Panel OKs dropping Medicaid for some hepatitis C patients

A Kansas legislative panel is recommending that hepatitis C patients who drink alcohol or stop using their medications should lose Medicaid coverage.

The KanCare Oversight Committee also recommended this week that the state health department use step therapy, which requires Medicaid patients to try cheaper treatments first and receive more expensive treatments only if the other medicines fail. State law currently forbids that practice.

The Wichita Eagle reports ( that Sen. Jim Denning, a Republican from Overland Park, suggested the proposals.

Republicans on the panel said the state shouldn’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on someone with hepatitis C who doesn’t follow doctor’s orders.

The two Democrats on the committee voted against the hepatitis C proposal, with one calling it a “death sentence” for some patients.

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,