Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- The expansion of Medicaid is a financial shot in the arm to Arizona medical centers that were struggling to survive.

At Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, 25 percent of the patients in the emergency room had no insurance. Up to 50 percent of visitors to its 11 clinics were in the same situation. The medical center footed the bill.

"We're talking about $120 million a year up," said Betsey Bayless, who heads up Maricopa Integrated Health Systems.

Bayless said providing Medicaid to an additional 300,000 Arizonans will hopefully push people back toward primary care doctors and clinics instead of using the emergency room. But that comes with a challenge.

"If you have that many more people covered by Medicaid we're going to need the primary care providers, family medicine doctors, nurses, and so forth," she said.

Bayless is a former Arizona Secretary of State and said Gov. Jan Brewer did the right thing by pushing for Medicaid expansion. "She carried the day."

Jim Cross, Reporter

share this story:
Attention Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.