Newly Created Alabama Medicaid Commission to Recommend Legislation

On Thursday, October 25, 2012, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley issued an Executive Order establishing a Medicaid Advisory Commission to make recommendations for legislation to bring financial stability and improve quality and efficiency in the state’s Medicaid program. The commission must make its recommendations by January 31, 2013 in preparation for the legislative session that begins February 5, 2013.

The commission will comprise about 25 members. State Health Office Dr. Don Williamson will serve as chair. Other members will include the chair and vice-chair of the state’s Joint Legislative Committee on Medicaid Policy, representatives of the agencies mental health and senior services agencies, and appointees of the Speaker of the state’s House of Representatives and the President of the Senate. Representatives will be appointed to represent hospitals, physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, clinics, hospices, pharmacists, insurers, and consumers.

 The commission must analyze the financial needs of the program and recommend a financial model within the state’s budget limitations that is sustainable over the long term and includes models for care delivery that support both quality of care and cost control. It also should address any potential means to increase transparency and fairness in the system. The Executive Order does not mention the issue of Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (P.L. 111-148).