WICHITA, Kan. — A skilled nursing home provider has sued Kansas on behalf of 21 patients it claims are at risk of being thrown out of its facilities because the state has allegedly not processed their Medicaid applications in a timely manner.
The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society filed its federal lawsuit Thursday against the Michael Randol, the director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The suit contends those patients have been unable to pay for their room, board, care and other services because of state’s failure to timely comply with federal and state Medicaid laws. The lawsuit argues federal law requires the state to make an eligibility determination on a Medicaid application within 45 days.
A spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services said the agency cannot comment on pending litigation, but said the state is resolving the backlog problems.
The state has reduced the Medicaid application backlog from roughly 10,000 this summer to about 1,500 now, said spokeswoman Angela de Rocha.
“Eligibility determination for individuals already admitted to nursing homes can be some of the most difficult eligibility cases that we have,” de Rocha said.
Donald Snook, the attorney representing Good Samaritan, did not immediately return phone and email messages.
Good Samaritan, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, operates 32 nursing homes across Kansas, according to its website.
Some of the patients named in the lawsuit were admitted to its skilled nursing home facilities as far back as 2013. Outstanding balances on their individual nursing home accounts ranged from $24,562 to $84,133, according to the lawsuit.
The nursing home contends the state’s inaction places the patients at risk of being discharged from Good Samaritan and jeopardizes their health, safety, and well-being.