Vintage Park, which operates 18 assisted living communities in Kansas, will no longer accept new Medicaid patients at 15 of them, the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) reports. The three Vintage Park communities that will continue to accept patients on Medicaid are the sole providers of assisted living services in their towns. Medicaid payments for claims are below market and require significant paper work to process. The Federal government reduced Medicaid payments in 2012 and expectations of new cuts under the newly created KanCare, led Vintage Park to opt out of participating in the program.
Under Governor Sam Brownback, Kansas hired three private managed care providers to run the daily operations of the state’s $3.2 billion Medicaid program. The new program called KanCare, went into effect January 1. Vintage Park began transitioning out of accepting new Medicaid clients shortly after KanCare was first announced in Nov 2011. Two other for-profit chains mentioned in this article, Americare and Midwest Health, insist they’ll continue to accept Medicaid while sympathizing with Vintage Park for opting out of the program. Their comments as Vintage Park competitors follow a winning step-by-step process for media relations by:
- Upholding and affirming the industry at large (assisted living)
- Showing camaraderie and understanding with the company under discussion (Vintage Park)
- Distinguishing your company in a tangible way (we still participate in the Medicaid program)
For both Americare and Midwest Health, skilled nursing homes (11, 24 respectively) make up a larger share of their operations than assisted living communities (6, 11 ) do. Residents of skilled nursing homes are much more likely to depend on Medicaid to pay for their stay than those at assisted living homes, which generally don’t accept Medicaid. This is not spelled out in the KHI article but would be understood to anyone familiar with the senior housing industry.
- Colorado Springs makes room for Six New Assisted Living Facilites (scstuffblog.wordpress.com)
- Kansas House panel votes against expanding Medicaid (kansas.com)
- House panel seeks to block Medicaid expansion (cjonline.com)