The Kansas Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Disabilities (k4ad), representing all eleven of the Area Agencies on Aging, across the State of Kansas, recently provided data to the Kansas legislature indicating seniors are not faring well under the current KanCare system.
The data indicate the number of seniors receiving Home and Community Based Services under KanCare since 2010 has decreased by over 1,000.  The expenditures for community based services is down by over $14,000,000 from 2010.  The number of nursing facility KanCare residents is also down.
And, yet, the Kansas aging population continues to rapidly increase.  The Kansas Statistical Abstract for 2016 indicates the population projection for people age 65 and over will increase by 82.4 percent from 2014 to 2044.
Dan Goodman, Johnson County Area Agency on Aging Director and President of the k4ad, recently noted that ?in Johnson County alone, the senior population will increase by more than 40,000 from 2014-2024.?
The Area Agencies on Aging are concerned that today’s seniors, particularly those seniors over the age of 85, are unable to gain access to KanCare services when needed, whether the senior chooses to remain at home or move to a nursing facility.
With the implementation of KanCare, there have been two major changes.  The first is elimination of ?high-touch? case management for seniors at the local level.  The second is removal of ?high-touch? assistance for seniors applying for KanCare at the local level.
Michelle Morgan, Northwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging Director, said “the elimination of assistance at the local level has created barriers and unnecessary confusion for seniors and their caregivers.  Assistance needs to return to the local aging experts.”