About 10,000 Arkansans who receive group-therapy services through Medicaid will be limited to 25 one-hour sessions a year under a rule change that will take effect next week.
An effort to rescind legislative approval of the change failed Friday for lack of enough votes.
Previously, the state’s Medicaid program had no limits on the number of sessions and paid for daily sessions of up to 90 minutes.
Opponents of the rule change say it will disrupt patient care and cause facilities to close.
Proponents, including state Medicaid Inspector General Elizabeth Smith, say it will save the state money and improve care by discouraging providers from excessively using or billing for the service.
Smith cited a report showing that, from 2013-15, Arkansas’ Medicaid program spent $147 million on group psychotherapy, more than six times the amount spent on the service by the Medicaid programs in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and West Virginia combined.
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Vote affirms mental-health Medicaid cap