2014 Hunger Action Breakfast, September 25th

   2014 Hunger Action Breakfast, September 25th

Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

I am so proud this year to be a host at the 2014 Hunger Action Breakfast. We expect more than 220 hunger advocates to gather at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion for the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance’s annual Hunger Action Breakfast. The event is the highlight of September’s Hunger Action Month observance and will honor those Arkansans who have shown exceptional leadership in
the fight against hunger in our state. Come out and join myself and my family at this great event. We still have a few tickets left. Please see below for ticket information. We hope to see you there!

~Ron Fuller

TICKETS: Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased by contacting Stephanie Purifoy at spurifoy@arhungeralliance.org or by calling 501.399.9999.

AR Medicaid Political Update

Governor Mike Beebe has asked the federal government for a wide ranging Medicaid deal that would allow AR to access federal funds to help with the anticipated $138 million dollar deficit, quicken the payment overhaul initiative which is currently underway and to assist with expanding the program to an additional 250 thousand people.
UAMS has picked a new CEO to run the hospital. Dr. Roxane Townsend, an administrator at LSU has been chosen as the new vice chancellor for clinical programs and CEO.  The hospital is exploring a partnership with Saint Vincent Health System, a private Catholic hospital in the hopes of reducing cost and to share services.
The AR Ethics Commission will ask the 2013 AR Legislature to enact legislation which will require committees that support or oppose ballot issues and legislative questions to report expenses made on their behalf by advertising agencies, public relations firms and political consultants as well as expenses made by the committees.

Arkansas Medicaid Webinars to air November 14th 3-5 pm

The State Medicaid Director of AR Medicaid has announced the implementation of webinars to help educate providers on developments in the AR payment overhaul program. The first session is scheduled for November 14th between 3-5 p.m. Information on how to sign up to view the Power-Point presentation with audio components will be on the payment improvement initiative web site at DHS.

Medicaid Co-Pay Being Considered in AR

Potential co-payment for Medicaid users is being discussed by legislators and the governors administration.
It is a carrot being considered by the Beebe administration to build support for the Medicaid expansion to 250 thousand more individuals.
We are early in the discussions says Dr. Joe Thompson the state surgeon general.
Currently none of the 780 thousand recipients make co-payments
Certain programs such as ARKids First Part B have small co-pays
Changes would require federal approval .
AR DHS says they are very open to discussions
Governor Beebe says that the expansion would be good for the state economy.
Expansion is a non starter with most Republicans at present. Republicans might support some expansion if certain reforms are met.
source: AR Democrat Gazette  +November 5, 2012

Medicaid Information Arkansas

Medicaid Information Arkansas
DHS Request for 2014 –  $1.15 billion in general revenues up from $803 million needed to cover the $358 million shortfall
DHS Request for 2015 – $1.27 billion in general revenue to cover an estimated shortfall of $467 million
Proposed expansion of  the Medicaid program in AR is not included in these figures. This will add roughly 250 thousand people to the Medicaid rolls. The federal government will fund the expansion completely until 2017 at which time the state must assume 10% of the cost.
Number of covered individuals:
2013- 792,000
2014- 808,000
2015- 824,000
Governor Beebe is looking for ” some combination of new general revenues and one time money from our $197 million dollar surplus to help fund the shortfalls.” Funding the  expansion of the Medicaid program in AR will take a three-fourths vote of both houses and this will be the major political battle during the 2013 legislative session.