LITTLE ROCK — The state Department of Human Services will ask state legislators this week to review a proposed rule calling for creation of a key component of the state's planned overhaul of its health care payment system.
LITTLE ROCK — The state Department of Human Services will ask state legislators this week to review a proposed rule calling for creation of a key component of the state’s planned overhaul of its health care payment system.
The rule, scheduled to be reviewed Wednesday by the House and Senate committees on public health, welfare and labor, would direct state officials to set up a website where health care providers would submit information about the care they provide in a handful of treatment areas.
The website, or “multi-payor provider portal” as DHS calls it, would launch July 1. DHS officials plan to use the information submitted via the portal to track individual courses of treatment, or “episodes” of health care, and compile reports on their outcomes, which will then be posted to the site.
“It’s really two-pronged,” said Dawn Zekis, director of health care innovation for the state Medicaid program. “One, the providers will come to the portal to submit data — for some but not all episodes — but the other big piece of the portal is to actually come there, then also download the reports that really give that overall sense of, ‘How am I doing as a provider on this episode as well as how do I compare against my peers?’”
As an example, Zekis said a report could track the levels at which different doctors are prescribing antibiotics for certain infections and compare their levels of success.
Gov. Mike Beebe has said he wants to replace the current payment system, in which doctors are paid for each service they provide, with an outcome-based system in which doctors are paid for episodes of care.
The state is trying to reduce the burden on its Medicaid program, which is expected to face a shortfall of between $250 million and $400 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2013. The payment reform initiative is not expected to prevent the shortfall, but state officials say it should lessen the impact.
Republican leaders in the state House have said they will propose alternatives to Beebe’s plan if they win a majority in November.
Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield and the state Medicaid program would cover the cost of creating the website, which is expected to be “minimal,” DHS spokeswoman Amy Webb said Monday.
DHS has already collected public comments on the proposed rule. The rule also must be reviewed by the Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee of the state Legislative Council, which is scheduled to meet May 16.