Proposed Access to Care Program
Due to the impact of the recession on the State’s budget and unemployment,
hospitals across Arizona have endured a sharp spike of more than $540
million in uncompensated care costs from the increased number of uninsured
individuals flooding hospital emergency departments.
The Mesa Access to Care Ordinance (“ATC”) is designed to address this issue
by creating a new funding source for Arizona Heath Care Cost Containment
System (“AHCCCS”) payments to hospitals in Mesa that provide significant
amounts of uncompensated care to uninsured and low-income patients. In
2011, the Arizona State legislature created an opportunity to create
economic funding pools from political subdivisions to draw down federal
matching dollars through Senate Bill 1357, adopted during the Fiftieth
Legislature – First Regular Session of 2011. The ATC would authorize the
City to impose a short-term assessment on area hospitals that would then be
transferred to AHCCCS, minus a fee to cover administrative costs, to fund
new AHCCCS payments to eligible Mesa hospitals to help cover uncompensated
care costs for low income and uninsured patients.
ATC will not be a cost paid directly by local taxpayers and is widely
supported by hospital leaders.
ATC will stabilize economic vitality in the health-care industry by creating
a new funding source to help cover the costs of the uninsured.
Arizona hospitals are a major economic engine in our community and during
the recent economic downturn, health care was one of the only sectors in our
economy to grow jobs. The jobs created by hospitals in Mesa and throughout
Arizona are high-quality jobs that pay well and provide benefits to
Key benefits of the ATC include:
- Funding for area hospitals to help cover uncompensated care costs
for low income and uninsured patients
- No additional costs or taxes for Mesa residents
- No increased spending by the City of Mesa to implement the program
- Costs of ATC cannot be passed onto patients, businesses, or
- A 2:1 funding match by the federal government
The program gives local governments the ability to directly support
hospitals in their communities. If the City
Council approves the ordinance
it will also direct the City to enter
into an intergovernmental agreement with AHCCCS to receive the federal match
and distribute the funds.
For more information, please contact City of Mesa Tax Audit & Collections at