Alabama seeks fed­eral ap­proval for de­lay in switch to man­aged care

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Vir­gil Dick­son

Alabama wants to de­lay plans to move its Med­i­caid pro­gram to a man­aged-care model with re­gional care or­ga­ni­za­tions. State of­fi­cials say fi­nan­cial is­sues might make it tough to im­ple­ment a pro­gram that was aimed at low­er­ing health­care costs and im­prov­ing pa­tient care.

Last year, the CMS ap­proved an 1115 waiver that pro­vided up to $748 mil­lion over five years to move Alabama away from tra­di­tional fee-for-ser­vice health­care de­liv­ery. Even with the fed­eral dol­lars, the state told the CMS it does not have money to help providers switch to RCOs.

Alabama of­fi­cials are look­ing to de­lay the plans un­til Oct. 1, 2017.

Repub­li­can Gov. Robert Bent­ley, a li­censed physi­cian, last year said he was com­mit­ted to mov­ing for­ward with the switch to man­aged care. He ad­mit­ted then there were a few un­knowns, in­clud­ing state fund­ing and whether the Don­ald Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion will give states block grants al­low­ing more flex­i­bil­ity to write the rules for their pro­grams.

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