Groups discuss possible changes to Medicaid

Groups discuss possible changes to Medicaid
Health care providers and beneficiaries were in Jonesboro Wednesday to discuss possible changes to the state's Medicaid system. (Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Healthcare providers and beneficiaries were in Jonesboro Wednesday night to learn about proposed changes to the state’s Medicaid system, with officials saying the meetings have given people a chance to discuss the plans.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services hosted the meeting at St. Bernards Auditorium. The meeting, one of five meetings around the state in recent weeks, gave people an opportunity to learn about AR Choices in Homecare, Living Choices, Independent Choices, Medicaid Personal Care Services and PACE.

The proposal that has drawn the most interest has been a proposed rate reduction involving assisted living and a plan possibly impacting the ability of family members to help take care of beneficiaries.

Mark White, the deputy director at DHS, said the meetings have given people an opportunity to express their opinions and discuss the proposals.

“But we have gotten a great deal of comments about that and we’ve also learned just how many individuals that are working now that are related to the person they work with, so we’re taking that into account and considering if that’s something we want to change in our final package,” White said.

The information gathered at Wednesday’s meeting is part of public comment and response that will be part of a final plan set to go to the state legislative committees in December.

Any proposals are expected to be implemented by Jan. 1.

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