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Tuesday, March 19 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Track 3: More than 66,000 Independent Assessments Help Arkansas Coordinate Care for Medicaid Beneficiaries with Chronic, High-Cost Needs

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Arkansas has ambitious goals to improve its Medicaid program, with goals to achieve $835 million in savings through SFY 2021 – mainly through program efficiencies, proper utilization of services, and better outcomes – while providing more coordinated and comprehensive services to those who need them.
Critical to this effort will be effectively coordinating care for a relatively small group of Medicaid beneficiaries who represent a significant percentage of costs due to their complex medical and behavioral health conditions, as well as their need for supportive services. This group encompasses about 35,000 beneficiaries accounting for about $500 million in annual spending.
To assess who needs what services – including how many and how often – the Arkansas Department of Human Services selected Optum to complete functional independent assessments; working closely with the state and providers, Optum completed more than 66,000 functional assessments in nine months-with many more to come. Results of the assessments are used to determine whether individuals are eligible for certain behavioral health Medicaid services; appropriateness of home- or community-based care versus more expensive institutional settings; and to develop care plans to improve this group’s health and quality of life. 
This session examines how Optum and Arkansas completed the assessments in nine months-conducting as many as 700 a day at one point – by tailoring a comprehensive assessment tool; employing health and human services professionals to conduct assessments; customizing the underlying technology platform required to support the tool and collect and report data, and offering provider training, support, and outreach.

avatar for Paula Stone

Paula Stone

Director for Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS)
Paula Stone is a Licensed Certified Social Worker with more than 25 years of experience in Behavioral Health. She worked as a mental health therapist and directed community-based programs in Arkansas before leaving the state to work in Florida, California and New Jersey. Her experience... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Petersen

Jennifer Petersen

Project Director, Arkansas DHS Independent Assessments, Optum
Jennifer Petersen is the Program Director for Optum State Government Solutions overseeing the Arkansas Independent Assessment Program. She was previously a regional director for the Veterans Health Administration, where she led the rural and telehealth programs along with implementing... Read More →

Tuesday March 19, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm PDT
Key Ballroom 10 (2nd Floor)