Medicaid recipient disputes finding

WYNNE — A finding that a Parkin man no longer qualifies for help with daily living tasks was “essentially arbitrary” and should be overturned, an attorney told a Department of Human Services hearing officer on Friday.

During a hearing at the department’s Cross County office in Wynne, Legal Aid of Arkansas attorney Kevin De Liban argued that Bennie King’s health needs hadn’t diminished between March 2015, when he was found eligible for Medicaid, and January 2016, when he was found ineligible.

If anything, King, who is 79 and suffers from end-stage renal disease and heart disease, had simply grown a year older and deteriorated in health, De Liban said.

“These are conditions that don’t get better,” he said.

King echoed that point.

“I can’t do what I done last year,” he said.

Human Services Department attorney Angela Foster said King had improved.

An assessment using the department’s ArPath tool found in March 2015 that King needed “extensive assistance” moving from his bed to a wheelchair while a January 2016 assessment using the same tool found he needed only “limited assistance.”

The hearing officer, Otis Hogan, said he would take the matter under advisement and issue

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