Governor Ducey today signed H.B. 2668, legislation to bring more resources into Arizona’s healthcare system by increasing Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) provider rates for hospitals, doctors and more. The legislation received broad bipartisan support in both chambers of the Arizona Legislature and will have no impact on Arizona’s general fund.
“Arizona’s medical professionals, our doctors, nurses, administrative staff and more, are stepping up to address COVID-19 and help others — and our state is grateful,” said Governor Ducey. “This legislation provides more resources to them, without costing our general fund one cent. My thanks to President Fann, Speaker Bowers and Committee Chairs Gowan and Cobb, as well as to members of both parties, for prioritizing health care for Arizonans.”
Organizations expressing support for H.B. 2668 include the Arizona Medical Association, the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, Arizona Nurses Association, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, the Arizona Bioindustry Association, and Arizona Association of Health Plans.
“The priority of our hospital systems is to ensure world-class, quality care for the people of Arizona,” said Health System Alliance of Arizona Executive Director Jennifer Carusetta. “The Health Care Investment Act will provide the critical resources needed to meet the growing demand for services across the state. The diverse coalition supporting this bill shows how important a strong health care delivery system is for our current COVID-19 response and for the overall health of the state.”
In addition to taking steps to support Arizona’s health care professionals, Governor Ducey recently has implemented new measures to ensure health care access for all Arizonans. Today, Governor Ducey issued an Executive Order requiring health care insurance companies to expand telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered for an in-person visit. The governor also made a request today to the federal government to open a special enrollment period on the Federal Insurance Marketplace. If granted, the action would allow individuals who have recently lost a job or had their income reduced due to COVID-19 to access health care on the federal marketplace.
Yesterday, AHCCCS received federal approval to implement programmatic changes to help ensure access to health care for kids and vulnerable Arizonans. Arizona was one of the first states to submit a request to waive certain Medicaid and KidsCare (CHIP) program requirements in order to address the COVID-19 outbreak. Yesterday, the governor also notified the Center For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of his decision to exempt the State of Arizona from a federal regulation requiring Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) to be supervised by a physician. The reform will expand access to care, especially in rural areas, and free up physicians for other needed medical services.