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KanCare prompt-pay bill advances; fluoride measure squelched

By JIM McLEAN and MIKE SHIELDS
KHI News Service

TOPEKA — A bill aimed at speeding payments from the state’s KanCare contractors to Medicaid service providers was endorsed today by the House Health and Human Services Committee.

House Bill 2552, a so-called “prompt pay” bill, had the backing of most of the state’s Medicaid provider groups and faced no opposition.

The measure essentially would write into law some of the payment requirements already included in the state’s contracts with the three insurance companies that have run day-to-day operations of the Kansas Medicaid program since Jan. 1, 2013, when the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback moved virtually all the state’s Medicaid enrollees into health plans run by three managed care companies.

The bill also would let doctors, hospitals and other Medicaid service providers collect 12 percent interest on late payments from the KanCare companies. The three current contractors are Amerigroup, UnitedHealthcare and Sunflower State Health Plan, a subsidiary of Centene.

A similar measure, Senate Bill 317, was introduced in the Senate and heard last week by the chamber’s Public Health and Welfare Committee. But no action has yet been taken on it.

The state’s contracts with the insurance companies include provisions that require they make timely payment for so-called “clean claims” submitted by Medicaid providers. The insurance companies have reported to state officials that they are meeting the contract standards well enough to qualify for the contract dollars the state has held back as an incentive for prompt payments.

A clean claim is one deemed by the managed care company to have been properly submitted in accordance with its billing procedures.

Providers have complained that the state’s contractual requirements for prompt payment have failed to account for the time it can take for a claim to be deemed “clean.”

Interhab, the group that represents most of the state’s Community Developmental Disability Organizations, pushed to have the 12 percent interest penalty in the bill raised to 18 percent. An amendment that would have done that was offered by Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat. But his amendment failed on a voice vote.

Working to beat looming procedural deadlines, the committee also voted on several other proposed bills but tabled a controversial measure that would have required municipal water utilities to issue warnings about the reputed hazards of fluoridation.

Public health officials argued the warnings are baseless and that fluoridated water helps prevent cavities, especially in children.

By voting to table HB 2372, the committee probably killed it for this session. The vote was 10-2. The two committee members who voted against tabling the bill were Reps. Patricia Sloop, a Wichita Democrat, and Kevin Jones, a Wellsville Republican.

The bill would have required municipalities to warn their water customers that the “latest science confirms that ingested fluoride lowers the IQ in children.”

The bill was pushed by an anti-fluoride group that in 2012 helped orchestrate the defeat of a fluoride ballot initiative in Wichita, one of the largest cities in the nation that doesn’t add fluoride to its drinking water.

Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Mission Republican and physician, voted to table the proposal. She said the vast majority of studies have shown that fluoridation is safe and effective.

“The studies that I have read are not consistent with the information that they (the bill’s supporters) brought forward,” Bollier said.

Also today:

The committee endorsed HB 2611. Supporters, including the Kansas Dental Association, said the bill would lift current restrictions that effectively limit dentists from having more than three practice locations and could improve access to oral health care in underserved parts of the state.

Approved HB 2673, which would update state law dealing with the regulation and supervision of physician assistants.

Recommended passage of HB 2701, which would add drugs containing lorcaserin to the state’s list of controlled substances. Lorcaserin is most commonly prescribed for weight loss. It already is listed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule IV drug.

The committee also voted to approve House Resolution 6049, urging creation of a state plan for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

KS Kollections
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  • asdf

    Looks like the fluoride money got spread around mighty quickly. Paying off the dentist to say good things and the politicians to listen. Way to grease the wheels to win big through ki ll ing people!

  • James Reeves

    People everywhere are learning the truth that fluoridation is ineffective for teeth and dangerous to health, so only 5% of the world and only 3% of Europe fluoridate their drinking water. Yet Europe has a better tooth decay rate that those countries which do fluoridate.

    In additon, Israel and Queensland have both ended mandatory fluoridation within the last year. For a list of many hundreds of cities rejecting fluoridation, see:

    http://fluoridealert.org/content/communities/

    To read the truth, Google “Fluoride dangers” and read a few of the 12,000 articles, many by M.D.’s, dentists and medical scientists.

    • Chicken Little

      Henny Penny the sky is falling!!!

    • Chief59

      Back again from wherever you come from? Every post you’ve ever made is about fluoride. Those are spread out across dozens of different pages. You are no different than the “I work from home and make $5700 a month” spammers. That’s what you are, a spammer.

      Also, 12,000 articles? Try searching UFO abductions….756,000 results. Bigfoot…..8,670,000 results.

      • James Reeves

        Why do I get the feeling that youu don’t like me — or the truth?

        Just this month the British Medical Journal, “Lancet,” published an article that informed the world that FLUORIDE has been added to its list of developmental neurotoxicants (damage to the brain and central nervous system).

        http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/laneur/PIIS1474442213702783.pdf?id=eaaSHLpQ3RqRNfSS3qZqu

        • Sslott

          James Reeves

          You need to update your stash of copy/pastes. There is nothing “new” in the Lancet article. Grandjean conveniently omits specifying concentration levels when discussing neurotoxicity of fluoride. There is no substance known to man which is not toxic at improper levels, including plain water. Fluoride at 0.7 ppm is not toxic, “neuro”, or otherwise.

          In reference to the studies which Grandjean attempts to portray as “evidence” for IQ reduction, he has even distanced himself from these studies:

          The Harvard study on which he bases his IQ claims was actually a review of 27 Chinese studies found in obscure Chinese scientific journals, of the effects of high levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the well water of various Chinese, Mongolian, and Iranian village. The concentration of fluoride in these studies was as high as 11.5 ppm. By the admission of the Harvard researchers, these studies had key information missing, used questionable methodologies, and had inadequate controls for confounding factors. These studies were so seriously flawed that the lead researchers, Anna Choi, and Phillippe Grandjean, were led to issue the following statement in September of 2012:

          “–These results do not allow us to make any judgment regarding possible levels of risk at levels of exposure typical for water fluoridation in the U.S. On the other hand, neither can it be concluded that no risk is present. We therefore recommend further research to clarify what role fluoride exposure levels may play in possible adverse effects on brain development, so that future risk assessments can properly take into regard this possible hazard.”

          –Anna Choi, research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH, lead author, and Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at HSPH, senior author

          As it seems there have been no translations of these studies into English by any reliable, objective source, it is unclear as to whether they had even been peer-reviewed, a basic for credibility of any scientific study. These studies were flawed that NOTHING could be “concluded” from them.

          Steven D. Slott, DDS

          • James Reeves

            Everyone understands the bias of fluoride promoters. There is big money at stake as the industries profits form selling their toxic waste (Hexafluorosilicic acid) to communities.
            Also everyone can read the article from the Medical Journal, “Lancet” as I noted above and check on your fantasies.

          • Sslott

            James Reeves

            Yes, fluoridation proponents are most certainly biased. We are biased toward the improvement of the health of all our citizens. Antifluoridationists are also biased….toward their own personal ideologies.

            See my previous comment in regard to the Lancet article. It’s self-explanatory.

            Steven D. Slott, DDS

          • Please move along

            No one around here gives a rip what either of you numbskulls have to say. Sad existences you both live chasing each other thru cyberspace arguing the same tired arguments about freaking fluoride. Like either of you is going to effect some kind of meaningful change. Good God.

          • TruthAboutSslott

            Aww, the paid shill, Sslott. Just as I predicted. Why don’t you go get a real job, shill?

          • Chief59

            You are also a spammer. You and James Reeves have only appeared on articles about fluoride, and you only appear on articles about fluoride across dozens of different websites. Troll.

          • Sslott

            Chief59

            Gee, I didn’t realize there was a requirement that comments only be placed after articles on diverse topics.

            Since you seem to be aware of where I post comments it would seem you, too, are a troll.

            Now, do you have anything of intelligence to contribute?

            Steven D. Slott, DDS

          • Chief59

            Hey, I agreed with you last time you posted here. However, you and James Reeves come around every time there is an article dealing with fluoride. Even though I agree with your points (I believe fluoride is safe and should be in our water), you are still a spammer. All it takes to see you both for what you are is a simple click on your name. Over 1,400 posts, and virtually all of them are over fluoride, spread across multiple websites.

            Last time you were here, someone called you a paid shill. I tend to agree with that accusation. It also fits your fellow shill James Reeves.
            I may be considered a post whore and quite annoying in my convictions when I post, but at least they are my own thoughts and not copy and paste over and over again, with a likely monetary compensation at the end of the day for the effort.

          • Sslott

            Chief59

            If I had a nickel for every time some uninformed commenter in these sections has made that ridiculous allegation, I probably would be wealthy. Assuming unsubstantiated nonsense about me, or anyone else, based on your own sense of greed, or whatever it is that motivates those who constantly allege fluoridation proponents to be “paid” is a problem you should address, yourself. Advocating for improved healthcare for all of our citizens without being “paid” somehow, is a concept that some simply can’t understand. When you have spent decades doing everything you can to relieve the extreme pain, debilitation, and life-threatening infection of those who cannot afford dental care anywhere else, then possibly you might have something to discuss with those us who are actually doing something for our fellow man. Until then, go look in the mirror to find your “shill”.

            Steven D. Slott, DDS

          • Chief59

            Last time you were here, I agreed with your points. Like I said, I agree that fluoride is a good thing. Accusing me of not being able to understand advocating health of others is quite humorous, considering I am constantly called a “”socialist”, “libtard”, etc., for my views on expanded health care for all. I just don’t go around the entire internet trolling with said opinions. I keep it right here at home, where I only annoy the people I see in the streets every day.

          • Chief’sTroll

            That was your troll, me, saying he is a paid shill. It is quite obvious that he is a paid shill. You should check out his ratings as a “dentist”

          • hum..

            Wow, I like Chief59’s new attitude. If you keep being assertive like this, I might leave you alone.

          • Chief59

            Same attitude as always, it’s just that we share a common interest on this one.
            Just because someone (Sslott, DDS) shares the same philosophy or opinion as myself doesn’t mean I don’t think they are a complete trolling douche.