Arizona Group Proposes Legislative Fix To Rural-Urban Health Care Divide

Published: Monday, February 18, 2019 - 8:44pm
Updated: Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 9:21am

Depending on where a patient lives across the state, health care costs can vary greatly. One Arizona advocacy group says legislative policy is the way to fix it.

Jennifer Carusetta is with Health Systems Alliance of Arizona. Part of her job is to make Arizona a desirable destination for doctors to relocate here.

“It’s not just a matter of do we have great weather, to live and to work, it’s also a matter of how fast can we put that person to work? How fast can we get them through the licensure process? How quickly can we get them contracted with an insurance plan to get them reimbursed for those services?" Carusetta said.

But, she says, rural parts of the state do not have the same patient volume as Maricopa County and that translates into dollars.

“The cost of care is very different when you look at urban versus rural Arizona, and that is something you have to be very thoughtful about when you are making policy decisions,” she said.

According to the National Rural Health Association, there are approximately 2.5 times more physicians available per person in a metro area than in rural areas.

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