Gov. Bentley says he's exploring Medicaid expansion - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Gov. Bentley says he's exploring Medicaid expansion

Governor Bentley says he's exploring state-created program that uses Medicaid expansion money. (Source: WAFF) Governor Bentley says he's exploring state-created program that uses Medicaid expansion money. (Source: WAFF)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced the first set of organizations approved to provide medical services to Medicaid users on Thursday.

The changes go into effect in October, 2016, but they are major changes that Bentley hopes will save the state major dollars as budgets get tighter.

The reform is all part of legislation passed last year that allows regional care organizations, or RCOs, to enter into contracts with Alabama Medicaid as a certain cost.

Under the current system, Alabama Medicaid pays individual doctors and hospitals.

During a news conference on Thursday, Bentley acknowledged not everyone is going to like this new system, but believes it is the best way to officer quality care to the roughly million people on Alabama Medicaid.

"When I was in practice for many years, i was not a proponent of managed care systems," said Bentley. "In fact, I didn't like managed care systems. I like fee for service as a provider. However, as a governor that's a little different situation. I realize that we have a finite amount of money and we need to use this as efficiently as we possibly can."

State officials say other RCOs could be approved before Jan. 1. 

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