Patient advocates want the CMS to intervene as Kansas struggles with a mounting backlog of Medicaid applications.
State data last month revealed that 10,961 applicants have waited more than 45 days for applications to be processed. That number is up from 7,745 in February.
“Ongoing delays risk depriving applicants of necessary medical care through no fault of their own,” Rocky Nichols, director of the Disability Rights Center of Kansas said in a letter to the agency. “The delays and violations are so widespread and systemic that we ask CMS to take any and all steps needed to protect the rights and health of those in need of Medicaid assistance.”
Nichols said the state is violating due process by failing to inform citizens of their rights, including the right to an administrative appeal whenever the state fails to process an application in a timely manner.
Nichols' organization would like to see the CMS push the state to develop a formal plan on dealing with the backlog.
Progress is being made to break the bottleneck, said Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Angela de Rocha.
Last week, state officials informed the CMS they expect to have the backlog cleared by September, de Rocha said.
A CMS spokesman said the agency will continue to work with the state on its efforts.
The CMS previously has looked into Kansas' issues with its application process. In 2014, Kansas was one of six states the agency sent letters to inquiring about delays.
As of April 2016, Kansas has enrolled 411,106 individuals in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, a net increase of 8.71% from 2013, according to federal data.