News Room

 

Of Benefit to All

Soon, Arkansas lawmakers will convene in a special legislative session that provides a tremendous opportunity to institute real reform in the state's Medicaid program. One critical issue up for debate will be whether Arkansas continues as one of the few states that does not use Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to help deliver cost containment, quality assurance, accountability and predictable costs for the state Medicaid program.

This is critical because more than 830,000 Arkansans depend on Medicaid, and state taxpayers spend over $5 billion annually to provide this health care. Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia use MCOs to manage some or all of their Medicaid programs, and it is a proven model that works.

The Stephen Group, an independent and well-respected health-care consulting firm, was commissioned in 2015 to provide an assessment of the state Department of Human Services' management of the Medicaid program. These experts validated that the state has excess utilization of many high-cost services such as ER visits and nursing homes, and has failed to implement proven practices to help manage costs.

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Health Task Force Meeting Could Bring Clarity on Managed Care in State (Erika Gee Commentary)

 

the-stephen-group
Members of The Stephen Group, presenting its findings in October to the Health Care Reform Legislative Task Force. (Brian Chilson/Arkansas Times)

Tuesday's primary results might constitute a positive sign for Gov. Asa Hutchinson's version of Medicaid expansion, dubbed "Arkansas Works." Specifically, eight House and Senate races were targeted by opponents of the private option and the outcomes of those primaries were considered by many as a possible mandate on Arkansas Works.

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Arkansas health reform report to include ‘out of the box’ ideas

John Stephen of The Stephen Group told the Health Reform Legislative Task Force that the report will come in three volumes: an assessment of the state’s current health care offerings; a set of recommendations regarding Medicaid and the private option; and a set of ideas and initiatives such as potentially changing the state’s "any willing provider law."

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It's time to move to home/community-based care and away from institutions

The Stephen Group, the consultant chosen to review Arkansas's health care system for the task force, presented the legislative panel on Wednesday with detailed information on behavioral health, developmental disability (DD) services and much more. It's in advance of an eventual set of recommendations that the group is scheduled to present in October.

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Most Medicaid Dollars Unaffected By Cost Reforms

John Stephen with The Stephen Group told the Heath Reform Legislative Task Force that Arkansas is spending $3 billion of the $4 billion it dedicates to traditional Medicaid on those populations. That does not include Arkansans served by the private option, the program that uses Medicaid dollars to purchase private insurance. See more at: http://talkbusiness.net/2015/09/consultant-most-medicaid-dollars-unaffected-by-cost-reforms/#sthash.6Qtt6SlZ.dpuf

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Austin-American Statesman

"[T]he Department of Family and Protective Services hired a consulting group — The Stephen Group — to conduct a top to bottom review of Child Protective Services. The result was a remarkably informative 475-report filled with details on how the agency operates, what's not working and how to fix it."

http://investigations.blog.statesman.com/2014/12/03/72/

 

San Antonio Express-News

"[A] consulting group, The Stephen Group, reviewed CPS exit interviews from an entire year as part of an overall agency review. That report was remarkably insightful"

http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/editorials/article/Let-public-see-CPS-exit-interviews-5976244.php

 

Texas Child Protective Services

Review says CPS hobbled by bureaucracy, high turnover

CBS Reports: Independent Review Outlines Steps for CPS Transformation

La Prensasa Reports: Independent Review Outlines Steps for CPS Transformation

KGNS Reports: Independent Review Outlines Steps for CPS Transformation

 

Rhode Island Governor seeks renewal of landmark Global Medicaid Waiver. Governor calls Waiver “an important and powerful tool” to control healthcare costs.

Rhode Island’s Secretary of Health and Human Services explains that the Global Waiver “has been hugely beneficial to the state.”

Please see Renewal of ‘global waiver’ sought on Page A11 of Friday, January 25, 2013 issue of The Providence Journal (link: http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/ProJo/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=VFBKLzIwMTMvMDEvMjU.&pageno=MTE.&entity=QXIwMTEwMw..&view=ZW50aXR5)

Study shows that Medicaid reform is working in Rhode Island: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204632204577126650419797954.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop