Arkansas governor announces ARHOME expansion for rural health services

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) – Those in rural Arkansas communities may get better access to healthcare, thanks to a new expansion.

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that a request to amend the state’s Medicaid program, Arkansas Health and Opportunity for Me (ARHOME), to include the Life360 HOMEs service had been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

According to a news release, the Life360 HOMEs service would address several challenges for Arkansas’ most vulnerable residents, including people with high-risk pregnancies, serious mental illness and substance use disorder diagnoses, and young adults at risk for long-term poverty and poor health outcomes.

The governor said the aim of the service is to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates around the state, fill gaps in the care for those with SMI and SUD diagnoses and increase active participation among those improving their health and addressing health-related social needs.

“These Life360 HOMEs are a critical component of the ARHOME program, and the additional services and supports that they will make available to Arkansans across this state have the potential to make a profound impact on the health of our citizens,” he said. “Thank you to our federal partners and the teams at the Arkansas Department of Human Services for making this program a reality. I am eager to see the positive outcomes it will bring when it is fully implemented.”

There will be three types of Life360s to target specific populations across the state.

  • Maternal Life360s will support women who have high-risk pregnancies. Intensive care coordination will be provided through home-visiting programs pre- and post-natal. Services will be provided during pregnancy and up to 24 months after the baby is born. Hospitals with obstetric units can be Maternal Life360s.
  • Rural Life360s will support individuals with mental illness or substance use disorder (SUD) who live in rural areas of the state by providing intensive care coordination through coaches employed by rural hospitals. They also directly provide community screens for health-related social needs for enrolled clients and will receive funding to operate an Acute Crisis Unit.
  • Success Life360s will support young adults most at risk of long-term poverty and associated poor health outcomes due to involvement with the foster care system, prior incarceration, or involvement with the juvenile justice system, and young adult veterans who are at high risk of homelessness. The Success Life360s will provide intensive care coordination directly or contract with community organizations to do so.

“Each of the three types of Life360s provides a connection to services that will make Arkansans healthier,” said Mark White, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Human Services. “With today’s announcement that this innovative component of the ARHOME program has received federal approval, we are ready to deliver new supports that will lead to better health outcomes and stronger communities.”

You can find more information on the ARHOME Life360s by clicking here.