AHCCCS to reduce providers' pay rates on April 1

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona's Medicaid program plans to reduce its payment rates to hospitals, doctors and other health care providers by 5 percent but not until April 1.

The current state budget approved last spring by the Legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer authorized the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment to cut its provider rates as a budget-balancing step.

AHCCCS officials have already frozen rates of payments to providers. But they say the April 1 rate reduction is also necessary because the end of additional federal subsidies for states' Medicaid costs will put the program in too much of a pinch.

Other cost-cutting steps already implemented include eliminating some benefits and freezing enrollment in the KidsCare program.

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