While the fate of the private option awaits another vote on Tuesday, some results of a different healthcare program in Arkansas – the Arkansas Payment Improvement Initiative – are out.
In his weekly radio address Governor Mike Beebe said the plan has insurers pay for episodes of care rather than individual treatments or tests.
“The initiative rewards health-care providers who furnish patients with high-quality care at appropriate costs. Most of our Medicaid clients are now in a Patient Centered Medical Home where the primary care clinician has assumed responsibility for improving quality and managing costs. For select conditions, performance is measured in different “episodes” of care, which encompass the treatment a patient receives for a particular illness or disease from the time of first diagnosis through recovery,” said Beebe.
The governor said the program cuts down on costs and improves services.
“When primary-care providers actively encourage patients to use preventive services, patients can better manage chronic diseases on their own or avoid them all together. Serious illnesses and recurring symptoms lead to costly treatments, and can often be prevented. When patients receive appropriate follow up care after hospitalizations, the likelihood of readmission can be dramatically reduced, which also results in better health and lower costs for everyone,” said Beebe.
The governor said the program passed in 2012 is the first of its kind in the nation.