September 17, 2014

State of Alabama
Press Release: Medicaid

Alabama chosen for NGA policy academy to aid Medicaid transformation

Alabama and two other states have been selected by the National Governors Association (NGA) to participate in a year-long policy academy aimed at helping states use Medicaid to transform the delivery of services for those enrolled in the system, Governor Robert Bentley announced on September 17.

“Governors are uniquely situated to look across their entire health systems to create solutions that span both the public and private markets,” Governor Bentley said. “Through collaborative efforts among state agencies, communities, stakeholders, payers and providers, governors can steer action toward a common vision of a transformed health care system for a state.”

Dr. Don Williamson, Alabama’s state health officer and chair of the Alabama Medicaid Agency Transition Task Force, will lead a team of six people who will meet with NGA staff and other experts about Alabama’s proposed regional care organizations (RCOs).

RCOs are proposed managed-care systems that hospitals and other health-care providers could create, with the Alabama Medicaid agency’s approval, to provide health care to Medicaid beneficiaries. In return, the agency would pay each RCO a set amount per person. By law, RCOs must sign contracts to care for Medicaid beneficiaries no later than Oct. 1, 2016.

Williamson said the policy academy will help Alabama improve its proposed RCO system.

“Alabama’s selection as a participant in the NGA policy academy will help expedite and improve our efforts to transform Medicaid into the most effective and efficient delivery system possible,’’ Williamson said. Governor Bentley said health care for hundreds of thousands of Alabamians would be better and cost less with RCOs.

“We believe the project will improve health outcomes and delivery of care for Alabama Medicaid beneficiaries and also lower costs for Alabama and the federal government. I support this effort and endorse Alabama’s participation in the NGA policy academy,” Bentley said.

Officials from Alabama, Nevada and Washington will work with experts within the NGA Center for Best Practices, other national experts and peers to identify ways to accelerate the pace of statewide Medicaid reforms by examining financing issues, stakeholder relations and other topics.

Additional details about the NGA announcement can be found here:–news-releases/col2-content/governors-to-concentrate-on-medi.html

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