One question many people tend to have when they apply for Arizona Medicaid is whether ALTCS/Medicaid members receive the same quality of care as those who pay for their long-term health care out of pocket. To ensure that this happens, there are laws in place that require medical providers to treat patients equally, regardless of their payment source. So, in theory, ALTCS members receive the same quality of care as their private-paying counterparts. And, generally speaking, this holds true in practice as well.
When medical providers fail to abide by accepted standards and policies in health care delivery, they can face swift and severe penalties. For instance, in a recent California class action lawsuit against a skilled nursing group, Foothill Ranch, the jury came back with a $670 million verdict after finding that Foothill Ranch had understaffed its facilities. This amount exceeded the group’s ability to pay, and the parties are presently arranging a settlement that will likely amount to $50 million.
Jury verdicts of this amount demonstrate society’s intolerance for poor quality of care in skilled nursing facilities. This should give a certain degree of consolation to those who are caring for elderly parents in AZ, and are beginning to believe that care in a facility may be necessary. In the end, those who apply for Arizona Medicaid should not have undue concern that they will receive inadequate care from a skilled nursing facility.