By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—The promised dream of Regional Care Organizations (RCOs) saving the State’s underfunded and overburdened Medicaid system continues to unravel.
Just recently, the University of Birmingham Medical Systems and Viva Heath Inc., abandoned their programs indefinitely, citing the instability of State funding.
Last month, The Alabama Political Reporter obtained a letter from Mike Warren, President and CEO of Children of Alabama, to Medicaid Agency Commissioner Stephanie Azar in which he detailed the failure of the RCO plan adopted by Gov. Robert Bentley (which was approved by the State Legislature). In it, Warren offers a withering critique of the programs including the false promise of cost savings under the RCO model. “The numbers are frightening,” Warren writes. “RCOs will actually cost the State’s General Fund a substantial amount more than keeping the current program funded.”