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'Crickets': Kentucky Child Welfare Oversight Board questions CHFS

Senator Julie Raque Adams said having to ask Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services about where they were with regulations is "embarrassing."

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Lawmakers questioned the speed of which Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is implementing new changes on Wednesday.

Senator Julie Raque Adams said the Child Welfare and Oversight and Advisory Committee should have seen some movement by now, and said it reflects the state of CHFS.

“I had to put it in Senate Bill 8, to require you all to up this reimbursement. We required it. So on April 1, it took effect. Crickets,” she said.

To help with funding, the administration looked at changing Medicaid’s reimbursement rates, which they say hasn’t reflected the cost of care for 20 years.

Child advocacy centers testified back in 2021 that a medical exam cost is on average $2,000, and Medicaid only covered $500.

But, the lack of implementation, lawmakers said, is a serious delay.

“Because the fact that we had to bring you up here in front of this committee to ask you where you were, on this regulation, when the bill took effect on April 1, is embarrassing. It's embarrassing for the cabinet. And I'm quite honestly embarrassed that I have to sit up here and call you out on it,” Raque Adams said.

The bill would help open neglect cases earlier and would allow foster kids to stay in the system longer if they need to. 

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