The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

April 6, 2013

Legislators start talking about changing Medicaid


Carlock said a physician referral brought an immigrant family to the Care Network. Their baby boy had been born with serious heart malformations. The only person in the family who could speak English was his 8-year-old sister. When Carlock made a home visit, the family of five had no furniture, no beds, no food and no transportation. Their tiny son needed a cardiac specialist, but that doctor is in Birmingham, 100 hundred miles away. They live crisis to crisis.

Carlock arranged for a ride to the hospital in Birmingham. She was able to get mattresses, linens and food for them. She connected them to a social worker. Case workers from Care Network now visit to make sure the family has followed up on the baby's doctor's appointments and medicines and that they have translation services.

Other plans under consideration include an administrative service organization that could be selected to serve specific needs of the different regions, said David White, the governor's health policy adviser. Or, an RCO could be local consortiums of doctors, dentists and others who feel they could use capitated state funding to provide services and have enough left over to turn a profit. If either of these types of businesses fails to break even, they would have to absorb the loss. That provision in the proposed bill limits financial risks for taxpayers.

The legislature is set to work on the bill again next week.

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