“We are concerned the current reconciliation of CARES Act funding requirements will disproportionally affect Arizona hospitals that continue to operate tirelessly to serve their communities through the end of the pandemic and beyond,” wrote members of the Arizona Delegation.
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) launched “HEALTHII” – a program, approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that helps close the Medicaid payment-to-cost shortfall for hospitals and increase Medicaid reimbursements to try and address doctor shortages.
The delegation’s letter comes after leaders heard directly from Arizona hospitals who were concerned these supplemental payments would cut into future or recent provider relief fund payments, when compared to 2019 revenue. If HEALTHII payments are counted as new revenue—compared to a 2019 baseline when the program did not exist—it could result in lower provider relief assistance. As a result, this cuts the effectiveness of both programs (HEALTHII and Provider Relief Funds), which are intended to target two different issues. Provider Relief Fund payments are intended to address revenue losses from the pandemic, while HEALTHII payments address low Medicaid reimbursements.