Alabama Legislators Hear Comments about Medicaid

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Representatives from community groups and managed care companies are praising the Alabama Legislature's efforts to reorganize the state's Medicaid program.

Speakers told House and Senate members Tuesday that the proposal is a major first step, but they also voiced concerns for the bill before it goes to committees for public hearings and revisions.

The bill would change Medicaid from a fee-for-service program to a program where private-sector contractors develop care networks in up to eight regions of the state.

Executives with the four patient care networks in the state asked the legislature to consider expanding their community health care efforts during any reorganization.

Alabama Arise executive director Kimble Forrister said 18 consumer advocacy groups along with his organization are hoping "that consumers are involved at each step of" the legislative process.