LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Legislative Council will hold a special meeting Friday at the request of members who said they did not know what they were voting on when they approved limiting group therapy benefits for Medicaid recipients last week.
Rep. David Branscum, R-Marshall, co-chairman of the council, said the body’s rules require a meeting to be scheduled when at least 31 members request one, and that threshold was met.
Last Friday, the council approved without discussion a proposal by Medicaid Inspector General Elizabeth Smith to cap Medicaid reimbursements for group therapy at one hour per day, in place of the current hour-and-a-half cap, and at 25 one-hour sessions per year. The caps are to take effect Oct. 1.
The limits had been approved earlier by a subcommittee of the council. The council voted Friday to approve the subcommittee’s actions with no discussion of the details.
Branscum said some members want to expunge the vote.
“They didn’t know what they were voting for last time,” he said.
Some health-care providers have objected to the limits, saying they would cause some patients patients to experience rapid deterioration and increased hospitalizations, incarcerations and homelessness.
Smith’s office has said Arkansas’ spending on group therapy significantly exceeds that of surrounding states.