Alabama Senate Committee Approves Medicaid Reform bill

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The Alabama Senate health committee has passed their version of the Medicaid reform bill, clearing the way for debate on the Senate floor.

The bill passed unanimously Wednesday after multiple public meetings.

Dr. Don Williamson, the state health officer, answered questions about possible locations for several regional care organizations, a cornerstone of the proposed model.

Regions would be decided based upon actuarial recommendations, should the bill pass the legislature. Within a region, patients would still have a choice of doctors.

By replacing the current "fee-for-service" system with a model that uses regional management organizations, financial risks are spread over several companies instead of held only by the state.

The bill now moves to the entire Senate. A House committee passed its version earlier Wednesday.