Awards & Studies

Studies & Articles About AHCCCS

2019 Year in Review
January 2, 2020
AHCCCS realized many innovations and improvements to system delivery and technology in 2019. Highlights include integrating physical and behavioral health services for 99% of enrolled members, adding new provider transportation types, expanding telehealth to increase access to services in rural areas, and serving 41,000 Arizonans with Opioid Use Disorder.

Independent Evaluation Of Arizona's Medicaid Integration Efforts Programs for Children's Rehabilitative Services and Persons Determined to Have a Serious Mental Illness
November 2018, Mercer Health and Benefits LLC
In 2013 and 2014, AHCCCS integrated physical and behavioral health services for members eligible for Children's Rehabilitative Service and for members in Maricopa County with a Serious Mental Illness determination. For both populations, the majority of measures showed improvement between the pre-integration and post-integration periods. These results support that the care delivered to members during the post-integration period showed improvement in many areas, and that the patient experience with health care has improved for both populations.

Strengthening Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports in an Evolving Policy Environment: A Toolkit for States
December 2017, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
Arizona is one of several states featured in this Center for Health Care Strategies study for its efforts around increased HCBS housing supports and care delivery alignment for dually eligible members.

Advancing Medicare and Medicaid Integration: Key Program Features and Factors Driving State Investment
November 2017, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
More than 11 million Americans are "duals," meaning they are eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. As one of 10 states participating in Implementing New Systems of Integration for Dually Eligible Enrollees (INSIDE), a learning collaborative led by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), Arizona is highlighted for key features that increase alignment and care coordination for this complex population of more than 155,000 of the state's citizens.

Moving Toward Value-Based Payment for Medicaid Behavioral Health Services
June 2017, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
Value-based payments (VBP) shift the way Medicaid health plans and providers pay for health care services. Instead of the traditional model of paying for volume, VBPs rewarding high-quality outcomes, and have been shown to slow cost growth. The Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. report illustrates how innovative states and Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) in Arizona, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee are using physical health VBP models to create new arrangements in their behavioral health programs.

State and Health Plan Strategies to Grow Enrollment in Integrated Managed Care Plans for Dually Eligible Beneficiaries
June 2017, Integrated Care Resource Center
Arizona is highlighted in this report from the Integrated Care Resource Center as one state that serves dually eligible Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries by contractually requiring its health plans to serve as Medicare Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) and promoting enrollment or alignment of dual eligible members into the same health plan for both Medicaid and Medicare to the greatest extent.

How Arizona Medicaid Accelerated the Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health Services
May 2017, The Commonwealth Fund
Where most states still divide the responsibility of physical and behavioral health across different agencies, Arizona consolidated these Medicaid services under AHCCCS in 2015. The Commonwealth Fund report highlights how AHCCCS’ efforts increased attention to behavioral health services, improved cross- communication and mutual trust, and streamlined service delivery for the health care plans, the providers and the members.

State Strategies: Value-Based Payment for Medicaid Populations with Complex Care Needs
April 2017, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
To improve care coordination and manage costs, the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) managed by AHCCCS uses a value-based model to purchase and assess long-term services and supports.

Improving Value for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries: The Role of D-SNPs
March 2017, Anthem Public Policy Institute
This report from Anthem Public Policy Institute examines the role that dual eligible special needs plans (D-SNPs) can play in improving care delivery and health outcomes for individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and highlights Arizona’s successful efforts to lower rates of hospitalization and emergency department use.

State Insights on Refining Integrated Care for Dually Eligible Beneficiaries
December 2016, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
Arizona is one of only three states that coordinate care for dual eligible beneficiaries by pairing D-SNP with a Medicaid managed long-term services and supports program.

Connecting the Justice-Involved Population to Medicaid Coverage and Care: Findings from Three States
June 2016, The Kaiser Family Foundation
Arizona is leading efforts to connect the justice-involved population to Medicaid coverage and care, suspend eligibility for incarcerated individuals, and help those with significant health needs as they transition out of incarceration. According to the study, “these approaches have increased coverage, facilitated access to care, and contributed to administrative efficiencies and state savings…”

Value-Based Payments in Medicaid Managed Care: An Overview of State Approaches
February 2016, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
AHCCCS is one of seven state Medicaid agencies highlighted in this study for accelerating value-based payment adoption through MCO contract requirements with graduated payment targets.

State Mental Health Legislation 2015: Trends, Themes and Effective Practices
December 2015, National Alliance on Mental Illness
Arizona is named among only 12 states that have steadily increased investments in mental health services.

Home is Where the Health Is
June 27, 2015, The Arizona Republic

Arizona keeps costs low on long-term care spending, Moody's says
May 23, 2015, The Arizona Republic



AHCCCS Receives Leadership in Policy Award for COVID-19 Response
July 30th, 2020
On July 23, Director Jami Snyder accepted the 2020 Leadership in Policy Award from the ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, AHCCCS made two commitments,” said Snyder, who accepted the award. “One, ensuring access to care for members during the public health emergency, and two, maintaining the ongoing viability of the provider network.”

Dr. Michael Franczak, Director of Population Health at Partners in Recovery, presented the award to the AHCCCS leadership team (who attended via webinar), specifically noting the policy changes implemented to address the COVID-19 public health emergency. Reading from the nomination submitted by Mary Jo Whitfield, vice president of behavioral health at Jewish Family & Children’s Service, he cited an extensive, including the agency’s ability to streamline provider enrollment, change the PASRR assessment process, provide continuous eligibility to enrolled members, waive member premiums and co-pays, provide COVID-19 testing reimbursement, and expand respite care.