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3/15/2013 Group Watch: Governor Backs Changes to Medicaid

Governor Robert Bentley announced his support for his Medicaid commission’s recommendations to overhaul the way the state delivers services in the healthcare program for the poor. Bentley said the proposal will end the state’s fee-for-service model in favor of a network of locally run managed-care networks. State Health Officer Don Williamson called the plan “potentially the most important health transformation” the state has seen. According to Williamson, the plan is built on the notion of paying for outcome and quality instead of visits and volume. The plan is estimated to save the state $50 million to $75 million each year over what Medicaid would otherwise cost. The Alabama Medicaid Agency will establish up to eight regions that will group Medicaid patients and hospitals and providers. The networks would help manage a patient’s care and provide wrap-around services to help get people to the doctor. There are approximately 940,000 people in Alabama on Medicaid – roughly 20 percent of the state’s population. Medicaid covers 53 percent of births, 43 percent of children and almost 67 percent of people in nursing homes. Many in the legislature favor a hybrid plan that would include local managed-care networks and commercial managed-care networks.


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