Matt DeCample, spokesman for Gov. Mike Beebe, says the state has received tentative approval from the federal Health and Human Services Department to implement restructuring of Medicaid. No changes are in the immediate offing to the program, mostly federally financed, which provides health care to the poor.
"This allows us to continue our course of talking to everyone and working with medical community to come up with specific changes," DeCample said. There's no timeline, but increased Medcaid costs are looming for the state. "We're going to be thorough. We have to make sure we are more efficent," DeCample said.
Doctors, hospitals and other recipients of the money fear receiving less. Beebe, of course, fears bankrupting the state and dramatically harming the people who receive service. The tentative approval means Arkansas can continue on a course to plan a new direction. Here's some background, though the jargon is daunting. The idea seems to be to move away from fees for services to a more "holistic" system, which I take to mean more emphasis on preventive and primary care.