CMS Releases Strategy to Promote High-Quality Healthcare for Rural Communities by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development 

Earlier this week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a strategy to promote high-quality healthcare for all rural communities by addressing the unique economics of providing rural healthcare, and bringing a rural focus to CMS healthcare delivery and payment reforms. The strategy that was developed by the Rural Health Council calls for CMS to "apply a rural lens" to its programs and policies by:

  • Improving access to care through provider engagement and support
  • Advancing telehealth and telemedicine
  • Empowering patients to make decisions about their care
  • Leveraging partnerships with stakeholders to achieve the stated goals

Register For the 5th Annual HAI/HAC Prevention Summit by Joe Furia

Vicki Buchda, Director of Care Improvement

AzHHA’s Hospital Innovation Improvement Network (HIIN) is sponsoring the 5th Annual HAC and HAI Prevention Summit, May 23-24th. Speakers on May 23rd will focus on subject matter that is of greatest concern and interest to hospitals, including:

  • Sepsis
  • VAE
  • C. difficile
  • Adverse Drug Events
  • Readmissions

It will also feature a break-out session for rural and critical access hospitals on antibiotic stewardship. Our partner, the Arizona Department of Health Services, is planning the content for May 24th and will focus on topics of interest to Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities. Registration for May 23rd is here, and for May 24th is here. Seating is limited, so register soon!

White House Proposes to Rescind Certain CHIP, CMMI Funding by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development 

On Tuesday the White House Office of Management and Budget proposed that Congress rescind $15.4 billion in prior appropriations to federal programs, including nearly $7 billion from the Children's Health Insurance Program and $800 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 authorized $5.1 billion of the CHIP funds to supplement the 2017 national allotments to states, but the authorization expired October 2017. While the CMMI funds were authorized for fiscal years 2011-2019. For the proposed rescissions to take effect, Congress would have to pass legislation and implement within 45 days. AzHHA is particularly concerned about the rescission of CHIP funding, which could undermine the bipartisan CHIP agreement.

Workplace Violence Prevention Training by Joe Furia

Shayna Diamond, Director of Community Affairs

The wellbeing of hospital and healthcare employees is a top priority. Our Hospitals Against Violence initiative is kicking off with The AVADE® Workplace Violence Prevention training on Thursday, May 31st. In this half-day course, participants will learn strategies and techniques to avoid and prevent violence in workplace settings. Space is limited. The Friday, June 1st session is already full, so don’t wait. For more information or to register, click here.

AzHHA Members Working Towards Healthiest State Vision by Joe Furia

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

This month AzHHA Constituency Groups will be meeting to discuss the issues they can impact to ensure improved care across Arizona. These collaborative discussions have resulted is the creation of resources and processes. The following is a list of the scheduled meetings.

  • Small Rural Hospitals - Thursday May 10th
  • Post-Acute Care Hospitals – Wednesday May 16th
  • Arizona Care Together – Monday May 21st
  • Behavioral Health Hospitals – Tuesday May 29th

Point of Pride: Phoenix Indian Medical Center by Joe Furia

We are taking time to thank the hospitals, healthcare systems and their employees for all the great work they do in our communities. Because it is Nurse Appreciation week, it seems appropriate that we are highlighting Candace Lee, a nurse that was born in and now works for Phoenix Indian Medical Center. Her leadership and commitment to caring for those in her community is a shining example of why dedicated nurses are being recognized for their contribution to improving the health of the patients they work with every day. To all the nurses, all hospital employees and all healthcare systems across Arizona … thank you!