Oct. 19, 2012
The city of Phoenix invites residents to attend and offer feedback at two community meetings on the proposed City of Phoenix Access to Care ordinance.
The meetings are scheduled from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Sunnyslope Community Center, 802 E. Vogel Ave., and 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 29, at Maryvale Community Center, 4420 N. 51st Ave.
Over the next few months, the City Council is expected to discuss and possibly take action on the Phoenix Access to Care Ordinance. The ordinance would create a new funding source for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) payments to acute care hospitals within the city that provide significant amounts of uncompensated care to uninsured and low-income patients.
Major provisions of the ordinance include:
- City authorization to impose a short-term assessment on Phoenix acute care hospitals based on a percentage of the hospitals’ net inpatient revenues.
- The assessment will not require increased spending by the city and will not result in increased costs to patients and insurance companies.
- Certain hospitals would be exempt from the short-term assessment due to their special nature: government hospitals, specialty hospitals, small children’s hospitals, and hospitals that provide a significant percentage of care to out-of-state and Medicare patients.
- A separate Access to Care Fund would be created into which the short-term assessment revenues would be deposited. The city would then transfer this funding to the state (minus a small set-aside to cover the city’s administrative costs) to be used as the state’s share of new AHCCCS payments to Phoenix hospitals. The federal government would provide matching funds for its share of the payments – ultimately funding 66 percent of the payments. While common at the state level (more than 40 states have a provider assessment) cities have begun to utilize this model, with Philadelphia recently passing a similar ordinance.
- Phoenix acute care hospitals that provide significant amounts of uncompensated care to uninsured and low-income patients would receive payments based on their share of the uncompensated care.
- In addition, at least 10 percent of the money collected from the hospitals would be used to restore AHCCCS coverage for uninsured adults across Arizona. A portion of the assessment also would be set aside to fund uncompensated care payments to the Maricopa Integrated Health System through an already existing AHCCCS program.
The community meetings will provide an overview of the proposed ordinance, and residents will have the opportunity to provide feedback.
Residents unable to attend the public meetings may submit comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the City Manager’s Office at 602-262-7684.