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Gov. Beebe, Wal-Mart plan health care announcement

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe and Wal-Mart officials are planning to announce an "important step" in the state's efforts to change the way Medicaid and private insurers in the state pay for medical services.

Beebe, state Surgeon General Joe Thompson and officials with the world's largest retailer plan an announcement Thursday at the state Capitol regarding the state's payment improvement initiative. The effort is aimed at moving away from a fee-for-service model to one where insurers pay for "episodes" of care rather than each individual treatment.

The reforms are intended to curb the growing costs of the state's health care system.

The state began rolling out the payment reforms in July.

The state partnered with Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and QualChioce of Arkansas on the initiative.

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