Arkansas officials aim to curb Medicaid costs - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas officials aim to curb Medicaid costs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A proposal to change the way Arkansas' Medicaid program pays for services could get initial approval from the federal government soon, but officials warn a future shortfall is possible even if the reforms are enacted.

The program is facing a shortfall of up to $80 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2012.

Gov. Mike Beebe sent Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius a letter seeking permission to begin work on the changes. He proposed developing a new system "that will promote coordinated, evidence-based care while bending the cost curve."

The main focus will be to switch from a fee-for-service model for reimbursing providers to pay partnerships of local providers, which Department of Human Services director John Selig says could help officials avoid paying for duplicate tests.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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