By Chad Rodgers, MD, FAAP

Happy New Year! The 2018 health care world will continue to be challenging, both nationally and in Arkansas. AFMC remains more committed than ever to our mission of “Improving health care. Improving lives.” We look forward to working with you to respond to this changing world and help you deliver care in the best way.

Arkansas leads the country with practice transformation (PT) to the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). AFMC remains your PT partner. Although many practices have completed their two years of PT support funding, AFMC continues to offer extensive services to support practices. You can directly contact our NCQA-certified PCMH PT outreach team for assistance.

Migrating to a new Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) after 30 years presents many challenges. AFMC’s outreach team works directly with practices to make this transition and to troubleshoot any DXC barriers. Multiple webinars are available in the training and education section at afmc.org/mmis, and your outreach specialist is always available for ongoing support. The more efficient MMIS will improve providers’ and the state’s capabilities to manage Medicaid patients.

A new program supported by DHS is AFMC’s beneficiary outreach services. Our education team hosts Medicaid benefits workshops in every county to empower patients to use Medicaid benefits appropriately. These sessions incorporate health literacy and cultural competence, helping beneficiaries choose a primary care provider, use emergency departments appropriately, keep wellness visits and learn to manage chronic diseases. Our outreach team can visit with your patients at your clinic, hospital or other settings.

AFMC is your quality improvement organization. Our Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) project communication tools supported by Arkansas Medicaid received an international award. These educational materials were distributed to Arkansas two- and four-year colleges. LARC materials are available to your practice and hospital at no cost by ordering from our website at afmc.org/shop/.

We also have resources to help with alcohol use disorder, depression screening, diabetes education, opioid prescribing and breastfeeding promotion. AFMC works with hospitals to achieve performance bonus payments through the Arkansas Medicaid Inpatient Quality Incentive program; $3.2 million was distributed to 15 Arkansas hospitals this year.

Most importantly, AFMC remains your main quality utilization review organization. We have a diverse and experienced review staff to ensure that health care services reimbursed by public and private health plans are medically necessary and provided in the most efficient manner. We have Arkansans reviewing the work of Arkansans with the knowledge and familiarity of the most appropriate treatment settings available for your patients. External physician advisers (PAs) in primary care and multiple specialties from across the state, perform needed reviews. PAs can work from home in their own schedule with a secure connection using our new review platform developed by AFMC’s IT team, AFMC ReviewPoint. PAs contract on an hourly basis and the amount of time is flexible. Learn more about this exciting part-time income opportunity at afmc.org/physicianreviewer.