Fayetteville Non-Profit Concerned with Future of PASSE Program, Poses Challenges


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA)– A local non-profit is raising concerns over a Medicaid-funded program that provides services for people with developmental disabilities or behavioral health issues.

Life Styles, Inc. supports people with disabilities and says the provider-led Arkansas Shared Savings Entity Program, or Passe, is deeply affecting organizations in our area.

Life Styles, Inc. Executive Director John Newman says his organization has signed up for membership with PASSE, but reimbursement has been inconsistent.

This affects the payroll of its 300 staff members.

“I think we started fast and we didn’t have a lot of those issues worked out before we started. That’s one of the issues that I’m seeing and the people that work here at Life Styles are seeing just at every level there are concerns, and there are issues that have yet to be resolved. It has created a much more inefficient system,” Newman said.

Life Styles, Inc. has not had to make cuts yet, but Newman says they’re being more conservative in spending.

Newman says the primary concern is making sure services remain the same for clients.

Starting in May, some patients could lose their primary care physicians or pediatricians if a contract between PASSE and their healthcare provider is not negotiated.

KNWA previously reported that Northwest Arkansas Pediatrics did not have a contract with PASSE, causing many patients to no longer be covered.

On Wednesday the clinic announced it has contracts with two of the PASSE plans and will be in-network for Arkansas Total Care and Summit.

It will continue to negotiate with the third PASSE plan option. 

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