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Newsroom SRS implements cost containment measures for physical disability services

Topeka – As the State of Kansas continues to face revenue shortfalls and economic uncertainty, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) has taken steps to conserve resources and avoid all non-essential expenditures, including holding positions vacant and refraining from implementing planned new programs.

At this point additional spending cuts are necessary to help the state maintain the balanced budget required by the Kansas Constitution.  SRS is currently developing a sustainable plan for additional revisions to the agency’s budget, including reductions or restrictions to existing services and programs.  

SRS is imposing an immediate freeze in access and beginning a waiting list for the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver program for individuals with physical disabilities. During the current fiscal year, the rate of growth in the waiver has increased significantly, far outpacing the appropriated funding levels.  This action is not taken to cut the budget, but to avoid further overspending.

Therefore, effective December 1, 2008 no new participants will be added to physical disability waiver services.  This change will be in effect at least until July 1, 2009.  This action will allow SRS to continue providing services to the approximately 7,000 Kansans currently receiving these waiver services.  

The HCBS waiver for individuals with physical disabilities serves individuals, age 16 to 65 years of age, who meet the criteria for nursing facility placement due to their physical disability, who are determined disabled by social security standards, and who are Medicaid eligible.  

At this time waiting lists are not being implemented or planned for HCBS services for the frail elderly, individuals with traumatic brain injuries, and medically fragile children who require technological assistance to manage intensive medical needs.