Federal health officials have approved an additional 5 percent cut in the rates Arizona pays hospitals and other health-care providers to treat Medicaid patients.
The rate cuts are part of Gov. Jan Brewer’s budget-balancing package and are retroactive to Oct. 1. The Arizona Republic reports last week’s approval follows another 5 percent reduction in April and a rate freeze imposed in 2007.
The latest cut will save the state an estimated $95 million this year. Hospitals say they’re paying the price.
The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association says hospitals will now be paid 70 percent of what it costs to care for a Medicaid patient. Association vice president Pete Wertheim says the effect the cuts are taking a heavy toll on hospitals.