HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, reports that while Arizona faces the same challenge of treating the uninsured as many states, it has some special problems of its own. According to the latest issue of Arizona Health Plan Analysis, Arizona's lack of safety-net providers, a consequence of the way its Medicaid managed care system is structured, makes it difficult to provide care to low-income residents who do not qualify for Medicaid.

"Arizona's Medicaid system is integrated into the private delivery system," said Lori Anne Parker, HealthLeaders-InterStudy analyst. "As a result, the state does not have hospitals and providers that typically care both for Medicaid and for low-income residents who are not eligible for Medicaid. The indigent who are uninsured don't have many options. They can go to Federally Qualified Health Centers or free clinics, which are few and far between, or fall back on the local hospital emergency room."

Some of the problems are due to the very success of Medicaid in Arizona. It is the only mandatory statewide managed care Medicaid program in the country. It is widely regarded as a strong, cost-effective program. Its per-member, per-month costs have been increasing at about six percent a year, lower than average for state Medicaid programs.

While almost 80% of the state's population lives in the home counties of Phoenix and Tucson, the remaining 20% has great difficulty getting access to healthcare. Getting physicians to serve in those areas is a continual problem.

  Other health plan news in Arizona:   * Forty-four Medicare stand-alone prescription drug designs are available     to Arizona seniors.   * UnitedHealth Group and PacifiCare are being required to divest of     membership in Tucson.    About Health Plan Analysis 

Health Plan Analysis identifies key health plan trends, allowing healthcare businesses to create comprehensive strategic plans and sales strategies at state and local levels. Arizona is a new report for Health Plan Analysis.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a company of Decision Resources, Inc. (http://www.decisionresources.com/), is the authoritative source for managed care data and analysis. For more information, please visit http://www.healthleaders-interstudy.com/.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Alex Jablokow   Decision Resources   781-296-2562   ajablokow@dresources.com 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2562,
ajablokow@dresources.com

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