CMS Issues Payment Rules by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development 

Last week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued proposed rules governing FFY 2019 Medicare payments and related policies for inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) including long-term care (LTC) hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled-nursing facilities, hospice, and inpatient psychiatric facilities. CMS will accept comments through June 25th for the IPPS and LTCH rule and June 26th for all other rules. Within the next few days AzHHA members will receive detailed analyses of the rules along with estimates of hospital-specific impact.

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, to address workplace violence. This training is open to staff of both members and non-members, with an additional discount for those AzHHA HIIN participants. In this half-day course, participants will learn strategies and techniques to avoid and prevent violence in workplace settings. Space is limited and the Friday, June 1st session is already full, so don’t wait. For more information or to register, click here.

PAHPA Reauthorization Discussion Draft has Been Released by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development 

Key members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees have released draft legislation to reauthorize the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, which is set to expire September 30th. Among other provisions, the bill would:

  • Reauthorize the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP) through 2023
  • Require the Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate existing performance measures, benchmarks and standards for the HPP and PHEP programs
  • Develop guidelines for regional systems of hospitals and other facilities of varying capabilities to treat patients and increase surge capacity during public health emergencies
  • Prioritize HPP grants to entities that enhance coordination among facilities in a regional public health emergency system

The Committee is accepting comments on the discussion draft through May 4th.

Register Today for the 22nd Annual Western Regional Trustee Symposium by Joe Furia

Gina Hillis, Director of Governance and Special Assistant to the President

If you have not yet registered yourself or you trustees for the 2018 Western Regional Trustee Symposium, taking place June 6-8th in Omaha Nebraska, don’t wait. Registration ends May 18th and the hotel room block will close on May 16th.

The Western Regional Trustee Symposium is a collaborative educational effort of several hospital associations through the western and Midwestern United States, including Arizona.

A special room rate has been negotiated at the Embassy Suites Omaha-Downtown/Old Market is $154 a night, plus resort fee and tax. Reservations will be accepted after May 16th at the hotel’s prevailing rate and based on availability.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Gina Hillis.

Another 340B Bill Introduced by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

Representative Earl Carter (R-GA) has introduced legislation amending the 340B drug savings program. This legislation is one of several bills introduced this year to modify the 340 B program  - a program that allows safety net hospitals to stretch limited federal resources to ensure local communities have access to outpatient pharmaceuticals and necessary health services.  While AzHHA supports program integrity efforts to ensure the 340 program remains available to safety net providers, we are concerned the Representative Carter’s legislation will impose overly burdensome reporting requirements on hospitals, requesting data that is not accessible in nature, while doing little to address the high cost of drugs incurred by patients, hospitals and other providers.

Point of Pride: Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital by Joe Furia

For the 11th year in a row our member Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital has been named in the top 10 percent of inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the nation. Among the 870 inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationwide Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital care was cited as being patient-centered, effective, efficient and timely. Congratulations to our member and all of the staff for their efforts in providing excellent patient care.