Briefing for Reporters on State Health Initiatives

February 19, 2016

A governor met with reporters Friday, February 19 to discuss the latest health care innovations and changes they are pursuing or implementing. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., discussed his experience with the state’s program to move newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries to qualified health plans, and his intentions for changes moving forward.

Many states are implementing their own health initiatives, such as tying Medicaid payment to value and integrating behavioral health and primary care. States have long used Medicaid 1115 waivers to give them flexibility to test new delivery models and benefit designs. Starting in 2017, states can also use section 1332 waivers to bypass ACA requirements and institute their own reforms. Though, after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance in December 2015, the amount of flexibility these waivers provide is in question.

The governor provided the latest on health care initiatives in his state and discussed challenges. This included a discussion on Medicaid changes, waiver limitations, and budget considerations.

Governor Asa Hutchinson, Republican, Arkansas

Alan Weil of Health Affairs and Marilyn Serafini of the Alliance for Health Reform moderated.

With thanks to the The Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy for its support of this briefing.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)