Budget Work Starts as Legislative Process Continues by Joe Furia

Greg Ensell, Vice President of Government Relations

We are now at the 60th day of legislative session. Both chambers have been working hard at moving bills through the legislative process in advance of the committee deadline. This means that Senate and House committees only have two regularly scheduled meetings to hear some or all 206 House and 130 Senate. However, the real news is that work has begun on crafting the state’s FY2019 budget.

This week, Senate President Yarbrough and JLBC director Richard Stavneak began briefing small groups of majority caucus members about the differences between the Governor’s proposal and JLBC baseline budget. The meetings were reportedly for information only and focused on revenue estimates.

In the House, a group of Republican legislators called the “T5” group began meeting to discuss the budget. The group is comprised of Representatives Livingston, Leach, Bowers, Cobb, and Norgaard. They are expected to work long hours this week creating a rough budget outline. Many expect “T5” to begin meeting with rank-and-file member of the House GOP caucus early next week.

Exactly when and how the budget will be introduced and passed is the subject of great speculation amongst Capitol railbirds. The only requirement is that a budget be adopted on or before July 1st. What happens between now and then is not known but will likely include days or weeks of silence followed by a few frenzied days of intense lobbying and legislative action.

Passing a budget is the most important, and almost without exception the hardest, annual legislative task. Traditionally, budgets are negotiated behind closed doors through a process of small group meetings: first, between the leadership of both majority caucus and their members; and then between the President, the Speaker and the Governor’s office.

Once an agreement has been reached, the budget will be introduced and rapidly moved through committees and floor votes. The budget itself is not one bill. Rather, it’s a series of ten or more bills with one “feed bill” that contains appropriations for each agency and numerous budget reconciliation bills (BRBs) which contain the statutory changes and session law required for implementation.

AzHHA Offers New Locums Managed Services Program by Joe Furia

John Koeneke, Vice President of Business Development 

AzHHA is pleased to announce its new managed service program, AzHHA Locum Tenens MSP. This program is offered to members at no cost and is designed to assist with a more cost effective and efficient way to source and engage physicians and mid-level practitioners. If you would like an overview of the AzHHA Locums MSP program and how your organization can participate in this exciting new program please contact John Koeneke.

Patient Safety Awareness Week is Around the Corner by Joe Furia

Vicki Buchda, Director of Care Improvement

AzHHA and HRET HIIN are celebrating Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW) March 11-17. This is a time when we pause to reflect on how we can increase awareness about patient safety and culture by engaging healthcare professionals in our state as well as celebrate the harms we have avoided and lives saved. Our AzHHA HIIN hospitals have avoided almost 900 harms since the beginning of the HIIN work. This reflects a cost savings of over $10,000,000 and translates to 34 lives saved.  Several events are planned during PSAW including:

  • Engaging Patient and Providers: Speaking Up for Patient Safety webinar - March 11th. Registration is required.
  • Building a Safety Culture Twitter Chat (using the #PSAW18 hashtag) - March 16th

Register Today for ArMA’s Physician Leadership Conference by Joe Furia

Shayna Diamond, Director of Community Affairs 

The Arizona Medical Association's 4th Annual Physician Leadership Conference on March 24th is focused on physician well-being and engagement. This conference will be held at the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale and is designed to connect passionate healthcare professionals in an environment that facilitates learning, networking, and best practice sharing. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear insights from industry experts and network with peers from healthcare organizations around the state. For more information or to register, click here.

Point of Pride: Maricopa Integrated Health System by Joe Furia

Last month, Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) highlighted National Burn Awareness Week, February 4-10th, with a news conference featuring Melissa Madsen, 21, who shared her dramatic story of jumping out of her moving pickup truck after her e-cigarette exploded in her lap in April. In a public service announcement, Madsen shared the excellent care she received from all of the staff at MIHS’ Arizona Burn Center as well as warns others about the dangers of "vaping" and the e-cigarettes.