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October 31, 2019

Around the nation: Arizona health centers sue Medicaid over reimbursement dispute

Daily Briefing

    The health centers in the lawsuit said the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state's Medicaid program, has not reimbursed them for the full costs of services provided by dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, and chiropractors, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arizona, Maine, and Ohio.

    • Arizona: A group of Federally Qualified Health Centers in Arizona on Monday filed a lawsuit accusing the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), the state's Medicaid program, of not reimbursing them for the full costs of services provided by dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, and chiropractors. Matthew Freedus, the attorney who represents the health centers, in the lawsuit said the state is required to pay the health centers per visit for "reasonable and related costs" for providing the services. The health centers are seeking reimbursement of the costs in full. AHCCCS said it believes the coverage it provides for the services "is consistent with the federal definition of physician services and that it is in compliance with federal law" (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 10/29; Fischer, Arizona Capitol Times, 10/28).

    • Maine: Maine has a "significant and immediate [nursing] shortage," according to Chief Human Resources Officer Michele Talka. Central Maine Health, for instance, has 110 openings for RNs in its three hospitals and five facilities. According to WGME, hundreds of nurses in the state have retired in recent years and many nursing school graduates are accepting jobs in other states, WGME reports. To address the shortage, hospitals are incentivizing nurses to pick up extra shifts and hire travel nurses (WGME, 10/28).

    • Ohio: Thomas Zenty III, CEO of University Hospitals, on Tuesday announced that he will retire in January 2021. The board is looking internally for a replacement and plans to announce a successor before the end of 2019. Zenty has served as CEO of the health system for nearly 18 years (Castellucci, Modern Healthcare, 10/29).

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