Arkansas to combine children’s Medicaid programs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ An Arkansas legislative committee has approved rules tightening the eligibility requirements for state Medicaid programs serving children with developmental disabilities or delays.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the Tuesday decision by the Legislative Council's Administrative Rules and Regulations subcommittee will combine two preschool programs starting July 1. The Child Health Management Services and the Development Day Treatment Clinic Services serve about 18,000 children in total.

Children must have an assessed development disability or delay and a need for speech, occupational or physical therapy or nursing services to qualify for the new program.

Some providers are concerned the program will serve fewer children, including those with cognitive delays who don't need therapy or nursing care.

The rules will go to the council Friday for final approval.

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