Health care funding in Arizona’s budget

The nearly $12 billion Arizona budget for Fiscal Year 2020 earned approval from the full Legislature on the 134th day of what was supposed to be a 100-day session. The bill was transmitted to the governor Monday, May 27.

The budget, as approved, allocates over $1.7 billion from the General Fund to AHCCCS, and about $90 million toward the Department of Health Services.

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Highlights in the budget in 2020 for the two agencies include:

AHCCCS

  • $1.6 million from the General Fund to prevent a KidsCare freeze, which Gov. Doug Ducey included in his proposal, but was originally reported by AZCentral to be absent from the legislators’
  • $7 million from the General Fund for increasing provider rates for elderly long-term care through the Arizona Long Term Care System
  • $4.8 million to make funding ongoing for Proposition 206, which raised the minimum wage and created earned paid sick leave requirements for Arizona employers
  • A total of $3 million from the General Fund for graduate medical education — $1.7 million for rural graduate medical education, and $1.3 million for urban graduate medical education

Department of Health Services

  • $2 million in one-time funding for Alzheimer’s disease research
  • $1 million for prenatal equipment in rural hospitals
  • $700,000 to establish a community-based primary care clinic in Colorado City;
  • $1.5 million for Benson and Northern Cochise Hospitals to maintain emergency department and trauma services
  • $750,000 for the state’s loan repayment program

In a press release, Gov. Doug Ducey listed other items among “health and welfare”-related budget highlights, including:

  • $13 million for new developmental disability provider funding, which falls under the Department of Economic Security;
  • $15 million in the Housing Trust Fund, which falls under the Department of Housing;
  • $2.4 million for expanding the kinship stipend, which falls under the Department of Child Safety; and
  • $1.6 million in funding to be distributed to a nonprofit veterans’ services organization that’s working to reduce suicides in the state’s military and veteran population, which falls under the Department of Veterans’ Services.

The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association released a press release in support of the final budget, calling the plan “patient-centered.”

“AzHHA applauds Gov. Ducey and the lawmakers at the state capitol for passing a budget that makes a solid investment in the health of all Arizonans,” says AzHHA President and CEO Ann-Marie Alameddin. “From eliminating the KidsCare enrollment freeze to combating the state’s physician shortage by providing state funding for Graduate Medical Education, this is a budget healthcare leaders across the  state can support, that will directly benefit each and every Arizonan across the continuum of care.”