Your needs are our top priority
Keeping you healthy is important to us. We want to help you manage your health and improve your care. We are here to help. If you are a plan member, please contact us to let us know if you need help.
Mercy Care Member Services representatives are available to help you Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Just call 602-212-4983 or toll-free 1-833-711-0776 (TTY/TDD 711).
Your Office of Individual and Family Affairs
Members have valuable input and have a choice in the services they receive. Mercy Care's OIFA team can help by providing support to members and their families of choice. If you need help or have concerns about your care, you can reach out to us at OIFATeam@MercyCareAZ.org.
You can also call our ombudsman. An ombudsman is someone who is an advocate for members and their family members and helps them navigate the system. Note: The ombudsman will return your call or email within 48 hours.
Vera Kramarchuk, ombudsman
What does a care manager do?
- Identifies members who need help coordinating their care
- Develops ways to help members be more healthy by understanding their conditions.
- Develops ways to overcome barriers and improve access to care
- Identifies the care a member needs and helps them get it
- Makes sure a member moves safely between care settings
Care managers are like detectives. They “investigate” all the services a member needs to be more healthy, and they help members get those services.
Care managers do assessments to understand the member’s health needs.
Care managers work with the member, their caretaker, their care providers and health plan staff to create a plan of care.
Care managers identify preventive care needed, depending on the member’s age and condition, such as dental check ups, vaccinations, well-child visits, etc..
Care managers also look at a member’s surroundings and non-medical needs which could affect their ability to meet care goals.
Emergency and Urgent Care
When to use the Emergency Room
How to tell if it's an emergency Emergencies are life-threatening. Here are examples of things that are NOT emergencies and some that are. If you are not sure, call your doctor. You call also call the Nurse Line at 602-212-4983 or 1-833-711-0776 and select the "speak to a nurse" option. The nurse line is available 24 hours a day/7 days per week, and is available to answer general medical questions.
- Sore throat
- Prescription refill or request
- Back strain
- Severe chest pain
- You cannot move your arms or legs
- Bleeding that you cannot stop
- Loss of consciousness
- Deep cuts or serious burns
Is it really an emergency? The emergency room (ER) is for serious problems like heart attacks, broken bones, bad burns and car accidents. If your life or your child's life is in danger or you have a real emergency, call 9-1-1 right away or go to the closest ER. But, if you go to the ER because you think you will be seen more quickly, you will most likely have to wait. In the ER, anything except a real emergency has to wait, even if you were there first. You may also have to pay a co-payment. This is because you went to the ER but did not have an emergency.
When to use Urgent Care
Do you need urgent medical care? Can't get an appointment with your doctor?
Mercy Care members may go to contracted urgent care centers for urgent medical problems. Urgent care doctors treat both children and adults. If you get sick or have an accident, call your doctor first If you can't get a same day appointment you can still get medical care right away. Go to an urgent care center for things like:
- Flu, bad sore throats, earaches
- Back pain
- Migraine headaches
For a complete listing of Mercy Care urgent care centers go to Find a Provider at the top of the page.
Mercy Care members can now get care in the comfort of your home. We’ve partnered with DispatchHealth, a company that delivers urgent care to you. Instead of going to the ER or to urgent care, an ER-trained medical team can come to your home in a few hours. You can stay home and focus on feeling better. Just call 480-493-3444, 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or visit dispatchhealth.com. DispatchHealth treats everything an urgent care can, plus more. Including common conditions like:
- Fever / flu
- Headaches / migraines
- Urinary tract infection
- Seasonal allergies
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Eye infection or irritation
- Pink eye
- Skin infection / rash
- Nausea / vomiting
Clinical Practice Guidelines
o help provide our members with consistent, high-quality care that utilizes services and resources effectively, we have chosen certain clinical guidelines to help our providers. These are treatment protocols for specific conditions as well as preventive health guidelines.
These guidelines are intended to clarify standards and expectations. They should not:
- Come before your responsibility to provide treatment based on the member’s individual needs.
- Substitute as orders for treatment of a member.
- Guarantee coverage or payment for the type or level of care proposed or provided.
We have adopted the these evidence-based guidelines.
To learn more about the guidelines and to access helpful tool kits on treating various behavioral disorders, follow the links below:
Clinical guidelines for the treatment of children
If you are a pediatrician or family medicine practitioner working with children, make sure you fully understand the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Program and are familiar with the Childhood Immunization Schedule.
- EPSDT Program: To help ensure children under age 18 get the screenings and preventive care they need, please refer to the EPSDT Periodicity Schedule.
Treating behavioral health disorders in children
If you are treating children with behavioral health disorders, Mercy Care offers a variety of resources related to anxiety, depression and ADHD. Click on the links below to download PDFs of these resources and tools.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Medical Determination Criteria
Mercy Care uses nationally recognized and/or community-developed, evidence-based criteria to make decisions about medical necessity.
The criteria is applied based on the needs of our members and characteristics of the local delivery system. The staff that make medical necessity determinations are trained on the criteria. And, the criteria they use is accepted and reviewed based on Mercy Care’s policies and procedures.
The criteria is reviewed annually by the proper practitioners. They help in developing, adopting, or reviewing criteria. They also make sure it’s r for our member’s needs. The criteria is also updated when national or community-based clinical practice guidelines are updated.
We apply the criteria consistently, considering the needs of members. We consult with requesting practitioners/providers when it’s appropriate.
For inpatient medical care reviews, Mercy Care uses the following criteria:
- Criteria required by applicable state or federal regulatory agency
- Applicable Milliman Care Guidelines (MCG) as the primary decision support for most clinical diagnoses and conditions
- Aetna Clinical Policy Bulletins (CPB’s)
- Aetna Clinical Policy Council Review (ad hoc)
For inpatient behavioral health care reviews, Mercy Care uses the following criteria:
- Criteria required by applicable federal and state regulatory agencies
- Milliman Care Guidelines (MCG). These are care management guidelines based on the latest research and scholarly articles and data analysis.
- American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) PPC-2R. This is a guide that provides guidelines about the proper type of care and the level of intensity of care for people with addictive diseases.
- The Child and Adolescent Service Intensity Instrument (CASII). This is a standardized assessment tool that provides a determination of the appropriate level of service intensity needed by a child or youth and his or her family.
- The Level of Care Utilization System (LOCUS). This is tool designed by the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. It allows staff who work on inpatient hospital environments with patients with psychiatric problems (such as emergency departments, psychiatric sections of general hospitals or in psychiatric hospitals) to determine the level of care that an individual should receive.
- Aetna Clinical Policy Bulletins (CPBs)
- Aetna Clinical Policy Council Review (ad hoc)
Member and Provider Survey Results
You can view or download the results of the Mercy Care member and provider surveys:
Member - Learn about how Mercy Care members rate their experiences and satisfaction.
- 2021 Mercy Care Behavioral Health Member Survey
- 2020 Mercy Care Behavioral Health Member Survey
- 2017 Mercy Care Behavioral Health Member Survey
- 2016 Mercy Care Plan Composite Member Survey Results
- 2016 Mercy Care Plan Annual Assessment of Behavioral Healthcare and Services Survey
- 2015 Mercy Care Plan Composite Member Survey Results
- 2014 Mercy Care Plan Composite Member Survey Results
- 2013 Composite Member Survey Results
Provider - Learn about how Mercy Care providers rate their experiences and satisfaction.
- 2020 Mercy Care Acute Provider Satisfaction Survey
- 2020 Mercy Care LTC Provider Satisfaction Survey
- 2019 Mercy Care Acute Provider Satisfaction Survey
- 2019 Mercy Care LTC Provider Satisfaction Survey
- 2017 Mercy Care Acute Provider Satisfaction Survey
- 2017 Mercy Care LTC Provider Satisfaction Survey
- 2016 Mercy Care Plan Provider Survey Results
- 2015 Mercy Care Plan Provider Survey Results: Acute
- 2015 Mercy Care Plan Provider Survey Results: Long Term Care
- 2014 Mercy Care Plan Acute Provider Survey Results
- 2014 Mercy Care Plan Long Term Care Provider Survey Results
- 2013 Provider Survey Results
Prior Authorization and Referrals
Getting specialty services
There are times when a health problem can’t be treated by your doctor alone and specialty care may be needed. If you need care from a specialty provider, your PCP will need to request a referral or prior authorization for you. Some covered medical services will need prior authorization before you can receive the service.
A referral is when your primary care provider (PCP) sends you to a specialist provider for a specific problem. This might include heart problems, skin disorders or serious allergies. A referral can also be to a lab or hospital, etc. You may also request a second opinion from another Mercy Care doctor.
A prior authorization is an approval from Mercy Care for you to get the special services your PCP or specialist provider wants you to receive. We may take up to 14 days to approve a routine authorization request and three (3) business days to approve an urgent request.
If we need additional information to authorize the request, a 14-day extension may be requested. If we do not receive the information requested from your doctor, we may deny the request. You will receive a notice of action letter that explains your rights.
If your doctor sends in an urgent authorization request and it does not meet the criteria for an urgent request, we will send you a letter and let you know that it will be processed as a regular request. You can file a grievance if you disagree. Please go to Grievances for more information.
Click on the link below to see if a service requires pre-approval. You do not need approval from Mercy Care to get emergency services.
Mercy Care providers are expected to follow certain guidelines when giving our members care. If you need help understanding any of these guidelines, please call Member Services and ask to speak to a nurse who can help you.
Certain acute outpatient services and planned hospital admissions require prior authorization before the service can be covered. Please refer to the Evidence of Coverage for more explanation about which services and circumstances require prior authorization.
If the service has been denied, Mercy Care DCS CHP will send the DCS Specialist or custodial agency representative a letter called a Notice of Adverse Benefit Determination (NOA). You have the right to appeal the decision (see Grievances and Appeals section of this website).