Daily Archives: Jan. 5, 2014

Open thread (Jan. 5)

thread

Still a hassle for KanCare providers to get paid

healthcaregovState officials say they won’t know until early spring whether the three insurance companies that manage KanCare met certain performance requirements for 2013. But based on all the complaints by health care providers, it’s clear that the companies did a bad job paying claims. Payments often took twice as long to receive as before privatization, and many providers had to hire extra staff to process claims and fight with the insurance companies. Accounts receivable that are more than 90 days old doubled at both Via Christi Health and Welsey Medical Center in Wichita. When privatization began, providers worried that insurance companies would try to save money by making it a hassle to get paid. One year later, it’s still a hassle.

Restored Statehouse is a work of art

statehouseThough it cost more and took longer than it should have, the nearly $330 million restoration of the Kansas Statehouse is a work of art. In addition to upgrading offices, meeting rooms and mechanical systems, the 13-year project restored 19th-century murals and replaced copper on the roof and dome. Gov. Sam Brownback helped dedicate the new visitor center last week, appropriately describing it as “awesome.” One historic preservation consultant was so impressed with the renovation work that she urged Topeka City Council members to apply for “world heritage site” designation. “No one else has done anything like this, no one,” Elizabeth Watson said. “You should be really proud.”

Elected officials aren’t the highest-paid employees

moneyfallingGovernors and other elected officials make a good living, but they aren’t the highest-paid public employees. In 41 states, including Kansas, the highest-paid public employees are college football or basketball coaches, the website Deadspin.com reported. In the remaining states, college presidents and college medical school or law school deans or professors are paid the most. Though college coaches make much more than elected officials, most of their salaries are paid with outside revenues, not directly with state funds.