Daily Archives: Feb. 18, 2013

State agrees to work with doctors on KanCare

It’s good that the state has at least partly responded to concerns from doctors and hospitals about KanCare, the state’s newly privatized Medicaid program. The Kansas Medical Society and the Kansas Medical Group Management Association asked the state to extend for another 90 days the transition period when patients can continue to see their current doctors or doctors not yet in the new insurance networks, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported. The medical groups cited more than two dozen problems with the transition, including billing errors, stalled payments and general confusion about which doctors the patients can see. The state declined to extend the transition period, but it announced that it would continue to deal with Medicaid service providers beyond the April 2 transition cutoff if the providers have contracts pending with the private insurance companies.

Gag order on doctors takes the cake

Limited-government state lawmakers sure like to tell doctors what they can or can’t do and say, especially related to abortion. But the “Made in Kansas” pro-gun bill this session may take the cake. It would prevent physicians (other than psychiatrists) from asking patients if they have firearms in their homes. How is this the Legislature’s concern?

10th Circuit Court up to three open seats

Nearly two years after Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran derailed President Obama’s nomination of former Kansas Attorney General Steve Six to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, the court now has three of the 18 vacancies on federal appeals courts nationwide, noted Carl Tobias, University of Richmond Law School, on the Hill’s Congress Blog. Robert Bacharach, who was first nominated in June 2010, was recently renominated and is awaiting a full Senate vote; Kansas and Utah seats await nominees. “Because openings in 10 percent of circuit judgeships and in one-quarter of 10th Circuit positions can undermine justice, President Obama must rapidly nominate, and the Senate speedily consider, exceptional nominees for the appellate vacancies,” Tobias wrote.

Huelskamp’s Valentine to Politico

Credit Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, for his willingness to make light of one of his more infamous moments as a congressman. During the January vote to re-elect Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, as House speaker, Politico snapped a photo of Huelskamp (in photo) on the House floor “brandishing an iPad” and tracking potential “no” votes on a document titled “You would be fired if this goes out.” On Thursday a fellow congressman tweeted a photo of Huelskamp holding his iPad with the message “Hi, Politico!” on screen.