Arkansas Privatizes State In-Home Services Program
Health officials in Arkansas announced on August 10 that the state will privatize its nonprofit, publicly governed In-Home Services program.
The transition to privatization will take place over the next six months. The program currently provides home care, hospice, maternal/infant, and case-management services to more than 13,000 Arkansans.
In a letter to program participants, Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) Director Nathaniel Smith said, “We have determined that the program is no longer sustainable for the agency due to financial constraints and competition from the private sector,” the Associated Press reported.
Revenues from the program have plummeted by 18 percent since the 2011 fiscal year. The number of consumers served by the program and the number of employees have also sharply declined.
In-Home Services employs more than 500 people directly as well as more than 1,800 as independent contractors, including home and personal care aides, KFSM-TV reported on August 10. They are only guaranteed jobs through the end of the six-month transitional period.
ADH Communications Director Dr. Marisha DiCarlo told KFSM that the state is “committed to assisting employees and making the transition seamless for all involved,” she said.
— by Matthew Ozga