Legislative Session is Off and Running by Joe Furia

Greg Ensell, Vice President of Government Relations

With only 11 days in to the legislative session more than 650 bills have been introduced. These bills range from the highly technical and mundane to the very acrimonious. All bills and the state budget will be affected by three major factors that will frame the session:

Revenue Shortfall - Currently the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) estimates a revenue shortfall of approximately $104 million. It is possible the shortfall will lower between now and when the budget is adopted. However, the consensus is that any requests for new or increased funding in the budget will be a hard to get.

 Education Funding -  In his State of the State address and his proposed budget, Governor Ducey made it clear that his number one priority is increasing education funding – a sentiment that is shared by legislators on both sides. It may be difficult for non-education issues to gain traction given the combination of revenue shortfall and pressure for increased education funding.

Election Year Pressure - We may be in store for a short session in large part due to immense pressure among elected officials to return to the campaign trail and solidify their standing with voters in what may be an uncertain and possibly volatile election season.


House Unveils Temporary Budget Fix - Does not Include Delay to DSH Cuts by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Vice President of Policy Development

Earlier this week, House Republicans unveiled a short-term continuing resolution that would fund the federal government for an additional four weeks, reauthorize federal CHIP funding for six years, and delay the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) taxes on medical devices, health insurance, and high-cost employer-sponsored health plans. The previous short-term spending bill, which President Trump signed into law last month, expires on Friday at midnight. Lawmakers must pass and President Trump must sign a new spending bill by then to avoid a partial federal government shutdown.

The measure as drafted does not include a provision to delay $43 billion in scheduled cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments called for under the ACA. The cuts, which are scheduled to be implemented from FY 2018 to FY 2025, first took effect Oct. 1st. AzHHA is urging Arizona’s congressional delegation to include the delay in the legislation. Without a delay, Arizona’s rural safety-net hospitals stand to lose over $16 million in financial support this coming year.

Need an Outsourced Solution? We Have an App for That by Joe Furia

John Koeneke, Vice President of Business Development

AzHHA is pleased to announce the release of our mobile app for Association Services, an added benefit for our members. The app is available to download for free on Android and Apple devices. With the app you are one tap away from reviewing our services, many at discounted prices, in four categories:

  • Workforce solutions
  • Work environment solutions
  • Cost reduction solutions
  • Insurance offerings

Additionally, when you use the app you will have a direct link to AZHealthJobs.com as well as access the AzHHA Homepage - just tapping on the AzHHA logo at the top of the landing page. If you have questions about the app or any of the business solutions we offer, click here.

HRET HIIN Update by Joe Furia

Vicki Buchda, Director of Care Improvement 

The Arizona HRET Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) is in its 2nd year and continues to show steady improvement in patient safety and reduced harm. Since October of 2016, HRET HIIN Arizona hospitals have saved 50 lives as well as prevented 974 harms for a cost savings of $9,446,254! We are strategically focusing on sepsis, the UP Campaign (Soap Up, Get Up, Wake Up, and Script Up), healthcare disparities and patient and family engagement during the next year of the project. If you have questions or would like to join AzHHA’s HIIN program, please contact Vicki Buchda.

DataGen Reports by Joe Furia

Ann- Marie Alameddin, Vice President of Strategy and General Counsel

The following DataGen reports were sent by AzHHA Analytics to our members in January:

  • Medicare Quality Programs Overview Hospital-Specific Report     Sent 1/10/18
  • Financial Indicators Analysis                                                            Sent 1/10/18
  • Quality Program Measure Trends Analysis 4Q2017                         Sent 1/16/18
  • Medicare Spend Per Beneficiary Report                                          Sent 1/17/18

If you would like a copy of your hospital report emailed to you, please email AzHHA Analytics.

DataGen reports are sent to hospitals as a part of AzHHA membership. DataGen utilizes Medicare analytics to create hospital-specific reports that support hospital operations, finance and enhance quality initiatives. 

For more information on the 2018 DataGen schedule for release of DataGen reports, click here.

Point of Pride: Canyon Vista Medical Center by Joe Furia

For two nurses at Canyon Vista Medical Center there is no such thing as an off-duty nurse. When an emergency arises they are ready to take immediate action. Earlier this month while on break, Gina and Annette were pulling into the grocery store when they saw person on the ground that had been struck by a vehicle. They immediately took action, directing those nearby to call 911 while they began CPR. Once the ambulance arrived the nurses were able to assist grocery store employees who were still in shock. On or off the clock, these nurses don’t think twice to offer their assistance where it is needed.