State Pilots ID Card Program in Yuma County, Aims to Reduce Non-Emergency ER Visits

ID card supports Patient-Centered Medical Home concept, encouraging members to see their doctor first

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) and Arizona Physicians IPA (APIPA) are piloting a program featuring a new ID card that encourages Medicaid members to see their primary care physician (PCP) – their “Medical Home” – or an urgent care center in the case of a non-medical emergency.

The pilot is designed to improve quality of care and reduce the high public costs of emergency room visits for non-emergency treatment. Cards are being issued to APIPA members in Yuma County only, as part of the pilot.

The new member ID card features the PCP name, address and phone number on the front and a list of Yuma County urgent care centers on the back. Previously, there was no listing of any of these care providers on the AHCCCS ID card. For after-hours care and when they are unable to make an appointment with their PCP, members can look on the back of the ID card to find the urgent care center nearest to them. The ID card listing of urgent care centers includes the address, phone number and hours of operation for each.

“This new ID card provides more information and helps members access the care they need. We believe the AHCCCS program will help reduce expensive ER use. Those savings are then available to fund the costs of caring for other members who have significant medical needs,” said Sheila Shapiro, APIPA chief operating officer. “We are pleased to work with AHCCCS to develop a program that helps members know who their primary care physician is, where they are located and how to contact them.”

Sunset Community Health Center and Regional Center for Border Health are participating in APIPA’s Medical Home program which creates a centralized place for a member’s medical care. Yuma Regional Hospital is also a key part of the Medical Home program, treating people in need of emergent care.

Physicians in Yuma County are reminded that this pilot program is for APIPA members only. They should continue to accept the traditional form AHCCCS ID card for all other health plans in the county except for APIPA. Physicians are encouraged to call APIPA at 1-800-445-1638 or visit if they have any questions.

About Arizona Physicians IPA
Arizona Physicians IPA (APIPA) provides more than 310,000 members with AHCCCS acute care services including KidsCare and other eligible Medicaid services in La Paz, Maricopa, and Pima and Yuma counties. APIPA also serves the state’s Developmentally Disabled members in all counties and implements the CRS program on behalf of the Arizona Department of Health Services, Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs. The health plan is a unit of UnitedHealthcare Community & State, the public sector health care business of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH). UnitedHealth Group is a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. UnitedHealthcare Community & State serves more than 3 million people in government-sponsored health care programs in 24 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit


Will Shanley
(714) 204-8005
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