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AHCCCS to reduce providers’ pay rates on April 1

Francisco Felix, left, who still wears his hospital tags on his wrist as he comforts his wife Flor Felix, was prepped to get a new lifesaving liver at a Phoenix hospital today, returned home a couple hours later without the surgery, shown at his home Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, in Laveen, Ariz.  The 32-year-old Phoenix resident is one of dozens of Arizona patients who need liver transplants but can't get them because of moneysaving budget cuts to the state's Medicaid system. The new cuts mean patients who get medical coverage from the state's Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS, will not get liver transplants if they have Hepatitis C. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Francisco Felix, left, who still wears his hospital tags on his wrist as he comforts his wife Flor Felix, was prepped to get a new lifesaving liver at a Phoenix hospital today, returned home a couple hours later without the surgery, shown at his home Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, in Laveen, Ariz. The 32-year-old Phoenix resident is one of dozens of Arizona patients who need liver transplants but can

Arizona’s Medicaid program plans to reduce its payment rates to hospitals, doctors and other health care providers by 5 percent but not until April 1.

The current state budget approved last spring by the Legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer authorized the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment to cut its provider rates as a budget-balancing step.

AHCCCS officials have already frozen rates of payments to providers. But they say the April 1 rate reduction is also necessary because the end of additional federal subsidies for states’ Medicaid costs will put the program in too much of a pinch.

Other cost-cutting steps already implemented include eliminating some benefits and freezing enrollment in the KidsCare program.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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