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

Arkansas Medicaid Update

According to my legislative sources and discussions around the state capitol the administration’s proposal to expand AR Medicaid by over 250,000 people is in trouble. It will take over 75 votes in the house and 27 in the senate to pass an appropriations bill for it. It does not appear the votes are there. There is some discussions about a partial or small expansion of the program if the program was made more efficient and Medicaid participants were made to make small co-payments.