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Blue Cross Blue Shield Now Serves 200,000 Arizona Medicaid Patients

200,000 Medicaid patients will now be a part of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. The patients had been served by Dallas-based Steward Health Choice Arizona, which was acquired by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The move affects some 200-thousand people in northern and central Arizona who receive health care through the state’s Medicaid system--the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS. In a news release, Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona says no significant changes are planned.

Joining us to talk about what this acquisition means to patients, health care providers and the rest of us is Jim Hammond, CEO and publisher of the Hertel Report, which covers the Arizona healthcare industry. What’s the significance of this move?

Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.