Incident 110: Arkansas's Opaque Algorithm to Allocate Health Care Excessively Cut Down Hours for Beneficiaries

Description: Beneficiaries of the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS)'s Medicaid waiver program were allocated excessively fewer hours of caretaker visit via an algorithm deployed to boost efficiency, which reportedly contained errors and whose outputs varied wildly despite small input changes.

Suggested citation format

Lutz, Roman. (2016-01-01) Incident Number 110. in McGregor, S. (ed.) Artificial Intelligence Incident Database. Responsible AI Collaborative.

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Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam

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What Happens When An Algorithm Cuts Your Health Care

For most of her life, Tammy Dobbs, who has cerebral palsy, relied on her family in Missouri for care. But in 2008, she moved to Arkansas, where she signed up for a state program that provided for a caretaker to give her the help she needed.…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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