Health Department phasing out home services program | Arkansas Blog

Health Department phasing out home services program

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Channel 4 reports that some 2,300 workers — 500 on the state payrol and about 1,800 of them contract workers — will be affected by a state Health Department decision to phase out a home services program because of financial constraints and private home health competition.

About 13,000 people get the service through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. It can include a nurse visit for everything from routine health checks to wound care and more intensive services.

A letter from Dr. Nathaniel Smith says the agency will work with those currently receiving services to make a switch to a private provider of services. Details are not yet available.

A department spokesman said the program was "barely breaking even" because of an 18 percent decline in revenue and a 28 percent drop in patients because of competition. The legislature was notified of the coming change at a committee meeting this morning.

The spokesman said it was hoped the Health Department could find jobs for the 500 regular employees elsewhere in the department, with other state agencies or perhaps the private agencies providing the service, but there's no guarantee of that at the moment.


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