Senate Holds Hearing on Prescription Drug Costs by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

This week the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on strategies to reduce prescription drug costs and encourage innovation and competition in the market. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testified on the administration's blueprint to lower drug prices, released in May. Rising pharmaceutical costs continue to be a top concern for AzHHA members. A survey by the American Hospital Association shows that hospital spending on inpatient drugs increased 38.7% per admission between 2013 and 2015, more than three times the increase in spending for retail prescription drugs over the period. In an effort to address rising drug costs, AzHHA supports the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act, which will prevent anticompetitive behaviors used to block and delay entry of generic drugs; and H.R. 4392 to prevent a 30% reduction in Medicare payment to certain hospitals for outpatient drugs purchased under the 340B drug savings program.

HRET HIIN Update by Joe Furia

Vicki Buchda, Director of Care Improvement

Our AzHHA Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) hospitals continue to refine processes to provide excellent care to our patients. Earlier this month the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently recognized HIIN work as largely contributing to an 8% decline in hospital-acquired conditions between 2014 and 2016. Approximately 8,000 deaths were prevented and $2.9 billion in healthcare costs were avoided. In Arizona, through the work of the AzHHA HIIN hospitals over the last 20 months, 1,250 harms were prevented and almost $16 million dollars were saved.

Welcome Promise Hospital of Phoenix! by Joe Furia

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

AzHHA is pleased to announce its newest active member Promise Hospital of Phoenix.  Promise Hospital is a 48-bed long-term acute-care hospital specializing in ventilator weaning and medically complex care. They pride themselves on acute-care services which include physical therapy, respiratory therapy, as well as an advanced program for non-healing and chronic wounds.  AzHHA welcomes Promise Hospital to the Association and looks forward to working together in the future.

Latest 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 May:

  • FFY 2018 Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Proposed Rule                        Sent 5/30/18
  • 1Q2018 Quality Program Measure Trends Analysis                               Sent 6/05/18
  • FFY 2019 Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program Analysis                 Sent 6/05/18
  • FFY 2019 Medicare Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Proposed Rule   Sent 6/08/18
  • 1Q2018 Financial Indicators Analysis                                                     Sent 6/12/18
  • 1Q2018 Hospital-Acquired Condition Analysis                                       Sent 6/26/18
  • Preliminary FFY 2020 Occupational Mix and Wage Index Data Analyses                                                                                                                                     Sent 6/26/18     

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: Yuma Regional Medical Center by Joe Furia

Congratulations to our member Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) who has recently been granted three-year accreditation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. The Commission on Cancer Accreditation Program provides the framework for Cancer Centers to improve quality 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. The best part of Centers such as the YRMC Cancer Center is that patients can seek care locally and still receive access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care that is close to home.