Southbound lanes of I-65 shut down in Morgan County because of damaged bridge

Huntsville company chosen to manage care for Medicaid patients

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HUNTSVILLE , Ala. (WHNT) –  When uninsured patients get sick often go to the hospital, starting a costly and inefficient cycle.

“We fix them, they go home, maybe they see their doctor maybe they don`t. In many cases if they don`t get proper care they get sick and end up back in the hospital,” said David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital CEO.

He says current standard of care does little to help Medicaid patients remain healthy.

So now, the state plans to  incentivize new Regional Care Organizations (RCOs) to manage and supplement Medicaid patients’ healthcare.

This week, Huntsville Hospital-backed Alabama Community Care was selected to cover 23 counties in north and west-central Alabama.

The not-for-profit plans to employ pharmacists, dietitians, nurses, and even social workers to help keep medicaid patients healthy. If approved, Alabama Community Care would be paid a set amount for each Medicaid patient.

Now that Governor Bentley has announced he is considering an expansion of Medicaid in Alabama, the need for RCOs could become even greater.

“We are basically a poor state, and that would help a lot of people get access to insurance that otherwise aren’t going to get access to insurance,” said Spillers. “It’s a lot of money coming to the state. Potentially more than a billion dollars a year and we need that money in our state.”

Alabama Community Care and other Regional Care Organizations are not expected to open until October of 2016.