What Happens When an Algorithm Cuts Your Health Care

Algorithmic tools like the one Arkansas instituted in 2016 are everywhere from health care to law enforcement, altering lives in ways the people affected can usually only glimpse, if they know they’re being used at all.

Feature (Arkansas, NATIONAL)

Colin Lecher
March 21, 2018

Tags: Algorithm, Disability Rights, Medicaid

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid of Arkansas (LAA) (Jonesboro, AR)


Shortly after Arkansas started using the algorithm in 2016, Kevin De Liban, an attorney for Legal Aid of Arkansas, started to receive complaints. Someone said they were hospitalized because their care was cut. A slew of others wrote in about radical readjustments.

De Liban first learned about the change from a program beneficiary named Bradley Ledgerwood. The Ledgerwood family lives in the tiny city of Cash, in the Northeast of the state. Bradley, the son, has cerebral palsy, but stays active, following basketball and Republican politics, and serving on the city council.