PHOENIX — The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System has launched a help hotline for Native American patients who have been displaced by the abrupt suspension of many medical providers suspected of fraud.
On Tuesday, state officials announced they were immediately cutting off AHCCCS funding to 100 medical providers suspected of taking advantage of Indigenous residents.
The alleged scam involved enticing Native Americans to undergo rehabilitation at a group home so that the provider could collect AHCCCS payments. But officials claim many patients received substandard care or no care at all.
12News began reporting on this alleged scam back in December after the Navajo Police Department started receiving reports of Indigenous residents getting recruited to check into Phoenix rehab centers.
"At a minimum, hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost to these fraudulent schemes, but the impact could be higher," Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said Tuesday.
AHCCCS has now set up a hotline for Native Americans affected by any rehabs or group homes that have suddenly closed.
Anyone who calls 2-1-1 will speak to a navigator who can help callers with transportation or housing needs.
“This new member hotline is a real-time mechanism for members who are affected by a provider closure to alert trained responders that they need help," AHCCCS Director Carmen Heredia said in a statement.
More information about the hotline can be found here.
Up to Speed
Catch up on the latest news and stories on our 12News YouTube playlist here.
More ways to get 12News
On your phone: Download the 12News app for the latest local breaking news straight to your phone.
On your streaming device: Download 12News+ to your streaming device
The free 12News+ app from 12News lets users stream live events — including daily newscasts like "Today in AZ" and "12 News" and our daily lifestyle program, "Arizona Midday"—on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
We are committed to serving all of the Valley's communities, because we live here, too.
12News is the Official Home of the Arizona Cardinals and the proud recipient of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Emmy Award for Overall Excellence.
12News+ showcases live video throughout the day for breaking news, local news, weather and even an occasional moment of Zen showcasing breathtaking sights from across Arizona.