Ralph Heap, "Dr. Hypocrisy," Campaigns Against Medicaid Expansion, But Took $130K in Medicaid Cash
Heap has taken $130,000 in Medicaid funds from 2010 to 2013
AHCCCS spokeswoman Jennifer Carusetta tells me that these payments would have been made through health plans Heap contracts with.
Does this mean that Heap had no choice but to take the money?
"AHCCCS cannot compel a provider to participate in Medicaid," Carusetta informed me. "They may choose not to, which is their business decision. There are providers in Arizona who choose not to become an AHCCCS provider."
In fact, in order to get that Medicaid money, Heap had to sign up with the state.
Monica Coury, assistant director of AHCCCS' Office of Intergovernmental Relations, laid this out for me.
"Everyone who provides services to Medicaid beneficiaries and seeks reimbursement from the Medicaid program must register with the AHCCCS Administration," she explained. "There are federal requirements and clearances that we comply with. So before you can contract with a health plan, you have to register with AHCCCS."
She continued: "If you are a doctor and you choose not to serve AHCCCS members, then you simply do not register with us."
Through a public-records request, I obtained a copy of a 2009 provider participation agreement that bears Heap's signature.
Heap is one of 55,000 providers registered with AHCCCS statewide, according to Coury.
So he's been attacking his opponent for voting to expand a program that he and his fellow healthcare providers benefit from.
For example, according to AHCCCS, one institution that Heap has been associated with pulled in more than $35 million in Medicaid payments for fiscal year 2011.
And yet, in one attack piece, Heap criticized Worsley for voting for Obamacare and thereby "increasing the number of people entitled to 'free care.'"