Special Session on Opioids by Joe Furia

Greg Ensell, Vice President of Government Relations

Governor Doug Ducey announced in his annual State of the State speech that lawmakers will be tackling the opioid crisis in a concurrent special session over the next month. A package of legislation will be released next week, along with a formal call for a special session. Details of what to expect can be found in the Department of Health Services’ (DHS) opioid task force report.

DHS has recommended more than a dozen new laws aimed at confronting the crisis, with efforts focused on reducing the illicit use of opioids, promoting safe prescribing, decreasing risks of opioid use and improving access to treatment. In addition, DHS would like to put in place a 5-day limit for all first prescription fills and limit the size of doses.

There would also be laws aimed at prescribing, including changes to the labels and packaging for opioids. The department has also proposed regulating pain management clinics in order to stop “pill mill” activities. Furthermore, the report states that enforcement mechanisms are needed to help curb pill milling and overprescribing.

Additionally, if passed, HB 2033: Good Samaritan bill would allow bystanders to call 911 for potential opioid overdoses, which the department said is needed because people are afraid to call emergency services for fear of prosecution.

AzHHA will provide updates as more information becomes available.

AHCCCS Updates by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that some states could run out of CHIP funding as soon as this month without further action from Congress. It is expected that Arizona will have money to keep Arizona’s version of CHIP (KidsCare) open into the spring due to the temporary funding fix applied by Governor Ducey. A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimated that it would cost the federal government less to reauthorize CHIP funding than previously thought, reducing the five-year offset needed from $8.3 billion to just $800 million.

As we reported last month, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has submitted an updated AHCCCS Works Waiver to CMS. The federal comment period is now open and will close February 5th. Click here to submit comments.

Winter State of the State – Tucson and Phoenix by Joe Furia

Shayna Diamond, Director of Community Affairs

The Hertel Report’s Winter State of the State will be held Wednesday, January 24th in Tucson and Friday, January 26th in Phoenix. This event features top stories impacting the Arizona healthcare industry and local market updates. The 2018 Winter State of the State will also include updates on the individual market on HealthCare.gov and quality reporting and strategies to raise quality scores. AzHHA members receive discounted pricing with promo code. Please request promo code by contacting communications@azhha.org. To register and view more details about the event, click here.

Honoring a Life: Advance Care Planning Conversations Train the Trainer by Joe Furia

Karen Beckford, Director of Thoughtful Life Conversations

AzHHA’s Thoughtful Life Conversations program will be offering the Honoring a Life: Advance Care Planning Conversations Train the Trainer program on January 19th. This 6-hour workshop trains community representatives and volunteers to facilitate the 2-hour Honoring a Life: Advance Care Planning Workshop. Train the Trainer expectations will be to successfully pass a post-test, co-facilitate a training with an approved trainer, submit all required paperwork and commit to co-host future training sessions using set curricula. The target audiences are passionate volunteers who have an interest in teaching advance care planning. Click here to register or contact Karen Beckford to bring this training to your community.

Point of Pride: Summit Healthcare by Joe Furia

Congratulations to Summit Healthcare Cancer Center for earning National Accreditation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. Summit Healthcare would be the first rural hospital in Arizona to have its cancer center CoC accredited making this recognition even more special. The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for Summit Healthcare’s Cancer Center to improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care.