Federal officials should heed the concerns of the National Council on Disability about the privatization of long-term care for Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. NCD, which held hearings earlier this month in Topeka, sent a letter last week to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging it to delay privatization for a year. The letter raised concerns about the need for more collaboration with service providers and families of the developmentally disabled and about delayed payments with KanCare and possible service cuts. Long-term care for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities is scheduled to become part of KanCare starting Jan. 1, but CMS has yet to approve the waiver. Angela de Rocha, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, tried to dismiss NCD as an East Coast advisory committee that has “no authority.” NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the government on disability issues. CMS should listen to it.
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