Press Release

Asa Arkansas's Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10.15.2015

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces New Payment Integrity Unit

LITTLE ROCK – One of the elements identified by Governor Asa Hutchinson for health care reform in Arkansas is to strengthen Medicaid program integrity. To that end, the Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services (DMS) and the Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG), at the request of the Governor, have proposed the establishment of a new Payment Integrity Unit within the Department of Human Services (DHS), and a corresponding division within OMIG.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

"Among the seven elements of healthcare reform that I outlined to the legislative task force was improving the integrity of the Medicaid program. This is an important step in that direction. We have an obligation to the taxpayers of Arkansas to make certain public programs like Medicaid are run efficiently and with integrity."

Details on the Payment Integrity Proposal:

Arkansas has a significant opportunity to increase recoveries, as the state has annual Medicaid recoveries of only 4 basis points per year (0.04%, or $2.1 million).  Compared with Florida (0.17%), Georgia (0.35%), and Arizona (0.44%), Arkansas has significant room for growth and increased savings.  

This new Payment Integrity Unit will focus on prevention and recoveries by utilizing data analytics and industry best practices to identify systemic sources of waste.  DHS and OMIG will then collaborate on correcting the existing policies, new training for DHS and provider staff, and addressing shortcomings in the current claim processing procedures.

In order to accomplish these goals, five new positions will be added to DHS and two new positions to OMIG. DHS will fund all new positions for both DHS and OMIG through savings expected as a result of enhanced payment integrity functions.

DHS’ new staff will report directly to the Deputy Director and will include a unit lead, a vendor manager, a clinical expert, and two new analysts.

OMIG’s staff will include a division manager to highlight the necessary changes in policy and coordinate those efforts with DHS, while the support specialist will handle the analysis of issues raised by vendors and conduct research in support of the initiative.  

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3612)