Special to the
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Monday that the federal government has approved a new statewide care-management program to complement and enhance the state’s current system of long-term care services provided to approximately 23,000 Alabama Medicaid recipients.
The Integrated Care Network (ICN) program was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Sept. 12 to offer more community options for Medicaid long-term care recipients. The ICN program is for Medicaid recipients who live in a nursing facility, or receive services in their homes through Medicaid’s Elderly and Disabled (E&D) waiver or the Alabama Community Transition (ACT) waiver.
“This is a significant step in our efforts to transform the delivery of services to Medicaid recipients. My goal remains to ensure that all Alabamians receive high-quality health care, no matter their economic status,” Governor Ivey said. “We will continue to work with CMS to improve our Medicaid system and look for new, innovative ways to bring quality health care to our citizens, especially those in rural Alabama.”
Alabama Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar said, “Over the last few years, Medicaid has been working with the Legislature, CMS and many stakeholders to develop a long-term care program that responds to the needs of these recipients while being sustainable under the state budget. I appreciate the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for approving Alabama’s plan.”
Commissioner Azar also praised the efforts of state Senator Greg Reed (R-Jasper), who in 2015 introduced legislation to create the ICN. “Senator Reed has championed the development of this initiative that will not only help Medicaid recipients now but will lay the foundation to meet future needs in the state,” she said.
With the ICN program, the state will implement a system of case management, outreach and education, with the long-term goal of increasing the percentage of Medicaid recipients receiving in-home care. Alabama Select Network will administer the program under contract with the agency.
The program does not change any Medicaid benefits, but will help recipients learn about and apply for services available to them, such as medication management, support for independent living, or help to manage or prevent illness or accidents.
Medicaid recipients and potential recipients can learn more about long-term care services available to them by calling 1-800-243-5463.